I have touched on many topics within this blog, but there is one that I have found quite daunting to approach, since it's so dear to me, yet has become somewhat controversial: braille
It should be easy for me to write about braille and how amazing it is to me. I could write about how it's opened doors and how it is part of my everyday life in everything I do. There is an ongoing stigma that braille is too expensive to produce, too bulky and antiquated. I'd love to take braille for granted, but I can't. Why have braille when you have audio?
All of this came home to roost recently when I was having a conversation with someone totally removed from the accessibility field. This particular individual had a computer background, so I showed him the braille display that I use with my iPhone. The first thing he said was: "Why are you using braille anyway? Isn't it more convenient to use audio?
The reality is, I shouldn't have to expand upon the benefits of braille. Over a century ago, Louis Braille revolutionized the world by introducing the braille code; a series of dots, which now enable me to be as productive as anyone else within my chosen field of work. His vision was simple: enable the blind to read. That too, is my vision.
I understand that there may be health issues preventing some people to read with their fingers. Nonetheless, if you have full use of your hands and are an avid reader, I would urge you to explore the possibilities of incorporating braille in your life. Despite popular myths, braille is not difficult to learn. It does take time, but so does learning how to read. Challenge yourself. You may not see results right away, but one day, you will realize what a treasure reading for yourself truly is.
Happy World Braille Day! Stay tuned for Part 2 of Braille Rules!