Charity opens new press after a century at previous base

Braille press opening (7 of 11) web

Royal Blind has said the new braille press will help those with sight difficulties, and has also allowed it to expand its workforce

6th June 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity for the blind has delivered a jobs boost as it opens new premises.

Royal Blind unveiled its new Scottish Braille Press this week and says this will begin a modern chapter in the production of Braille, large print and audio publications.

The new state of the art centre in Gorgie, Edinburgh, was officially opened by Maureen Watt MSP, minister for mental health.

The press has moved from its Edinburgh home of over 100 years in Craigmillar Park as the charity expands its business and provides vital new employment opportunities for disabled people.

Moving to new premises has enabled the organisation to grow its workforce to 103 employees, of whom nearly half are disabled, including people who are vision impaired. Currently in Scotland disabled people are twice as likely to be out of work than non-disabled people.

Chief executive of Royal Blind Mark O'Donnell said the new press would provide better services for the 200,000 people in Scotland who are visually impaired or blind.

"It is a mark of the success and importance of the Scottish Braille Press that we have established these new hi-tech premises where the business can prosper further still,” he said.

“It will ensure that thousands of people with sight loss can enjoy access to a whole range of publications, from books to bank statements. Braille remains important but there is an ever-growing demand for accessible formats large print and audio.

"With more and more people living with sight loss there is a greater demand for these accessible formats, and this means the Scottish Braille Press has trebled its business over the past 10 years.”

To mark the occasion Christina, a pupil from the Royal Blind School, read a poem in Doric which was transcribed into Braille and was presented to the minister - who took her oath in Doric when she was sworn into office as an MSP.

"The opening of these new premises for the Scottish Braille Press is an exciting and important development for an organisation that has done so much for sight impaired and severely sight impaired people in Scotland,” said Watt.

“People with vision impairments should have the same access to books, magazines and important personal documents that others enjoy, and that is why the work of the Scottish Braille Press is so important.”