Australia and PNG launch braille machines
The Australian Government today launched four braille machines with the National Department of Education (NDoE) in Port Moresby.
This support will assist NDoE to emboss PNG teaching and learning material and examination papers that can be provided to blind and vision-impaired students.
The machines were presented to Acting Deputy Secretary for the School and Education Standards Directorate, Dr. Eliakim Apelis by the Australian High Commission’s Counsellor for Development (Education), Ms Suzanne Edgecombe. They have been installed at the PNG Education Institute, NDoE’s Measurement Services Division and in resource centres at Rabaul and Goroka.
The machines will help blind and vision-impaired students in PNG attend and remain at school by providing the department with the equipment it needs to develop the materials that blind and vision-impaired students need to learn.
The machines can also be used to print exam materials, which is particularly important for blind and vision-impaired students who are undertaking national exams to progress to further study.
Ms Edgecombe said the launch of the braille machines reflects how the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea are working together to make education more available to people with a range of disabilities.
“Australia and Papua New Guinea recognise the importance of including people with disabilities in their development cooperation activities. Research shows that some 15 per cent of the world’s population have disabilities and that people with a disability are at greater risk of experiencing poverty,” Ms Edgecombe said.
“We know that educating people with disabilities brings more knowledge and different perspectives to the decision-making table, whether it be in government, business or the local community. This leads to better-informed, more inclusive policies for promoting economic development.”