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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Explaining Braille to the Sighted

Hey guys!
I am a legally blind sophomore and I have been using braille in school for about a year now after I started loosing muscle strength and vision in both eyes. My friends are really interested in braille because they have never seen it before (in fact one of them spelt it breil). They can't understand how it works and how I can read just as fast (if not faster) in braille as opposed to print. It is also hard to describe contractions-which takes a while for them to grasp that concept. Does anyone have any tips on how to explain braille to my sighted friends?

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Re: Explaining Braille to the Sighted

I'm an extremely fast braille reader.

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

you too!

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

There are many studies that show that as persons increase the size of font used to read, that speed decreases. Some braille readers are faster than other, just as some print readers are faster than others. It is tought to say that braille is faster then print; it all depends on the person. That is why teachers of the visually impaired assessments to find out what the most appropriate medium is for a student. There are extremely fast braille readers too.

Braille is an amazing medium and we are lucky to have it. It tool that we should take advantage of and learn it. It can be extremely useful.

Enjoy your reading!

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

yo dude, whair did ya hear that print is slower than readin braill'll'll'll'll'lle?

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

wow! Joe i think that's amazing that you could do all that
what state do you reside in?

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

I have a business background from my undergraduate degree and then became a teacher. I decided to go to graduate school for teaching children who are blind or visually impaired, orientation & mobility and a specialty in transition. I put together a college prep curriculum for VI for a state while in graduate school. Did student teaching in NYC and then taught O&M in NJ. I also taught job seeking skills as well. I then oversaw transition for a different state. I had been writing stuff on transition and an opening at AFB came around. It was about writing curriculum, content and such for AFB CareerConnect. I applied/interviewed and got the job.

That is my story or most of it...

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

Hey joe i saw that braille bug and i found it helpful!
I was wondering how did you become apart of the staff on here?

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

You should check out the Braille Bug part of Another idea would be to find a Braille Contraction Cheat Sheet. I think the Texas School for the Blind has one on their site. It would probably be a document in a pdf format, so it would not be accessible to you, but you could print it out for them or email it to them. It shows most contractions and such and they could get a better idea. It has black dots for braille dots. Your teacher of the visually impaired may have something like that too. Braille Bug has braille alphabet cards that you can order and stickers and such. NFB has braille alphabet cards available too.

Joe S
AFB Staff

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

i heard that reading braille is faster than reading print.

Re:Explaining Braille to the Sighted

well, the way i describe braille is that i would tell them that it is just like writing print but in a different way
and the way i describe contractions is that it is a shorter way of writing

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