And The Winners Are – 2017 Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition

The 2017 Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition saw a record number of entries and entrants in the Adult categories since Braille House has been hosting the event.  The standard was high and thanks and appreciation go to Heather Jacobs for judging the entries again this year (Heather is a writer who volunteers her time and skill).

And the winners are:

Short Stories

First place goes to Back Home Where You Belong by Helen Boardman.

Second place goes to Disaster to Destiny by Don Dias-Jayasinha.

Highly Commended in no particular order.

Belonging – Becky’s Journey by June Ashmore.

Belonging by Karen Passmore.


First place goes to Incipient Separation by Rebecca Maxwell.

Second place goes to I Belong too!! By Dalmayne Thamm.

Third place goes to In The Beginning by Helen Boardman.

Highly Commended in no particular order.

A Little Nook in Nundah by Dalmayne Thamm.

I Long to Tell Him He Belongs by Helen Boardman.

Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition 2017

Entries are now open for the 2017 Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition.

Pen a short story or poem and be in the running to win cash prizes in this year’s competition.

The theme is “Belonging” and entries close 25 August 2017.2017 Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition

Queensland Braille Writing Association (Braille House) is proud to conduct the 2017 Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition which is open to participants who are legally blind and Australian residents.

There are categories for all ages and the Entry Guidelines and Entry Form can be found at the following links:

Dickinson Memorial Literary Comp 2017 Flyer and Guidelines

Dickinson Memorial Comp Entry Form 2017

We welcome participants in the Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition and wish you all good luck and a happy writing experience.

If you are interested in the history of the competition, click on this link: Dickinson Memorial Literary Competition History.

Anna and Jean

Nauruan Students at Braille HouseRecently, Braille House farewelled Anna and Jean after 3 months here to learn Braille.

Anna and Jean are Nauruan.

Anna, who is early 20s, is progressively loosing her sight.  Supported by the Brisbane Catholic Education Office and facilitated by the Department of Education, Nauru, in partnership with Braille House, Anna, along with her chaperone Jean travelled to Brisbane to learn Braille.  For any young person, travelling from home for 3 months is no small order.

Although very home sick by the end, Anna delightfully gained confidence and capability throughout her stay.  Anna successfully completed the Braille House “Grade 1” Course covering knowledge and use of:

  • Braille alphabet
  • common punctuation
  • simple numbers

Our course involved both reading and writing Braille and was presented on site, at Braille House, on a one-on-one basis. Anna was required to do a considerable amount of revision and practice between lessons, which she took on with passion.

Supporting Anna in her journey was Jean who successfully completed the Braille House “Braille for Print Users” Course which covers fully contracted Braille.

Jean was involved in discussions about:

  • the nature of touch reading
  • the teaching of touch reading
  • tactile sensitivity testing

In undertaking this course, Jean is now equipped to support Anna back at Nauru to continue to develop her Braille skills, including using contracted Braille.  Anna particularly wishes to continue to develop her Braille to enable her to read music

Technology will enable Braille House to continue to provide support to both Anna and Jean via Skype, email and telephone

It was a joy and a pleasure to have both Anna and Jean in the House these past 3 months.  Many new relationships have been developed and the experience will be treasured by all.  We wish Anna and Jean all the best for the future and thank the Department of Education, Nauru for their generosity and commitment to helping Anna.  Thanks also goes to the Brisbane Catholic Education Office for partnering with Braille House and the Department of Education, Nauru to tern this education opportunity into a reality

It is hoped that others will benefit from this opportunity in the future.

Like to know more about learning Braille or other things we do at Braille House, call us today on (07) 3848 5257.

How to Get the Braille House 6-Dot Pizza

Braille House is now into Pizzas. We have added to our suite of fundraising campaigns/initiatives engagement with Dominos,Braille House 6-Dot Pizza through its Pizza Mogul program.  Every Braille House 6-Dot Pizza sold will provide 75 cents to Braille House so we can continue and expand our vital services to empower people who are blind or have low vision.

The Braille House 6-Dot Pizza is a fun way to raise money.  Yes it is going to take quite a few pizza sales to reach our gaol of $10,000 by 30 June 2017, however, with the help of social media and technology, as well as the friends of Braille House, we are motivated to get there.

$10,000 will enable Braille House to purchase state of the art equipment to create contemporary materials to assist children and adults who are blind or have low vision to move around their community, secure employment and engage with their peers in every day activities.

The Braille House 6-Dot Pizza consist of yummy salami, olives, Italian sausage, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and onion dotted over a classic crust and pizza sauce.

So, how do you get your hands and taste buds on one of these delicious pizzas?

Go to Dominos Pizza On-line and click on the large red button “Order on Line” in the right hand corner of the page. Fill in the fields as requested and when you get to the page asking you to choose your pizza, scroll down the page to the Pizza Mogul pizzas and type in Braille House 6-Dot Pizza in the search field – this will take you to our pizza – choose it and buy as may as want to support Braille House.  It’s that easy.

You can also download the Dominos App and purchase through it.

Pizza Mogul is an initiative of Dominos.  It allows people and organisations to design/create their own pizza, promote it for people to buy and earn a slice of the profits.

Why Braille is Brilliant

Why Braille is Brilliant

Imagine taking your child to school and the teachers tell them they don’t need text books, paper or pencils.  All they need to do is listen to others – the teacher speaking to them and headphones so they can learn through audio programs from an electronic device.  Would you be OK with this?

We know learning to read and write has far reaching implications.  Through reading and writing we learn spelling, punctuation, grammar and most importantly, the ability to interpret information through our own “voice”.  Two people can read the same book or play or poem and take from it different messages, interpretations and feelings.  Without this personal interpretation and opinion we wouldn’t have book clubs, writers’ festivals and plays having very long runs or one night showings on Broadway.

Braille is brilliant because it empowers people who are blind or have low vision to be literate.  These tiny dots support them to live independently, attain their desired level of education, increase their chances for employment and enable them to interact with communities just like everyone else.  Even though text-to-speech technology is helpful for people who are blind or have low vision, Braille offers powerful benefits, including the ability to navigate public areas, ensure the taking of the right medication in the right dose and the ability to interact in the workplace independently (eg, through Braille labels to identify tea and coffee).

“How could I have known at the age of six that the braille I was learning as a student with low vision was going to be such a big part of my adult life?  All I knew was that I was learning to read and write not only print but braille” – Wendy Sara (Transcription Production Manager – previously Tutor and Proof Reader, Braille House).

In this fast paced world supported more and more by technology, it is critically important for people who are blind or have low vision to have equally accessible and affordable skills and technology for staying connected through text messaging and e-mail, social media, researching and downloading material for education and work and reading books.

There are many ways everyone can #GiveaDot and be involved in the continuous empowerment of people who are blind or have low vision to lead their desired lives.

Want to know more?  Visit Braille House online at or call us now on 07 3848 5257.