[Nfbmo] Fw: [Brl-coordinators] Braille Rocks on Manly Beach

fred olver goodfolks at charter.net
Wed Sep 23 03:46:53 UTC 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ryan Strunk" <ryan.strunk at gmail.com>
To: "'Braille Readers are Leaders contest support list'" 
<brl-coordinators at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 8:29 PM
Subject: [Brl-coordinators] Braille Rocks on Manly Beach

> September 22 2009, Sydney:
> After 18 months of planning, Braille on Manly Beach became a
> happening thing
> on Sunday September 20 as part of the Manly Arts Festival.  Teams
> of
> volunteers coordinated by artist Anne Walton and under the expert
> guidance
> of sand sculptor Dennis Massoud worked enthusiastically to make a
> giant
> braille message in the sand of Manly's West Esplanade
> harbour-side beach.
> The teams that had been recruited prior to the event were joined
> by dozens
> of beach-going locals and tourists of all ages who pitched in to
> shovel sand
> and carry buckets of water.  The shovelling and water-carrying
> began at 9:30,
> and the 23-dot message quickly took shape.  Each dot was 1 metre
> in diameter
> and 0.5 metres high.  The entire message was completed at about
> 3pm, 2 hours
> ahead of schedule, and just in time for the helicopter fly-over
> that
> produced some stunning aerial photographs of the message set amid
> the
> panorama of Sydney's northern beaches.
> Those who preferred a more relaxed experience kept themselves
> busy buying
> tickets in the raffle for 4 tactile T-shirts with the alphabet
> embossed on
> the front in braille and print.  Long lines of children formed
> near the
> marquee waiting to have messages brailled for them by a crack
> team of
> on-location braille transcribers, while others contributed
> messages to the
> braille time capsule.
> Just before 5pm, a short ceremony took place, during which
> Disability
> Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes unveiled the message
> that had been
> made in the sand: braille rocks (using the "brl" contraction for
> "braille").
> Graeme also announced the four lucky winners of the braille
> T-shirts.
> Quite a few people expressed an interest in purchasing the
> T-shirts.  If we
> receive enough advance orders, we will be able to have T-shirts
> produced
> with "braille rocks" embossed on the front in braille and print,
> and the
> alphabet embossed on the back.  Each T-shirt will cost about $30
> (the exact
> price will be confirmed prior to ordering) and sizes available
> are small,
> medium, large and extra-large.  You can have any colour you like,
> as long as
> it's black with white embossed dots.  Please contact me by email
> or phone (02
> 96863665) if you'd like to order one of these unique T-shirts.
> For those of you who would still like to contribute a message to
> the braille
> time-capsule, there is good news: we received so many messages
> that the two
> antique bottles we intended to use quickly overflowed.  we now
> have to find
> some larger bottles.  So if you would like a short (2 line)
> message included
> in the time-capsule, there's still time to send me the text.
> I'll emboss it
> and add it to the collection.  We'll let you know when we've
> decided on a new
> date for the ceremony to seal and consecrate the time-capsule.
> The
> time-capsule will be earmarked for opening on January 4 2109, the
> 300th
> birth of Louis Braille.  Graeme and I have already put it in our
> diaries.
> Braille on Manly Beach was conceived by Anne Walton, who has
> become
> internationally respected for working with braille in ways that
> are both
> artistic and inclusive, and braille advocate Bruce Maguire.  It
> was made
> possible by the expertise and enthusiasm of sand sculptor Dennis
> Massoud,
> and the event was supported by a grant from the Community
> Partnerships
> Division of the Australia Council.  And it all happened because
> so many
> people were inspired by the coming-together of braille and the
> beach, and
> gave generously of their time and energy.  Thank you to all who
> were
> involved.
> Braille on Manly Beach was a celebration of the 200th anniversary
> of the
> birth of Louis Braille with a truly Australian flavour.  We want
> to spread
> the word that braille rocks, so as soon as we've collated all the
> photographs and edited the video footage, we'll be publishing the
> highlights
> on YouTube and elsewhere.  In the meantime, please contact me if
> you have any
> questions about the event.
> Braille rocks!!
> Bruce Maguire

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