Saturday, September 13, 2014

How important braille literacy is.

When I started school, I learned braille.

I learned to read and write braille quickly as I wanted to read and write for myself so very much.

I was motivated.

I learned the system of braille.

Each braille cell is made up of six dots.  Different combinations of those dots make up letters.  There are also short forms and special symbols for common words, for number signs, for music etc.

I learned to read braille using a perkins brailler.

This type of machine has been around for many many years, even decades.

I also learned using a slate and stylus.  This is even an older tool and even Louis Braille who invented braille in France used something like it.

With this, you actually write from right to left, punching holes through the paper.

It is slower than the big heavy brailler, but it is also quieter, lighter to carry, and so the tool of choice in classes.

Now, I have a special braille device which I can use paired with my phone or computer.

It has braille cells that refresh so I can read braille that comes from my smart phone ipod, or computer.

Also it has a braille keyboard and I can write in braille and then send it to anyone as print.

This is miraculous and so wonderful to use.

As technology changed and blind people began using screen reading software (software that reads what you are typing on a regular keyboard and also reads to you what is on your phone or computer screen) some people said,

“Blind people don’t need braille.  They can listen to screen readers.  They can also use dictation software to dictate things.

Why would they need braille."

Yes I know how to touch type very quickly.

Yes I use screen reading software on my computer and phone.  I am using it now.

But what I love to use most is still braille.

Braille is literacy.

Learning to spell, read, write, take notes in classes, read notes for a presentation, label things in my house, braille is the best still for all of these things.

Thank you Louis Braille for inventing it.

I truly believe all blind people should at least try to learn braille and all blind children should surely learn it.

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