Imagine taking your child to school and the teachers tell them they don’t need text books, paper or pencils. All they need to do is listen to others – the teacher speaking to them and headphones so they can learn through audio programs from an electronic device. Would you be OK with this?
We know learning to read and write has far reaching implications. Through reading and writing we learn spelling, punctuation, grammar and most importantly, the ability to interpret information through our own “voice”. Two people can read the same book or play or poem and take from it different messages, interpretations and feelings. Without this personal interpretation and opinion we wouldn’t have book clubs, writers’ festivals and plays having very long runs or one night showings on Broadway.
Braille is brilliant because it empowers people who are blind or have low vision to be literate. These tiny dots support them to live independently, attain their desired level of education, increase their chances for employment and enable them to interact with communities just like everyone else. Even though text-to-speech technology is helpful for people who are blind or have low vision, Braille offers powerful benefits, including the ability to navigate public areas, ensure the taking of the right medication in the right dose and the ability to interact in the workplace independently (eg, through Braille labels to identify tea and coffee).
“How could I have known at the age of six that the braille I was learning as a student with low vision was going to be such a big part of my adult life? All I knew was that I was learning to read and write not only print but braille” – Wendy Sara (Transcription Production Manager – previously Tutor and Proof Reader, Braille House).
In this fast paced world supported more and more by technology, it is critically important for people who are blind or have low vision to have equally accessible and affordable skills and technology for staying connected through text messaging and e-mail, social media, researching and downloading material for education and work and reading books.
There are many ways everyone can #GiveaDot and be involved in the continuous empowerment of people who are blind or have low vision to lead their desired lives.
Want to know more? Visit Braille House online at www.braillehouse.org.au or call us now on 07 3848 5257.