Saturdays with Shauna: Braille Literacy

A girl sitting in a chair, reading a Braille book
A Braille Literacy camper reading Braille

Editor’s Note: January 4 was World Braille Day, celebrated on Louis Braille’s birthday. This piece is third in a four part series on Braille. Tune in next week for part 4 in this series, which will appear in our World Braille Day corner.

Braille Literacy Canada (n.d.). clearly states:”Braille is for the blind, what print is for the sighted” (Welcome to Braille Literacy Canada, para.1). Braille enables people who are blind to read, write, complete math problems, and read sheet music (Inclusive Learning and Education, n.d). Proficiency in braille is vital for a person’s independence in many aspects of daily life. Braille literacy is also beneficial for a person in attaining academic and vocational goals (SNOW Inclusive Learning and Education, n.d.). Although braille is important to learn, sadly braille is not taught to all
children who have visual impairments.

There is a common misconception that most people who are blind are proficient in reading braille. However, in North America, only about ten percent of people who are blind have adequate braille literacy skills (SNOW Inclusive Learning and Education, n.d.). In today’s digital world, technology is evolving at an exponential rate. Technology has opened many doors for people who are blind to access print material in digital formats through the use of audiobooks, computer screen readers, magnifiers etc. People who are blind greatly benefit from technology and being able to access information. However, technology cannot replace braille. Although braille takes time and practice to learn, it continues to have it’s profound place today in the lives of people who are blind.


Read more about Braille in our World Braille Day corner.