ConCourt judge to speak at 200th Braille anniversary

2009-08-18 00:00

A CONSTITUTIONAL court judge and several other successful former pupils of the Arthur Blaxall School will be among the speakers at a conference this week celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frenchman Louis Braille, who created the braille system of raised dots that enables blind people to read and write.

The school, in a joint initiative with the South African National Council for the Blind (KZN), are holding a national braille conference on Friday and Saturday with the theme “Braille Touching Our World”.

All the speakers are blind and consequently highly conversant with the braille method.

The keynote address will be given by William Rowland, honorary life president and former executive director of the SA National Council for the Blind, and a former president of the World Blind Union.

Several former pupils of the school will be giving talks during the conference. These include Siva Moodley, who runs the disability desk at Unisa; Sha­kila Maharaj, a clinical psychologist; Albert Peters, a consultant on software for the blind; and Elashbhai Mistry, a senior financial adviser at Momentum Life.

The school’s first matriculant, former political activist and now a Constitutional court judge, Zak Yacoob, will deliver the closing address. He is also current chairman of the SA National Council for the Blind.

At a reception on Friday evening, former pupil Praveena Sukraj will present a leatherbound copy of her doctorate on law in inclusive education to the school.

Teacher Pierre Tshibangu, a former DRC resident, who died after winning a sports day event at the school on Saturday, was due to offer a prayer of thanks in French, his and Louis Braille’s home language, during the conference.

The conference takes place at the school premises at 87 Royston Road on Friday from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm, with a gala evening at 6 for 6.30 pm, and on Saturday from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm. There is no registration cost and all meals and refreshments are sponsored. To find out more, contact principal Desmond C. Frank or Abdul Hamid Ismail, head of department, F.E.T.,at telephone 033 387 1400.

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