Is braille a dying form of print ? Why can’t people who are blind or partially sighted just use technology like computers and phones that will read everything to you ? Kids wouldn't have to learn braille at all with all this technology. 


These are some of the things I hear through social media and other groups talking about blindness issues. I have a very different opinion on the importance of literacy and braille. 


Braille equals literacy. You can not learn proper spelling and grammar when using a computer program like Voice Over or JAWS. These programs are great and they will allow children and adults the access to computers and many many electronic documents and books, however they will never replace the basic skills of reading and grammar. 


When you are  reading with a screen reader you hear the words as a whole so “cat” not “c” “a” “t”. The programs also do not read out when there is a period or a semicolon or exclamation. They also do not tell you when they start a new paragraph. These are all things that you need to know when you want to write something, not just reading. 


I believe that braille is a very important skill for kids to learn as well as adults who are new to vision loss. Adults who are new to vision loss may see it as too daunting or I will never need it. 


As an adult knowing braille has meant that I am able to participate in teaching my kids to read. I am able to get books that have print and braille overlay so that we can both read the book. I also take their sight words that the teacher sends home and braille them so that I can be the one to help my kids learn their new words. This has been important for me, I did not want my kids to only be able to turn to my husband to get help. Reading and writing have always been a huge part of my life so I want to be able too share that with my children and braille has allowed that to happen ! 


Braille also has allowed me to be able to sit quietly and read a book and not have something talking to me. With technology being as good as it is everything in my life talks to me and sometimes I just want to sit and read quietly without out the chatter of a device. Without braille this would not be possible. 


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Until Next time ! 

Ashley Nemeth

Published by Ashley Nemeth