Braille is often regarded as a novelty: something people are curious about and rarely experience. I have been blind from birth and learnt braille when I started school at the age of four. It is a part of my daily life and yet it’s rare for me to access information in braille when I’m out and about. This post takes a look at the purpose of braille and how it’s useful to use as an organisation.
What is Braille?
Braille is a system of tactile dots, enabling blind and visually impaired people to read by touch. It is the same size as 24 point font on a computer and, unlike most fonts, its size, colour and layout can’t be modified.
Who uses it?
people who read braille are not able to read print due to their impaired vision. Most people with a visual impairment have acquired it later in life and learn braille due to their deteriorating sight, so most braille readers are older. Some argue that the introduction of technology has made braille redundant; in fact, the invention of braille computers and other devices has made it easier to produce and has enhanced its uses. You will find it on medicine packaging, the new plastic money notes, and on many of the Co-op’s products. It is also used to label lift buttons and accessible toilets.
How can I use it?
Braille documents are invaluable to visually impaired visitors, particularly when you consider that most people with a visual impairment have limited use of technology. Menus, brochures, and other pieces of written information are some of the things your organisation could produce in braille. You could also create braille signage, although it’s worth remembering that these are only noticed by someone with enough useful vision to locate the sign. By providing information in braille, you are giving those with a visual impairment the opportunity to read on their own terms.
How do I go about getting something brailled?
UK Transcription companies usually charge a high price for brailling a document. Because few of these transcribers have a visual impairment, the document can contain errors due to the company not being able to read and check over what they have produced. I’ll mention my government letters which have contained brailled pages of classic poetry! Eye4detail is a local business who produce brailled documents at an affordable price. The document is transcribed by a blind person, meaning that the resulting document can be easily read by other braille readers.
Please feel free to comment on the forum or get in touch with any braille-related questions.