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Blind student shares her skills with local restaurant to ensure blind diners can be more independent

1st Jul 2021

Rona Smith, a Level 3 Health and Social Care student based at our Abingdon and Witney College Witney Campus, has ambitions to help as many local organisations as possible to enable blind people to maintain their independence. Rona (who is blind herself) has many ideas in the pipeline, such as a brailed cookbook for the college and local libraries, brailed guides for supermarkets and brailed menus in restaurants, cafes and pubs.

Rona recently approached some local restaurants and had positive feedback about how useful a brailed menu would be.

Following enthusiastic chats with the lovely staff at Bret's Burgers, (and an excellent meal) Rona produced a brailed version of their menu. Steve Williams, Director of Bret's Burgers, said he is very pleased with the final product and that it will enable Bret's Burgers to provide an even more inclusive experience to all customers.

Rona said of her experience “the support I received to complete the production of the menus was excellent. Annie sourced a folder to put the menus into to ensure they lasted a long time and both Annie and Cat helped with some of the typing particularly for the longer menus. They also supported me to present the finished article by converting the Duxbury software to Grade 1 and embossing the finished menus, as well as putting the folder together. The experience of producing this menu has been very good as it has enabled me to make Brets Burgers an inclusive place for blind people, helping to maintain their independence when in the community.”

“I produced this menu, because I want to support as many local organisations as possible to have accessibility measures in place such as braille menus to ensure that blind people can maintain their independence. I like helping others, because it makes me feel good inside and it means that I can give something back to the local community. In 3 weeks, I have achieved a lot with the support of Annie and Cat. We typed out the hard copies and then the website menus. I enjoyed then creating the contents list and embossing the finished menus. I feel that the finished product is very professional and I was really pleased with the result and the feedback I received from Steve. Producing the menu has been the best thing I have done this term as I was able to spend a long time on it to ensure it was professional, but complete it before the end of the term. I really hope that the staff at Brets Burgers enjoy using the braille menus to help blind customers read their menus and order their meals independently.”

By working for and within the local community Rona is a shining representative of the college.