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February 11, 2007

The return of braille

close-up of a finger moving across braille text

A quick heads up that I have a piece in the Boston Globe today about the decline...and slow revival...of braille. Back in the '60s, fully 60% of blind kids learned to read braille. Now it's about a quarter of all kids. The reason for the decline, and current slow rise, is a mix of good intentions, unintended consequences, over-hyped technology, and hard-won experience.

By the way, did you know that braille has its own set of contractions, different than sighted text? I sure didn't.


Posted by Chris Spurgeon at February 11, 2007 02:20 AM


Isn't it frustrating that nobody ever comments on one's hard-wrought blogs?


Posted by: William Loughborough at February 11, 2007 05:15 AM

Eh. I *heart* comments, but then on the other hand I don't comment on the vast majority of blogs that I read either. As long as folks keep reading, I'm happy.

Posted by: Chris Spurgeon at February 11, 2007 08:03 AM

Imagining what it would be like to use a book on tape as a reference was the tipping point in my empathy around the importance of braille. Can you imagine cooking something new from a cookbook on tape, and needing to quickly double check an ingredient or whatnot without losing your place?

I enjoyed your article in the Boston Globe, and your blog gives me a chance to tell you so directly.

Thank you!

Posted by: Elizabeth Able at February 11, 2007 08:08 PM