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Bringing Literacy to the Blind

Blindness is a challenge faced by more than 250 million people worldwide. Many blind people are not integrated into society, often due to an inability to read. This comes from a combination of poor access to learning materials and a shortage of qualified teachers. If you’re interested in education or social work, becoming a braille instructor is a great opportunity to help blind children and adults gain their independence.

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How Does Braille Work?

Braille is a system of raised dots on paper which blind people read with their fingers. The basic unit of braille has six dots and is called a cell. Different combinations of these dots in each cell represent letters, numbers, and other symbols.

Braille can also be used to represent simple pictures in a tactile format. This allows young readers to get a feel for the shapes of objects, and older readers to understand graphs and other mathematical ideas. Learning to read is hard at any age. When struggling new readers need a break from braille books, instructors can change up the lesson with puzzles, flash cards, or even braille mazes to make things more fun.

Why Is Braille So Important?

Most of the everyday information sighted people get from signage to food labels to important documents is unreadable to the blind. To get by, many depend on audio solutions, which can be unreliable. Even as technology for the blind improves, it can never replace the feel of words on a page.

How Can You Become a Braille Teacher?

Many colleges have bachelor’s or master’s programs in special education or rehabilitation with a focus on the visually impaired. Most braille teachers work for a state agency that handles blind children in public schools or adults who became blind later in life. Others may find jobs at private schools for the blind.

Literacy is one of the most important tools we have in life. If you can teach braille, you can make a major difference in the lives of the blind.