How to read when you’re blind

Ron McCallum was born blind. Regardless, he managed to fall in love with reading soon after. In this funny and heartfelt talk, he tours the history of reading gear for the blind and shows how each new design has impacted his life.

Professor Ron McCallum AO is one of Australia’s most respected industrial and discrimination lawyers and a prominent human rights advocate. With a long and successful career as a legal academic and teacher, in 1993 he became the first totally blind person appointed to a full professorship at any Australian university when he became Professor in Industrial Law at the University of Sydney.

He served as Dean of the University of Sydney Law School for 5 years and is now an Emeritus Professor. Ron is a leading light in the disabled community, working for equality among all Australians. He is also Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In 2011, Ron was named Senior Australian of the Year. His interests include reading, listening to music and meditation.

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One Response to How to read when you’re blind

  1. David Oertli says:

    Professor McCallum’s address is a poignant reminder of the importance that all individuals have access to books, regardless of disability. In the U.S., part of this provision is the nationwide network of talking book libraries headed by the National Library Service, a division of the Library of Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission’s Talking Book & Braille Service is part of this network; and it provides free talking books, magazines, easy-to-use players, and Braille to any resident who struggles with print because of visual or physical limitations, including reading disability (such as dyslexia). The latest innovation in this nationwide service is the BARD app, which allows direct downloads of audio files to iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices. It also allows the downloads of Braille files through Bluetooth. BARD files are password protected and encrypted through a website hosted by Library of Congress.

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