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Extra cash grant to benefit the blind

Blind children should be able to play a full part in the literacy hour in primary schools as a result of an extra Pounds 250,000 worth of grants announced this week.

Announcing the extra cash, Education Secretary David Blunkett said it was "vitally important" that blind children reaped the benefits of the National Literacy Strategy and developed an enjoyment of reading.

Mr Blunkett, himself a braille user, said the money would permit the production of key primary school texts in braille.

The new money will also enable the Royal National Institute for the Blind and the National Library for the Blind to increase the range of curriculum and leisure reading materials available to blind and partially sighted children. At present, they have access to only a fraction of the texts available to children who can see.

Every school in the country that has a blind child who needs modified text will be given an RNIB database giving details of all curriculum and other materials already available in non-print formats.

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