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Touchword Puzzle

Israeli invents crossword puzzle for blind

Author Avi Rubinstein designs special puzzles written in Braille, which allows blind people to solve puzzles independently. 'If I wanted to solve a crossword puzzle in the past, I had to have someone read it to me,' says 26-year-old Yisrael Sofer

Up until recently, the blind population in Israel was unable to enjoy crossword puzzles. Avi Rubinstein, a known puzzle inventor and book author decided to fill in the void.

Rubinstein approached Director of The Central Library for the Blind, Uri Cohen, and asked him to consider a revolutionary idea – a special crossword puzzle for blind people.

"I thought it was another one of those weird ideas that we get," admitted Cohen, "I knew that in order to solve a crossword puzzle you needed a pen."

But Rubinstein, who thoroughly researched the subject, came up with a surprising solution – he created a special puzzle that is written in Braille and enables blind people to solve them independently.

Immediately after publishing the first booklet of puzzles, Rubinstein was flooded with letters and compliments from blind crossword-solvers who were entertained for hours by his invention.

"If I wanted to solve a crossword puzzle in the past, I had to have someone read it to me," said Yisrael Sofer, 26, "Now that it's in Braille it is so much more enjoyable," he added.

Rubinstein is about to publish a unique educational series featuring puzzles that correspond with the Ministry of Education's textbooks. In addition, he voluntarily composes crossword puzzles that he developed for people with special needs as well as for a women's prison magazine.