Learning Braille as a senior project.

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Interview! (Part 1)

I had the wonderful opportunity to conduct an interview over the phone with Mr.Patterson, former Vice President of Programs and Services at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles.
I will be posting it as a two-part series, with a fire alarm as the interlude (Of course there would be a false fire alarm. It wouldn’t be W without one.)

Richard Patterson Interview, Part 1


Awesome Videos

If you want to learn more about neat methods that are used to get around visual impairment, visit the Solutions in Sight video section of the Braille Institute website, where they show the bill folding method, closet organization,tango classes, and more! They’re seriously awesome:

Solutions in Sight | Braille Institute of America

Eating: The Clock Method

Here’s a cool trick I just learned that is used to know where food on your plate is:

Use the Clock Method!


“Your veggies are at 12 o’clock. Your meat is at 3 o’clock. And your pasta/salad is at 6 o’clock.”


And so on and so forth. It’s a pretty neat trick, and people at restaurants use this trick for people with visual impairment so they don’t have to scramble around on their plate trying to figure what food is which, and what it is exactly. Since a clock is almost universally distinguishable, it’s easy for everyone to know what it means and use it.

Braille Literacy

I recently found out that the Braille literacy rate for people with visual impairment is actually really quite low:a little less than 10%. Only 1 in 10 visually impaired people know Braille. This is partly because most people who are blind weren’t born blind, so they learned their native language, and it wasn’t until later in life that they developed serious sight loss. Thus, learning a language is harder for adults than it is for children, whose brains are still developing. Moreover, touch sensitivity in people’s fingers is lost as they grow older.


However, it’s extremely important for children to learn Braille, because it’s the only medium for true literacy that they have; while audiobooks and new technology comes very in handy with interacting and communicating with the world, learning Braille, or any language, activates and stimulates important parts of a child’s brain that deals with learning. It’s crucial to their development.

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