Dutch nature reserves win prize for Veluwe route for the visually impaired
The Braillepluim 2021, an annual prize for extraordinary initiatives supporting people with visual impairment, went to the Staatsbosbeheer. The governmental organization in charge of forestry and the management of nature reserves received the award for designing a walking route for blind people around the Schaapskooi in Hoog Buurlo, in the Veluwe.
It is one of the few routes in the Netherlands where the experience of nature is given an extra touch with texts and maps in Braille, reports the Organization for Unlimited Reading, the initiator of the prize. The information board at the route is designed so that legally blind and visually impaired hikers can also read the information on a tactile map.
The sign explains what can be seen in the centuries-old hamlet. The judges awarded the prize saying that “with additional information available in Braille and as audio content, the history of the ancient place at the heart of the Veluwe comes to life.”
Not only does this walk provide a unique opportunity for blind people to enjoy nature, but it also emphasizes the importance of Braille. That is why the Staatsbosbeheer was given the prize.
The Braillepluim is awarded annually around January 4, the birthday of the inventor Louis Braille, which is also World Braille Day.