Why Learn Braille
Even in a high technology world, braille remains the pathway to education and literacy. Braille is the equivalent of ‘print’ for those who are blind. According to the National Braille Press, "Nothing substitutes for the ability to read. For blind people, braille is the only medium for true literacy. Tape recorders and synthesized speech are useful tools, but they can't replace the ability to read and write."
Employment statistics prove that braille literacy is essential to productive, independent living for people who are blind. Boosting braille literacy, therefore, increases employability for those who are blind simultaneously opening up opportunities for personal and financial independence. The SMART Brailler aims to put braille literacy within reach for many more people who are blind.
Braille enables an individual to:
- Remain on a level playing field with those who are sighted – in school and in the workplace – by having the same access to ‘printed’ material
- Learn math and science by reading and writing numbers, equations, formulas and statistics rather than having to rely solely on memory
- Learn foreign languages by understanding the spelling, accent marks, words and word derivations
- Absorb complex material by experiencing it spatially
Braille gives individuals the opportunity to learn and experience letters, words, numbers and concepts the same way that a person who is sighted comprehends them. As stated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009 by Avraham Raby, a blind retired diplomat:
"When I originally learned English, Braille was the only means whereby I could “see” for myself that, for example, “sight,” “site” and “cite” sound exactly the same but are written quite differently, or that the words “cough”, “rough” and “though” are pronounced quite differently, while the last four letters in all three cases are identical."