Learning Braille as a senior project.

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No can do

Unfortunately, I was not able to get a hold of Harry Potter in Braille. Nor any book, for that matter. The reason is because of the Braille “grades” I mentioned in a previous post. Most Braille books contain contracted (Grade 2) Braille, which is basically a form of shorthand Braille used to reduce the number of cells used for each word. For example, with uncontracted Braille, the word “and” has 3 cells – one for each letter. With contracted Braille, there’s actually already a specific dot cell formation for the word, precisely because it’s used so often. While not all words have contracted forms (pronouns don’t, for example), it requires an additional memorization of words and endings.


Learning the Alphabet!

Learned Fact:
For the first 10 letters of the alphabet (a-j), you must basically memorize the dot formation. For the next 10 letters, though (k-t), all you have to do is add a cell dot 3 to all of the first 10 cells. (Cell number order pictured below).

Braille Cell Number Notation:

Cell Formation (the dot numbers)

Tiny Steps

Well, hello there! Now that Winter Break has (mercifully) arrived, I’ve started my research into Braille and how in the world I will learn it.

On a brief side note, though, I’d just like to let it be known that I tried my hand at touch sensitivity today outside my school’s science buildings, where they have the number of the room on a plaque outside, Braille included. It relieved me somewhat that I was able to detect the general shape of the character (Is that what they’re called? Must read more), even if I couldn’t tell exactly how many dots there were in a line. It’s a start.

But anyways.
I found a site (seems a bit outdated, but it’ll do for now, to get me started) that lets you register for free to learn Braille. Once you input your e-mail address, it sends you a username and password. It includes a 12-course lesson on Basic Braille (there’s three options: Basic, Transcribing,and Special Code). I have not started reading yet, and am just about to begin.

Braille through Remote Learning

Learned Fact of the Day:

There’s three ‘grades’ of Braille.
1.The basic Braille, consisting of 26-letter alphabet.
2.Second grade, consisting of some shorthand.
3.Advanced, consisting of math Braille, musical, and more shorthand. Mostly used in personal letters and diaries.

Over and out!

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