Monday, April 4, 2011

Starting out with Braille

I have been talking to a number of people lately asking if they know Braille. I’m finding that a lot of people start it and don’t pursue it because it’s hard to learn.

They’re mostly correct. It is not the easiest thing to learn, especially if you could see at one time. Even though all it really boils down to is being a new alphabet for their familiar daily language, it seems like it is all a completely new language.

All I can say is keep trying and don't push your self. Just like typing it takes regular and orderly practice. That’s all it takes.

It can be so helpful to you even at the basic Grade One level. Grade One is basically a letter by letter substitution with the printed alphabet. Most text written by others for you to read is Grade Two, which can be thought of as having lots of abbreviations. It puts many common letter combinations and even shorter words into a shorthand that reads faster. You can also think of it as the difference between reading each letter in a word and each word in a sentence verses scanning the sentence and understanding it just as well.

This is a very, very simplified description, but Grade One is the start, and it’s yours. It can help you with being able to label your favorite things, help you write down numbers, and do other little things that will be helpful to you and give you more independence.

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