Atlas Insurance has once again demonstrated it is close to the community it serves and is sensitive to the needs of NGOs by donating €2,000 to the Malta Society of the Blind towards the purchase of a specialised Braille printer for the Society to use in its premises in Santa Venera.
Braille is a system that enables people who are blind and visually impaired to read and write through touch. It was devised by Louis Braille in 1821 and consists of raised dots arranged in "cells." Each cell represents a letter, a word, a combination of letters, a numeral or a punctuation mark.
The aims and objectives of the Malta Society of the Blind are driven by the long history of the Society and its dedicated board members. Its ambitious goals stretch from assistance and emotional support for individuals, to being a voice for the blind and partially sighted in society.
Joseph Micallef, Treasurer for the Malta Society of the Blind and also an Atlas employee said: “The equipment, funded by Atlas, will be of great help for people without sight, especially children, who never visualised the written word. This will allow them to have better access to literacy by reading and writing, instead of simply listening to audio books. On behalf of the Malta Society of the Blind, I thank Atlas for its generous donation. It makes me incredibly proud to work for an organisation that is on the forefront when it comes to supporting the community.”
He added that the plan is that, COVID-19 permitting, the Society will start opening up the premises on certain days of the week for its members to meet up and have a friendly chat and make use of facilities like the internet. The Malta Society of the Blind is also planning to equip its offices with computers to be used by its members.
Matthew von Brockdorff, Managing Director and CEO of Atlas Insurance said: “Recently, on 4 January, the world marked World Braille Day and this was the perfect occasion to be of help and assistance to a key NGO like the Malta Society for the Blind. The fact that this Braille printer will be at the Society’s premises for its members to print material for free when required gives us a great sense of satisfaction and optimism that, as an organisation, we can make a difference to people’s lives. We are extremely proud to be helping a worthy cause which is close to the heart of one of our colleagues.”
Meanwhile, Atlas organised a webinar for #TeamAtlas on 5 January to raise awareness on helping the blind and visually impaired.
The session, delivered by Mariana Falzon Grech - Secretary of Malta Society of the Blind, featured an introduction on the Society, the work it does and the challenges it faces.
She gave an overview of the different types of visual impairment and blindness, as well as some do’s and don’ts on how to help and interact with people who are visually impaired.
Information on the way Braille works was provided and how it is still an important communication tool and learning aid for youths, even in today’s technology-driven society.