As the world marks World Braille Day on Jan.
4, many are considering the resources available to people around the world who are
blind or have low vision. According to the World Health Organization, this may include
some 2.2 billion people. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses have proved beyond doubt that
the welfare of the visually impaired matters.
Creating publications in Braille is a tall order, and so much so publishing bibles in Braille
given its volume and language appeal but Jehovah’s Witnesses have proved
themselves up to the task. Jehovah’s Witnesses offer Braille literature in more than 50
languages; and for more than 100 years, they have been producing Bible-based
publications for people who are blind or have limited vision.
In 2022, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released in Braille in
three languages: German, Korean, and Ukrainian. Jehovah’s Witnesses have also
produced Braille publications for people throughout Africa, including publications in
Chichewa, a language spoken in Malawi.
All Bibles in Braille are printed at Wallkill, New York, U.S.A., using a Braille embosser.
This machine embosses Braille dots onto special paper, which is then collated and
bound into volumes that are shipped to the branch offices for distribution to publishers.
A complete edition of the New World Translation in Braille may comprise over 30
volumes and occupy some two meters (6.6 ft) of shelf space. In addition to the
transcribed text, the Bibles and publications include visual aids, such as maps and
diagrams, converted into a format that blind people can comprehend.
Jehovah’s Witnesses also produce a workbook titled “Learn to Read Braille.” The
workbook is designed for a sighted person and a blind person to use together. It comes
with a kit containing a slate and stylus so that the Braille learners can use the tools to
emboss Braille characters. This process can help the Braille learner more easily
Literature for people who are blind or have low vision is available in several languages
in these formats:
Audio files from the JW Library app and jw.org website.
Electronic files for notetakers (portable electronic devices with a speech
synthesizer and a refreshable Braille display).
Electronic files for screen readers (computer programs that read audibly
whatever is on the monitor).
Most recently, Jehovah’s Witnesses have embarked on the production of braille starter
kits in Igbo, Efik, Yoruba and Pidgin languages. This is part of efforts to assess and
meet the needs of these blind and visually impaired ones to read braille in those four
indigenous languages. Some are already familiar with Grade 1 & 2 English Braille, and
our research shows that some will do well with braille publications produced in these
For more information, please visit jw.org or any Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses
near you to access Braille resources available.
Published on Brandfit