We at ViewPlus are always looking for ways to help those who read Braille to better understand the world around them through our innovations. We are delighted to see that Braille use is clearly spreading as laws passed in Europe and the U.S. have increased the availability of Braille in public spaces. Braille is regularly found on bathroom doors, buttons on elevators, bottles of wine and all manner of food packaging. Braille is now ubiquitous on all pharmaceuticals and many restaurants offer menus in Braille.
While offering Braille in public places is a great advancement for the blind in our society, there is an open question as to how many blind adults are able to read Braille and utilize these tools. While Braille is being taught in most Western schools, many blind adults have never learned to read Braille. Those who become blind as a mature adults are far less likely to read Braille than those born with sight loss from an early age. Furthermore, there appears to be a lack of facilities to teach Braille to mature adults.
For example, the RNIB in Britain is an excellent resource for the blind around the world providing a vast library of material in Braille, RNIB Braille Library. However, the RNIB does not teach Braille as those efforts are left to local funding projects. The NFB in the U.S. is similarly an excellent resource for the blind but they do not themselves teach Braille to adults.
Do you know of a resource in your community that has taught you are someone you know to read Braille? Please share your ideas and inspirations below: