Freemasons giving the joy of reading

Manukau Freemasons Selwyn Cooper and Ivan Smith with the Blind Foundation's community development manager Joy McClintock ...

Manukau Freemasons Selwyn Cooper and Ivan Smith with the Blind Foundation's community development manager Joy McClintock learning to operate a DAISY player.

The joy of reading is being given to the visually impaired.

Freemasons New Zealand have donated 125 DAISY players to the Blind Foundation which will distribute them throughout the country.

Digital Accessible Information Systems players are portable, easy to navigate reading devices. They help to give the visually impaired a reading experience similar to that enjoyed by the sighted.

The player holds up to six books or 40 continuous hours of reading. Its CD lets you skip from page to page, chapter to chapter and book to book.

Earlier this year the Freemasons also donated $500,000 towards a new garden and education facility at the Blind and Low Vision Education Network's campus in Homai. Work started on the new facilities in March.

The donations were made to celebrate the 125th anniversary of both the Freemasons and the Blind Foundation.

Freemasons' deputy grand master Mark Winger✓ says the organisation is delighted to be able to make the lives of visually impaired people better.

 "We have a tradition of caring for the blind community through projects such as this garden and education facility, assisting the University of Auckland to conduct research into diseases of the eye, helping Macular Degeneration New Zealand, and providing for the training of guide dogs."

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