[nobe-l] Is braille overrated?

Smith, Pauline L PSmith4 at dmc.org
Thu Jan 18 15:08:11 UTC 2018

Good Morning,

I wouldn't necessarily call someone who doesn't know or use Braille illiterate.  A significant portion of the totally blind population at all age levels cannot use Braille due to various physical and/or other factors.  I will paste my comments submitted to another list below.

The reliance on technology mirrors the trend in the overall world.  Even people with vision are more reliant on tech--using their phones, tablets, etc. to perform simple tasks and relying on spellcheck to proffread written materials.

There also seems to be a trend toward discouraging the production of Braille materials.  For example, when I signed up for paratransit in the community where I attended college, someone called and asked if I would accept recorded rider instructions although Braille was a choice for alternate media on the application.  I have had other examples of this kind of thing over the years.  One consequence of this thendency is although I am a Braille teacher, I talk the talk rather than walk the walk.  This is not good.  I prefer getting as much Braille material as possible.

Pauline Smith, TVI
Braille Instructor

-----Original Message-----
From: NOBE-L [mailto:nobe-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of rjaquiss via NOBE-L
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 9:56 AM
To: 'National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List'
Cc: rjaquiss
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] Is braille overrated?


     I am totally blind and have been so from birth. I use braille every day. I also use JAWS and an 80 cell braille display. If you don't use braille and are totally blind, you are essentially illiterate. How will you know the spelling of words and the punctuation used in sentences? Dr. Ruby Ryles conducted a study some years ago and found that braille users were much more likely to be employed. Happy reading.


Robert Jaquiss

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