Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sighted people learning braille.

Yesterday, someone asked me about learning braille.

usually, sighted people who want to learn braille do so for the following reasons:

1.  They themselves are losing vision or have a hereditary condition such as RP which means that they might lose vision in the future.

2.  They have a family member or close friend who is blind.

3.  They want to become a special education teacher.

This person had none of those reasons.  He talked about developing his other senses more and about braille being like learning a new language.  This is true.

I wonder though, if someone is fully sighted, how strong the temptation is to look at the dots instead of touching them?

I never had this issue as I have been totally blind since birth.

Some of my earliest memories are of being read to by my family or listening to records of folktales and stories.

No wonder I am now a professional storyteller.

I grew frustrated as my family members never read for long enough.

They would claim tiredness, or they were too busy, or their voice was giving out.

I wanted to read for myself so I could do so whenever and wherever I wanted to.

As I’ve mentioned in my stories before, I could read in the dark, at night, when I was supposed to be sleeping, and not get caught.  I could read in moving vehicles and not get sick.  I could read with the book under my desk at school.  I could read during power outages.

People often say that braille seems complicated.  WAs it harder to learn?

For me, no.  I learned fast.  I was motivated.  I learned it when I was six.  I wanted to learn to read and write so much I was driven to learn it and loved it from that moment on.

My next post will talk about braille literacy and why it is so important even with all of our fancy technology.

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