‘Cobrate’ is a powerful reading material for the visually impaired

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Penang Public Library Corporation (PPAPP) came up with its own initiative when it produced a special Braille book known as ‘cobrate’ which is a combination of collage, Braille and text as part of efforts to empower reading materials for the visually impaired.

Director of PPAPP, Sharimah Salleh said, the ‘cobrate’ project started two years ago and until now, there are about 50 books with the concept successfully produced.

He said, the ‘cobrate’ book is part of the total of 3,460 Braille books currently in the library.

“Besides Penang, there is another library in Sabah that produces its own Braille books.

“The difference here is that the book was produced by the visually impaired (with the help of some individuals) while in Sabah, it was produced by normal individuals,” he said.

He was met by reporters after the Braille Book Launch Ceremony (Cobrate) and Braille Reading Competition in conjunction with World Braille Day 2023 at PPAPP Seberang Jaya, here today.

Also present at the launch of the book, which was completed by the wife of the Penang Chief Minister, Tan Lean Kee, was the Deputy Chairman of the PPAPP Board, Datuk Mustafa Kamal Ahmad.

In addition to launching a ‘cobrate’ book titled ‘Chaq dan Chik Adventure Series’ and Let’s Get to Know the Letters, PPAPP also exhibited Cakna Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) or KKCO craft kits which aim to provide handicraft skills to the special group.

Commenting further, Sharimah said that the ‘cobrate’ book was produced to enable all family members of those with vision problems to read together.

“That’s why we changed the concept (Braille) where this book has a collage (combination of pictures), plain text and Braille writing at the same time,” he said, who also hoped that the move would attract more Braille readers, including among normal readers.

In the meantime, said Sharimah, the Braille Reading Competition is divided into three categories, namely for primary school students and high school students with visual impairments as well as normal people who want to ‘deepen’ the writing.

He said, the participation received was also very encouraging when more than 100 participants from all over Penang took part even though it was held for the first time. – MESSENGER

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