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Victory for blind and partially sighted children at schools for the blind across South Africa

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Following six years of persistent and ongoing engagement between the Minister of Basic Education, SECTION27 and our clients; the South African National Council for the Blind, the National Braille Authority and School Governing Bodies of schools for visually impaired learners, a settlement has been reached in litigation launched to compel the state to provide braille textbooks for all visually impaired learners.

The settlement agreement is in keeping with the principles established in the cases of Minister of Basic Education and Others v Basic Education for All and Others which held that every learner is entitled to a textbook in every subject at the commencement of each academic year. In this important judgment, Navsa J quoted Frederick Douglas saying “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free”. This settlement agreement brings the prospect of freedom for these learners one step closer.