New College Worcester

The Brailliant B1 40 machine helps change the lives of students at New College Worcester.

New College Worcester (NCW) is a national residential school and college for young people aged 11 to 19 who are blind or partially sighted.  Every student at NCW has a tailored programme, carefully planned and delivered to meet their individual needs in three key areas: academic achievement, independent living skills and involvement in extracurricular activities at the College and in the community.  The opportunities provided to students in these three areas play a crucial role in the development of confidence and self-esteem and preparation for life beyond the College.

The Bransford Trust has recently funded the purchase of a Brailliant BI 40 machine for the College.  This clever piece of technology connects to a laptop, iphone or ipad and, when used alongside accessibility software, allows a blind or partially student to read text from their screen via the Braille keyboard.  It also works as a note taker where the students’ Braille writing is translated into text on their screen.

The machine is a valuable addition to the College’s technology toolkit, and it is particularly useful for working with Braille music.  For those studying music at GCSE or A level the machine offers fluid and rapid reading of the music they are composing and writing in Braille.  Such technology enables students to work more independently, with less input from teachers and sighted assistants. 

NCW student Sean said, “It is comfortable to use for a long period of time, and is very accurate for reading.  It’s really handy because I can attach it to my computer, phone or tablet, and because it’s wireless and has a long lasting battery I can take it anywhere”.

As well as funding the purchase of the Brailliant BI 40, the Bransford Trust has also supported the College by funding a series of visiting artists.  Artists, Ceramicists and jewellery makers have been able to visit the College and share their expertise with students, who have had the opportunity to explore many different art forms. 

Kevin Hateley, Fundraising Manager at NCW said, “The College is extremely grateful for the support of the Bransford Trust.  It enables the College to offer students more opportunities to get the most from their time here, and achieve their full potential.”