March 27, 2009
Most blind children not learning Braille
The illiteracy rate of blind children is 90 percent, mainly because Braille is not being taught to many blind children, U.S. researchers said.
The report by the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute -- the research and training arm of the National Federation of the Blind -- describes the factors that have contributed illiteracy among blind children.
Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said the NFB's Braille Readers are Leaders campaign is a national initiative created to double the number of blind children learning Braille by 2015.
If the blind can read, the blind can achieve, Maurer said in a statement.
Braille is not being taught to many blind children and adults because there are myths and misconceptions surrounding the code. Braille is said to be slow and inefficient, difficult to learn, unnecessary in light of new technology, and something that isolates blind students from their sighted peers.
But studies have shown that Braille leads to employment opportunities, independence and self-confidence for blind people, the report said.