Library for visually disabled seeks support of volunteers

Library for visually disabled seeks support of volunteers

Library for visually disabled seeks support of volunteers

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Turkey’s first private library for visually impaired people is seeking donations for its project, “Dream to Reality,” which aims to remove reading handicaps for blind children aged 7 to 14.

Every month the Library of Turkey for the Visually Disabled (TÜRGÖK) delivers Braille books and magazines, along with five audio books, to its 3,700 members in Turkey and abroad. The goal of the project is to contribute to the development of children. 

The Braille books, prepared with the contributions of people and various organizations, are posted to children in Turkey, as well as others in the United States, Azerbaijan, Canada and Germany. 
The private library was founded in 2004 by visually impaired lawyer Gültekin Yazgan, who died Jan. 29 at the age of 84.

Speaking to Anatolia news agency, TÜRGÖK Chair Tülay Yazgan said the biggest dream of her husband, Gültekin Yazgan, came true with the establishment of the library while his second dream was to enable children, especially those living outside big cities, to easily reach lots of Braille books. 

“This is why the project is named ‘Dream to Reality,’” she said. 

Yazgan said their purpose was to make more blind children between the ages of 7 and 14 enjoy reading books with their fingers and benefit from the opportunity of accessing a library.

 “Research on children, whether they can see or not, show that they enjoy reading books rather than listening to them. This is why we call for everyone to support this project. The loan Braille book project will increase member children’s reading capacity and strengthen their power of expression. Besides classical books from Turkey and the world, they will read today’s popular children’s books and meet the cultural world that will prepare them for the future,” she said. 

Yazgan said the production of Braille books was harder and more expensive compared to audio books and that they needed support to reach more people and increase the variety of those books. 

She said volunteers or organizations and institutions could support the printing of those books in either their name or someone important to them. “In this way, the name of our supporters will reach reading children and their name will survive in a book.” 

In TÜRGÖK’s project, five copies of a Braille book can be prepared with a 250 Turkish Lira contribution. 
Volunteers at the TÜRGÖK center, which is active six days a week, also provide narration for audio books that run the spectrum from world classics to school books. 

Books for university exams 

TÜRGÖK also prepares Turkish language and literature exam study Braille books and audio book formats to help visually impaired students prepare for university exams. 

Turkish language and literature is a critical subject on the exam and lends itself to a conversion into Braille because it does not include symbols, formulas, graphics, maps and other features that are difficult to represent in Braille. 

With the project, the library helps blind students reach their career goals by providing the necessary exam preparation books in Braille.