South Korea celebrated National Braille Day on November 4. The Catholic Church and other organizations call on civil and political authorities to produce more Braille content and books for the blind and visually impaired.
(Vatican News Network)The chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, Lee Young-hoon, recently issued an appeal to allow all dioceses to publish more braille bibles and to appoint priests to meet the special needs of the blind and the visually impaired. “Tianya News Agency” reported the news. Father Kim Yong-tae, head of the Korean Catholic Organization for the Blind, explained that there is a great demand for Braille books in different dioceses. According to data from the World Blind Union, there are approximately 250,000 blind and visually impaired people in South Korea. In 2018, there were 13 special education institutions in the country.
The Korean Catholic Student Association and the Seoul National School for the Blind published the Catholic Catechism for the blind in 1973, and the Korean Catholic Institute for the Blind was established in 1979. Since 2016, the Bishops’ Conference of the country has sponsored the publication of Braille Bibles, prayer books and song texts.
Father Kim Yong-tae said that the South Korean Catholic Institute for the Blind is receiving more and more requests, which is also a different challenge to face. For example, someone who became visually impaired due to an accident is more interested in audio content than in Braille books. The priest believes that more Braille and audio content needs to be published. Currently, due to the new crown epidemic, the publication and distribution of Braille books used by the parish has been postponed.
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