La Musée Valentin Haüy: Please touch the displays

Parisian Fields

This is no ordinary terrestrial globe. And you’ll find it in a museum that is anything but ordinary.

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When we move in closer, we find that it is labelled in Braille.

Copy of P1120079And the map shown below is not your average stuff-it-in-the-bag tourist map of Paris. But, for the blind, it gave a good introduction to the layout of Paris. Take a good look. I am sure you can locate the Seine and the Ile de la Cité. It was designed to be read by the blind who read by touch.

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Welcome to the Museum Valentin Haüy (his unusual last name is pronounced Ah-oo-ee), which honours the founder of Europe’s first school for the blind. More than that, it is an excellent guide to how life has changed for the blind.

Before the 18th century, the traditional lot of the blind included poverty, ridicule, little or no formal training or education…

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