Braille Writing

Written by Amy Hall
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Braille writing is fundamental to the ability of a print-disabled person to be able to communicate the written word and take part in the literary experience. Today, some of the most common braille writing tools used are the slate and stylus, and the Perkins Brailler. Louis Braille not only invented braille codes, but also the original tools with which to write them, the slate and stylus. It was not until the end of World War II that the Perkins Brailler was developed.

Since that time, these two have been used in schools to teach braille writing. There has been some debate over how far technology has come in aiding people with visual disabilities to read and write. Some advocates for the blind feel that there should be better, more efficient ways for the visually impaired population to write and read. Others feel that the current tools for reading and writing braille are good enough and should be maintained for years to come.

Understanding Braille Writing

Another issue regarding braille writing tools is that school budgets often don't allow for the newer technologies that are sold in other countries. Electronic braille writers such as the Mountbatten Brailler and BrailleNote are not being used in the United States as much as they are abroad because they are more expensive to obtain. Though more expensive, they are easier to use and less cumbersome.

There has often been the argument that we would not expect a seeing child to still use a 50 year old typewriter, yet we expect a blind child to still use these older braille writing tools that are not nearly as efficient as the newer, electronic versions. Learning to read and write braille letters is essential to a print-disabled person, as being able to do so effectively gives him or her the independence to function on his or her own. Therefore, finding better ways to teach the reading and writing of braille should be a top priority for all educators.

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