Susan Howerton 2011 The Hadley School for the Blind Page 11 of 41

Susan howerton 2011 the hadley school for the blind

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Susan Howerton: ©2011 The Hadley School for the Blind Page 11 of 41
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2009-09-11-The Braille Literacy Crisis We are going to talk a little bit about why it is important to learn Braille. We know that Braille is equivalent to print. Braille allows the user to be independent at home. The Braille user can independently label files and kitchen materials so you can organize independently, not having to rely on someone who is sighted. Braille allows the user to be independent in the community reading bathroom signs, menus, park signs, and elevators without assistance. Braille also allows the user to be independent at work. We are going to address the importance of Braille in the workplace later on during this seminar. One major reason to learn Braille is that is means the user is truly literate. As we mentioned earlier when you can read and write Braille without assistance you are truly literate. Our students also indicate that Braille is important for personal privacy. One of my students recently explained to me how Braille made her feel independent and allowed for privacy when she was in the hospital emergency room. She shared this quote with me, “I was able to read off my list of medications and allergies to the nurse and doctors as they wanted to know what kind of meds I am taking and what it is that I am allergic too. It felt good to be able to do this for myself instead of having someone read the printed list and hope that they read the whole list correctly.” The same student indicated that using Braille allows her privacy with her finances. She is delighted to be able to manage her money independently, keeping track of her bills on her own. So as you can see this student really values the privacy Braille has given her. In addition to managing medicines and money there are ©2011 The Hadley School for the Blind Page 12 of 41
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2009-09-11-The Braille Literacy Crisis many other important personal reasons to learn Braille. You can keep your own records. You can write notes to yourself. With Braille you can keep lists of personal phone number, addresses, as well as favorite recipes. Braille clothing tags allow you to choose your own clothing and labeling appliances make kitchen work easier. At Hadley we feel labeling is not only important, but very motivating to the new student learning Braille. Halfway through our Braille Literacy 2 course our students are sent a Braille labeler. They are required to make labels as part of their assignment. We ask our students to make labels for their shoeboxes, cleaning products, and food items. There are numerous organizational tasks that Braille affords the user. Many of our students indicate that they enjoy reading for pleasure. We often ask our students learning Braille what they hope to do with their new skills. Many indicate that it is their desire to read the Bible, to read for pleasure, and to read to their grandchildren and children. That’s what motivates them. One student indicated how important Braille is for her own pleasure. She shared this quote about reading for enjoyment, not only to herself but her grandson.
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