[AI] your thoughts on braille

Ketan Kothari muktaketan at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 10:01:47 EDT 2008


Let me be forthright is saying that there is no substitute for Braille in 
the present sceneario.  There are several reasons for my saying so:

In the first place, even though the sighted use computer they read while the 
blind listen.  There cannot be any substitute for reading.  It increases 
imagination.

In the second place, the knowledge of spellings, grammar and semantics can 
only be increased by reading Braille.

In the third place, in countries like ours where we have a multitude of 
languages Braille can reach all  but computers have a long way to go in this 
regard.  In fact, why has noone asked why we need to use Roman or any other 
scripts?

Admittedly, there are certain drawbacks with Braille such as space 
consumption and time consumption, within the given circumstances Braille has 
no replacement.

Further, let it be remembered by one and all that even those who do not know 
Braille have benefitted through its spread since it is through this script 
that most of us got educated and became visible in society.

As has been stated earlier by many others Braille can be utilized where no 
technology can be used and even if there were to be small gadgets the costs 
involved would be phenomenal.

Frankly, those sighted people who claim to be working for our welfare have 
created a situation where such questions are being raised.  Braille is 
presently necessary and must be promoted at all costs.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Subramani L" <lsubramani at deccanherald.co.in>
To: <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 12:32 PM
Subject: [AI] your thoughts on braille


> Folks:
>
> Appologies for the lengthy mail.
>
> A couple of weeks from now 'Sahana', a trust in Bangalore is holding its
> workshop to emphasise the importance of using Braille by the visually
> challenged, despite widespread availability of technology. I thought
> this could be a right occasion to write (in my newspaper) about how
> Braille teaching/learning and its wider use is fairing against the
> increasing number of accessible technology/devices. In this regard I
> would like you all to share your opinions or personal experience on
> Braille learning or use in your daily lives. Giving a few pointer below
> for you all to think. I request you to contribute to this topic with
> relevant and thought provoking messages, both for and against Braille.
>
> -The trustee Mr Varadarajan with whom I spoke, doesn't dismiss the
> prominent role technology is playing in making the VC employable and
> compete with others in the mainstream. But, he feels in the excitement
> created by computer/technology, promotion and retention of Braille as
> the primary medium of reading/writing for the VCs has been ignored or
> given second preference at best.  Who is responsible for this? Do you
> think trainers neglect Braille or do you think the urgency they need to
> show in getting employment for the VCs justifies any neglect they may
> show towards Braille?
>
> -Though people like Mr Varadarajan have been stressing the importance of
> learning Braille, the wide ranging application of technology has
> virtually eliminated the need for the VCs to go through the pains of
> learning, or, writing in Braille. This, in many ways, is comparable to
> the so-called art of letter writing which is almost extinct thanks to
> PCs, laptops and mobilephones. So, do you think it is pratcial for the
> VCs to adopt to technology at the expense of Braille?
> -Of course, the fact remains that Braille is still relevant for 90 or
> more percent of VCs who have virtually no access to computer. But, given
> that NGOs and training institutes have started to address the access
> problem and, hopefully, in a few years time almost all VCs will have
> access, do you think Braille can be consigned safely to the museum?
> -There are also attempts to incorporate Braille in technologies with the
> advent of refreshable Braille systems, Braille keyboards and output
> devices. Given that this would still restrict communication only between
> the VCs and will not fully help interaction with others in the
> mainstream, can we still look Braille as the most relevant medium for
> us? (Please feel free to contribute your own views independent of these
> points)
>
> Regards,
>
> Subramani
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