Braille is a code invented by Louis Braille. It is made up of two columns andthree rows, combinations of raised dots are used to represent letters, numbers and symbols. In contracted braille a single letter with a space is used to represent an entire word.
January is National Braille Literacy Month. According to Braille Works braille literacy is lacking among the blind and visually impaired community. I want to bring awareness on why it is so important that a person who is blind or has low vision learns braille. The statistics on the lack of braille literacy are from 2016 but this is still an issue. The rise in free and affordable assistive technology, specifically screen readers have made it easier for blind and visually impaired people to rely less on braille.
Braille still plays an important role in the lives of people with vision impairments.
It is important that every person has the opportunity to learn to read and write. Yes, you could teach someone how to spell on a computer but it is not the same as writing and making that connection between the hand and the brain. I can say that my spelling has become worse since I began to use a screen reader more often because I only hear the words but do not see the letters and most people will read more than they will write.
Braille gives a blind person the opportunity to read the words by touch and I think this makes similar connections between the hand and brain as handwriting does. A slate and stylus can also be used to write braille by hand.
Braille is also used in math and music making these subjects accessible to those with vision impairments.
Braille helps those who are blind or have low vision to be more independent. Braille can be used to label items around the home or around the office at work. Braille can be used to access information when technology is not an option such as a program at a play.
Learning braille does not have to be a boring task. Watch the video below to learn more.
I suggest that if you want to learn braille you check out Hadley School for the Blind.