Sunday, October 25, 2009

Braille is FUN. No, really, it is!

I just started my 'Introduction to Braille' class through Hadley School for the Blind and so far I have completed 3 assignments. I know the alphabet in braille, proficiently. I am so proud of myself. Since the day we found out Colton was blind I knew I wanted to learn to read and write braille so that I could not only do things as simple as leave him notes in his lunchbox but also things as important as check his homework each night. A while ago Colton's VIPS teacher let me know about Hadley, they allow families with visually impaired members to take several courses free of charge. I plan on taking as many as I possibly can over the next couple years. I am so thankful that Hadley is giving me this opportunity to enrich my child's life.

So far, in this particular course, I have learned to read all the letters of the alphabet in braille and how to emboss them with a slate and stylus. A slate and stylus is just like a sighted person's pencil and paper. See picture below.
It is difficult because you use a completely different group of muscles when embossing than those you use while writing with pencil and paper. And, you have to write each letter and word backwards from right to left, because when you are finished writing you have to flip the paper over to read the braille. Next, we learn how to use a Braillewriter which looks similar to a typewriter. All in all this class is incredibly fun and very educational. I am so excited to put my braille skills to use.

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