31 Days of Braille: Day 7

Why Read Print?

In this digital age, when smart phones, tablets and computers can read text out loud, narrated books can be downloaded and played almost instantly, and broadcasting is at our fingertips, how important is learning to read print? For that matter, why learn math when so many of us have a access to an electronic device?

This sounds absurd doesn’t it?

This is often the argument for teaching braille. Reading print or braille allows us to work with our language and achieve a level of literacy not attainable by digital text-to-speech or narrated books. This certainly plays a role, but literacy is achieved by actively reading.

Consider these statistics from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and National Braille Press:

  • In the 1960’s 50% of children who were blind were literate in braille;
  • Today 12% of children who are blind are learning braille in school;
  • 50% of students who are blind do not finish high school;
  • 80% of working individuals who are blind, are braille readers;
  • Nearly 75% of individuals who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed.

Braille literacy seems to be one of the strongest indicators of whether or not someone who is blind will be employed. If we want to improve the unemployment rate among individuals who are blind we need to insist on braille literacy in school.

#31DaysofBraille. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions about #31DaysofBraille? Send an email to skelley4195 at yahoo.com, tweet to @lowvisiontech, or leave a comment on the LowVisionTech Facebook.

Day 6: 31 Days of Braille

Day 8: 31 Days of Braille


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