Friday, 6 January 2012

Brilliant Braille

This week (4-11th January) is National Braille Week; the perfect opportunity to share the amazing invention which is braille.  Did you know that the current estimate for the number of people using Braille in the UK is 18,000?

18,000 people who otherwise wouldn't be able to read books, papers, magazines, hymn books, music, orders of service, food packets, medicine bottles, supermarket products, bank statements, bills, legal correspondence, contracts, lift buttons, signs in communal buildings and a huge range of other items. 

18,000 people who wouldn't be able to write letters to other people who can't read the traditionally written word. 

18,000 people who can live more independently and be more fulfilled than if Braille didn't exist.

I have to admit to thinking that Braille was on the edge of obsolesence; that technology would replace it with something much more slick and clever.  But speaking to the lovely lady at church who uses Braille I have come to see the error of my ways.  Yes technology allows you to speak and have your words typed; yes technology allows you to have the whole world spoke to you; but what if you prefer to have peace and quiet when you read or write?  Braille provides options; just as I have my kindle books, printed books and audio books; braille makes the same options available to the blind.  And the good news; technology is making it easier to create braille, store braille and distribute braille; fabulous.

There is nothing that fills my heart with joy more than seeing our Braille user at church singing her heart out whilst reading the words in her braille hymn books; that is what it's all about. Brilliant Braille

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