Despite the many advances in talking technology, we believe that learning Braille is still one of the most important things many of our students can do in order to achieve further/higher education aspirations and to gain employment, since the skill of reading (rather than listening) is of the utmost importance in the world of work.
Students who use Braille come to us with a wide range of abilities – from beginners to regular users. Depending on their personal needs, we can offer a one-to-one, personalised teaching approach to give them the confidence and skills to make Braille an important “tool” in enabling them to be as independent and professional as possible.
The ability to read and write Braille fluently and accurately can be life changing for many of our students, opening up a new world of possibilities.
Bringing Braille to life
We currently follow the RNIB Fingerprint reading and writing Course with extra reading or writing exercises where necessary. Its soap opera style lets students hone their Braille skills while enjoying or deriding the characters’ adventures.
Initially students learn to write on a Perkins brailler, which is a manual machine producing hard copy braille. However, we encourage students to use braille technology such as the Orbit 20 reader so that favourite or textbooks can be downloaded and read and notes written on a small and discreet piece of equipment. This allows for reading and writing texts and emails from a phone or computer, reading and writing on the Orbit as a stand-alone piece of equipment or driving a computer using the braille keyboard. Vistas are wide and possibilities endless with the pairing of braille and technology in this way.
Once students have got to grips with the literary braille code we can introduce other codes to them such as languages, Mathematics, Music, etc.