Braille: Wellspring of Literacy

I wrote a PhD dissertation, and less than two years later I could no longer read it. I learned that with a loss of vision, there is a loss of literacy.

I am an educational coordinator for health professionals who need training in emergency preparedness. In my job, I do a lot of reading and writing. As I was losing vision, reading print became increasingly difficult. I could see where this was headed. I was going to need to start reading with my fingers instead of my eyes.

Fortunately, I found a terrific Braille teacher. I had been feeling powerless as I was losing my vision, but practicing my Braille was something I could control. I worked on it every day, because I really wanted to be able to read again. Gradually, I began using Braille at work. First, to make to-do lists, later, to take notes, and finally, with the help of technology, to read documents in meetings. Braille allowed me to keep a large part of my professional life.

Having been a lifelong learner, I was grateful that Braille restored my literacy.