Reading in the Digital Age
Literacy for all-sighted and blind. It seems like a pretty simple concept. Yet despite the enormous proven advantages that literacy offers, families with blind children often have an uphill battle in ensuring that their child is taught to read and write.
- Only 1 out of 5 blind schoolchildren use braille.
- 84% of blind children attend public school.
- Braille instruction can be offered as little as one hour per week.
- There is a shortage of teachers qualified to teach braille.
Reading is a Right — Not a Privilege
Nothing substitutes for the ability to read. For blind people, braille is an essential tool in the process of becoming literate. Tape recorders and synthesized speech are useful tools, but they can't replace the ability to read and write.
Braille & Employment
To succeed in school, work and life, blind people need the opportunities that literacy provides. Research has shown a correlation between a blind person's learning of braille and lifetime achievement. One study shows that only 30% of blind people are employed, but of this group, 90% are braille readers.
Braille in the Digital Age
In today's technology-driven world, is braille still relevant? Blind people have traditionally had many barriers to information and harnessing technology is critical in bridging this gap. E-Braille can help blind people surf the internet, text, e-mail, download books, and stay connected to the world as never before.
Will Books Disappear?
While paper braille will not disappear anytime soon, it is essential that NBP provide information faster and more efficiently, in a variety of formats, and with new technologies that allow blind people to keep pace with the sighted world.
Center for Braille Innovation: Bridging the Technology Gap
More efficient braille production and the development of e-braille technologies is the cornerstone of NBP's new direction as we move forward to:
- Improve efficiencies in braille production.
- Braille for Everyone: develop accessible, affordable technology products for work, school, daily living, household items, and public information.
- Increase availability of tactile graphics through digital mediums.