INTERVIEW OF MR. FRANCOIS LIYING: A LATE BLIND BRAILLE TEACHER

INTERVIEW OF MR. FRANCOIS LIYING: A LATE BLIND BRAILLE TEACHER

Q.1 At what age did you lose sight?

I lost sight at the age of 61, in 2001.

 

 Q.2 When did you learn Braille?

I started learning Braille in 2012.

 

Q.3 Today, are you Braille literate?

Yes, I am literate in Braille Grade 2 for both English and French.

 

Q.4 What was your profession?

I was an Education Officer, teaching English and French language at secondary level.

 

Q.5 What was your retiring age?

I could have retired at the age of 65.

 

 Q.6 Did you retire earlier?

Yes, because of my blindness.

 

 Q.7 Would you have wished to continue working despite your blindness?

Yes, I wish I could continue to work though I turned blind.

 

Q.8 Would you have been able to continue teaching as a blind person?

Yes, I could have provided oral support for English language and French language in a school for the       blind.

 

 Q.9 Did you hear of Braille before turning blind?

Yes, but I did not pay much attention to it like most sighted person.

 

Q.10 What do you think of the invention of Louis Braille?

He was a genius and blind persons have a great debt towards Louis Braille.

 

Q.11 How was your first experience with Braille?

I learned writing the Braille alphabets in a pinboard.

 

Q.12 How was your first experience reading Braille?

I rediscovered the pleasure of reading for I rediscovered the pleasure of feeling written words under    my fingertips which is a marvelous dream coming true.

 

Q.13 Would you encourage other late blind persons to learn Braille?

Yes, but depending on their motivation.

 

Q.14  Do you think that Braille can be replaced?

No, for feeling written words by the sense of touch is active reading while listening to audio and books in other accessible formats is passive reading.

 

 Q.15 Did you have easy access to Braille?

No, because of poor availability of Braille books in Mauritius.

 

 Q.16 According to you, what is the level of Braille teaching in Mauritius?

IT should improve.

 

Q.17 Why do statistics reveal that Braille literate visually impaired persons are most successful in education and in life in general?

Because Braille give a sense of confidence and a purpose in life to visually impaired person.

 

 Q.18 Do you think that all visually impaired children should learn Braille?

They should know the basics.

 

 Q.19 What is your message on the occasion of the International Braille Day 2018?

“Any visually impaired person should not consider his impairment as a fatality. A blind person is a capable as any other person. Personally I believe that Braille is an essential tool to upgrade the quality of life of a blind person.”

 

Q.20 What is your personal contribution to improving the level of Braille in Mauritius?

I voluntarily teach Braille to blind children and to the late blind.

 

Q.21 Where can you be contacted for Braille courses?

I can be contacted through the GRF.

 

Q.22 What is your connection with Mr. Parsuramen?

I had the honour and privilege of working with Mr. Parsuramen as Minister of Education. I worked under his direction and he was a very dynamic Minister of Education. When the Master Plan on Education had to be translated in French in the 1980’s, he choose a small team of Education Officers to do the translation and I was a member of that team. It was a very enriching experience and I think Mr. Parsuramen was pleased with what we did. Now I am a volunteer in his organisation, the GRF.