Learning how to read Braille

Imagine not having the ability to see words written in a book or a magazine or on a sign. People had the opportunity to learn Braille and step into the shoes of someone who is blind or visually impaired.

The Northern Center for Lifelong Learning held a Braille workshop for the public to learn the history and use of the code. By the end of the two-hour class, participants were able to write and read contracted Braille. Sharon Rice, who taught the class, said it’s important to teach Braille because with a lot of reading material digitized, it’s hampering a visually impaired person’s opportunity to read and write.

“We have a lot of technologies that do a lot of things for us now, and there are a lot of medias that are putting things recorded and whatnot, but for a person that has problems with their vision, is legally blind and more, they can’t sustain and truly be literate unless they have a way to be able to read and write,” Rice said. “And that’s the bottom line. We’re short-changing the child that are blind if they don’t have a system.  Because listening is not reading and writing, it’s not being literate.”

Braille was created in France and was used all over the world in the 1800s, but it did not become the standard in America until the 1930s.