Abiyoso BLBI Center is the Only Institution under Social Affairs Ministry to Provide Literacy for the Visually Impaired

Thursday, 09-September-2021 21:45

The Abiyoso Indonesian Braille Literacy Center (BLBI) is managed by the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs.
Image : Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs
The Abiyoso Indonesian Braille Literacy Center (BLBI) is managed by the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs.

BANDUNG, NETRALNEWS.COM - Since 1967, the celebration of International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 8 has been held every year around the world. The day is celebrated to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. ILD also puts forward a literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.

Although progress has been made, literacy challenges remain. According to UNESCO, at least 773 million people worldwide do not have basic literacy skills today.

So what about braille literacy? The variety of literacy that is in demand by Persons with Visual Disabilities (PDSN) in Indonesia continues to increase, from writing to audio, print to digital. The only institution providing literacy services for persons with visual impairment under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs is the Abiyoso Indonesian Braille Literacy Center (BLBI) in Bandung.

"The existence of BLBI Abiyoso Center, which is owned by the Ministry of Social Affairs, is a form of government being present in fulfilling the rights of people with visual impairments in accessing information in the form of providing reading materials in braille and audio formats. The center is equipped with digital formats through the Audio Mobile Library application," said the Head of Abiyoso BLBI Center Bandung, Isep Sepriyan, in a statement received by Netralnews, on Thursday (09/09/2021).

Isep said that all parties, including the central and regional governments, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the private sector, and all citizens, should support the existence of Abiyoso BLBI to advance literacy for persons with visual disability so that they are equal to their peers in other developed countries.

Abiyoso BLBI seeks to ensure the availability of reading materials and information as well as technical guidance services in the field of literacy for PDSNs. In addition to printing braille books, talk books, and digital books, Abiyoso Center also provides technical guidance services that help people with visual impairments to improve their competence in the field of braille literacy and information technology so that they are able to access various information from various media, both manual and digital.

"Therefore, it is fitting that the strategic role of Abiyoso BLBI in the field of literacy is maintained, and even strengthened with support from all parties, both in terms of policy and its implementation in all lines of people's literate life," said Isep.

At Abiyoso Center, the opportunity to work in the field of writing is also widely open for persons with visual impairment by publishing their works through Gema Braille magazine, which is the only national-scale magazine in braille format in Indonesia so far.

A total of 40 PDSN papers from all over Indonesia are published in Gema Braille Magazine periodically every two months. Appreciation in the form of honors is also given to the author.

In addition, to broaden literacy horizons, at least sixty PDSNs are invited to book review activities every year. Hundreds of libraries (national and regional), Special Schools (SLB), foundations, Social Welfare Institutions (LKS), and thousands of PDSN throughout Indonesia use Abiyoso BLBI's products and services.

"This number will definitely continue to grow along with the increasing quality and quantity of products and services as well as the wider Abiyoso Center network. Thus, more and more people with visual impairment will be reached by braille literacy," said Isep.

UNESCO set International Literacy Day 2021 to be commemorated with the theme “Literacy for a human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”. This theme explores how literacy can contribute to building a strong foundation for human-centered recovery, with a particular focus on literacy interactions and digital skills needed by non-literate youth and adults.

It will also explore what makes technology-based literacy learning inclusive and meaningful, and not leaving anyone behind, including people with visual disabilities. 

Reporter : turkhan
Editor : turkhan