Posts Tagged ‘Braille’

The walls of Oaxaca always have a lot to say. Now you can learn the abecedario a señas (sign language alphabet) from a wall on 5 de mayo in Barrio de Jalatlaco.

In mid April, this new mural was unveiled. Organized by Maestro Rolando Sigüenza, deaf artists Jonatan Martínez, Juan Antonio García, Moisés Antonio Orozco, María Soledad Aguilar, Blanca Flor Pineda, Miguel Eduardo Mancera, Jesús Ariel Castellanos, Mitzi Scheherazada, Rebeca Casas, Susana Hernánez, Marcial Pérez, Emmanuel Ignacio, Cristhian Yépez, and Ángel Iván Torres painted a mural of the alphabet in sign language and braille.

Benito Juárez signing.

The text below Benito Juárez explains, “On November 28, 1867, Benito Juárez founded the first school for deaf people in Mexico, which at that time was called the National School for the Deaf, despite the fact that the School was closed, the deaf continue to fight for our rights.”

Danza de la Pluma danzante signing.

The owner of the property, la señora Rosario Martínez, said she provided the space so these artists could show their work and to beautify the neighborhood.

China Oaxaqueña with canasta spelling AMOR (LOVE).

Does anyone know what Benito Juárez and the danzante are signing?

My plan is to learn a new letter each time I walk by.

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… in their shoes.  A couple of weeks ago, as I crossed the Alameda, I came across the following scene.

Blindfolded Municipal Police

According to this article in Noticias, this is part of the Blind Accessible Tourism 2013 project of the Municipal Tourism Office.  “During the tour, the participants experience the uncertainty that visually impaired people feel when walk the streets, and reflect on the importance of signs with street names written in Braille and audio traffic lights,” said Vladimir Martinez Lopez, who has been blind since age 11 and is the instructor for the course.

I blogged about the Braille street signs and the library for the blind and visually impaired soon after the signs began appearing at the beginning of 2012.  Since then, I’ve seen them used by the sightless and intrigue and stimulate conversation among the sighted.

Blindfolded police walking with white canes

Now if they could just do something about the hazards of crossing the street at the intersections.  Be they cars, buses, trucks, or motorcycles, they do not stop before turning a corner.  Visually impaired or sighted, it’s like playing Russian Roulette!

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About two months ago, new street signs began appearing in Oaxaca on each side of each street corner.  Eight signs per each 4-way intersection, in Spanish and Braille, are at hand touch and wheelchair eye level, and provide arrows to make it clear if the traffic flows this way…

Mariano Matamoros; esq. M. Garcia Vigil; circulacion -->

… or that.

M. Garcia Vigil; Esq. Mariano Matamoros; Circulacion <--

By the way, Oaxaca has a library for the blind and visually impaired — the Biblioteca Jorge Luis Borges, housed in the Biblioteca Infantil in the Barrio de Xochimilco.  Named after the blind Argentine writer, the library was founded in 1996 by world-renowned Oaxacan artist, Francisco Toledo.  It houses his collection of books in Braille, a permanent workshop teaching Braille, computers with special programs for the blind, and scholarships to outstanding visually impaired students.

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