[nobe-l] Fwd: [bana-announce] BANA Launches LouisBraille200th Celebration Activities Listing

Carolyn Brock mmebrock at SpiritOne.com
Wed Nov 12 03:44:10 UTC 2008

    It should be no harder for a sighted person to learn Braille than 
for a blind person.  Remember that Braille is not a foreign language 
(as is signing for the deaf) but rather a different way of 
reading/writing the language you already know.  The code itself is 
extremely simple; I predict that you could learn all you need, Grade 
2 included, in a few weeks.  But, especially with the interpoint 
Braille, written on both sides of the page, it would be extremely 
difficult to read visually; I therefore suggest that you learn to 
read it by touch.  That may take more time simply because you will 
have to train your fingers to the necessary sensitivity and your 
brain to take in the information in a way  to which it is unaccustomed.
    Without exception, the partially sighted people I know have 
reported that it is actually a disadvantage to have some sight;  you 
will certainly be tempted to ""cheat" and look at the Braille.  When 
I was learning it, I used sleepshades or read in the dark to avoid 
the temptation.  Even now, after nearly twenty years, I find that I 
read Braille better if I don't let my eyes look down toward the 
page--even though I cannot see the Braille on the page.  There is 
something about the sub-conscious visual tracking which actually 
blocks the tactile recognition.  I have known other partially sighted 
people who deliberately look straight ahead, even up, to avoid this 
    If you are determined to learn it, you should have little trouble 
as long as you are prepared for some frustration over the tactile 
recognition until you get used to it.
    Good luck, and stay in touch with this list!

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