Youngsters launch a braille newspaper during coronavirus lockdown

Three youngsters with a visual impairment from Cambridgeshire set up a braille newspaper 'The Tactil

Three youngsters with a visual impairment from Cambridgeshire set up a braille newspaper 'The Tactile Times' during the coronavirus lockdown. From left to right: Theo Holroyd, 13, Lexy Ryan, 16, and Ellie Clark, nine, at an editorial meeting. - Credit: RNIB

Three youngsters with visual impairment launched a free newspaper for young braille users during the coronavirus lockdown.

Lexy Ryan, 16, Theo Holroyd, 13, and nine-year-old Ellie Clark set up The Tactile Times to help unite young people with vision impairment, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

The trio, who are all blind since birth, have been learning braille from a young age and create the copy themselves.

Theo said: “The Tactile Times is a newspaper written by braillists for braillists.

“We share news and interesting information as well as top tips to help people keep busy with various activities during lockdown, and now also during the summer holidays.”

The newspaper is available in hard copy or electronically. It contains news and events, fun things to do, technology, jokes, a sports section, and other items.

The publication is written and edited by Lexy, Theo, and Ellie, who live in Cambridgeshire and contributions from other visually impaired children are welcome.

Theo also built The Tactile Times website which can be used by anybody including those with a specialist screen reader.

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The website features two back issues, the weekly updates, and any other related information.

Its next issue planned for late August. Event updates are also provided to subscribers and sent out weekly.

Caireen Sutherland, The Royal National Institute of Blind People’s Principal Education Officer, said: “In the current challenging times it’s great that a new way of connecting with fellow braillists and peers has been developed by young people.

“Using the medium of braille is educational and provides valuable opportunities for development of skills as well as filling a void in terms of availability of braille resources.”

She added: “With a range of topics, driven by the young people, the resource is informative and relevant.

“We hope subscriber numbers go from strength to strength and The Tactile Times becomes the go-to braille newspaper for young people.”

• Anyone interested in being a contributor or subscribing to the free newspaper can email the editors at