This week is National Braille Week. It is a time for raising awareness of people with sight loss across the UK and celebrating Braille as a tool for independence. This week, quality and evaluation officer Rachael explains what Braille is, and how we're using it as part of a range of resources to help make cancer information available to everyone.

Braille is a code that uses bumps and indentation on a surface to represent letters. These can then be recognised by touch, enabling blind and deafblind people to read and write. It was invented by Louis Braille at the age of just 15 in the nineteenth century and is still very important to the lives of many blind and deafblind people today.

Braille translation service

Did you know that Macmillan will translate any cancer information into Braille for anyone who needs it? We believe that everyone with cancer should have the information they need.

Accessible information for sight loss and visual impairment

Braille is just one format in our range of accessible information for people with varying levels of sight loss. You can also access our information in:
ebooks – allow you to increase font size with the right software
audiobooks – listen to free CDs or online
• large print – available on request.

All these resources are hosted on our website, which is optimised for screen readers. This means we add clear descriptions of all our images and make the content as easy to access as possible. Screen readers read out menus and buttons, web pages and documents to help you use the computer if you can’t see the screen.

Scale of need and commitment to future service

The numbers of people living with cancer and people living with sight loss are both set to increase. Cancer information in formats that are accessible to people with sight loss will be at least as important in the future as they are today. To get in the information you need, or to help us develop our resources, get in touch by emailing


To see what else Macmillan's cancer information team has been blogging about, please visit our blog home page! You can subscribe to receive our blogs by email or RSS too.

We're with you every step of the way

The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

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