I joined a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program to distribute Braille Music Notation Guides (both printed and in Braille) among Latin American Universities and libraries.
The guides, music examples, exercises, and a double CD with recorded examples will expand the access to inclusive education for all musicians with visual impairments.
As a Fulbright Specialist, I am a member of The U.S. Department of State Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) which provides grants to to carry out public service projects, and supports initiatives that promote shared values and innovative solutions to global challenges. If you are interested please visit and like their new FB page:
Expanding the Access to Inclusive Education for Musicians with Visual Impairments in Latin American Universities, Conservatories and Public High Schools.
“Music Braille Code” is a project currently applying for an Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (2014) provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs from the United States of America.
It is estimated that the world population of people with disabilities is over 1 billion (nearly 15 per cent of the world’s population), over two thirds of whom live in developing countries. Developing countries offer many social scenarios where people with physical, sensory, or intellectual impairments face discrimination on a daily basis. As former students of Latin American universities, we can attest that music faculties in our countries lack the resources to provide an inclusive academic environment for students with disabilities. This project will allow faculty members, alumni, current and prospective students of Latin American Universities, Conservatories and Public High Schools with music departments to acquire the basic skills needed to read and write music in Braille Code.
The goal of this project is to distribute Braille Music Notation Guides to the main Latin American music libraries. The distribution of these guides will: enhance people with disabilities’ access to musical resources; promote equal opportunity in artistic education for people with disabilities; increase the participation of people with disabilities in the cultural environment of Latin America; empower artists with disabilities to express themselves through music composition and performance; allow composers to write and perform music in Braille Code; enhance the pedagogical resources of music libraries; enrich music libraries’ catalogues; foster awareness among able-bodied music students, faculty members and academic staff regarding the importance of inclusive education; reduce artistic and social exclusionary practices; and promote a model for equality in the music making of Universities, Music Conservatories, and Public High Schools with Music Departments of our countries.
The main beneficiaries of this project are students with visual impairments and music libraries. The guides to Braille Music Notation will be distributed in more than 30 academic institutions and libraries across Latin America. Secondary beneficiaries of this project include: current able-bodied students, alumni (as they would have access to the material through music libraries), and current faculty members of Universities, Conservatories and Public High Schools with Music Departments.
Long-term results include: increased number in the enrollment rate of students with visual impairments in music programs and increased number in the graduation rate of students with visual impairments in music programs. We expect the following short-term measurable results:
1. Music libraries will enlarge their collections.
2. Students with visual impairments will have access to music education.
3. Current students and faculty members will enhance their academic and pedagogical resources.
4. Composers will be able to learn an alternative system of music notation.
5. Current students will increase their understanding about disability and inclusion through media outreach and promotion of the project.
If you are a current or past participant of any U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, please visit the website and join or “cheer” our project using the following link: https://alumni.state.gov/node/6452