My Love Hate Relationship With Braille
Iíve been blind all my life but went to a main stream, (normal), school which had a support unit for those of us who couldnít see.
I was taught Braille from an early age, I remember improving the sensitivity of my finger tips by threading beads on to string.
At the age of 11 children in the UK change school from a primary to a secondary school. When I moved to secondary school I was given a laptop and never looked back. I continued with my Braille lessons but didnít see the point, I could read a lot quicker using the computer and it was so much easier than Braille. As soon as I went to college I said goodbye to Braille with a cheery wave, or so I thought.
For my third year at University I did an industrial placement. I went to work at Dolphin, the makers of Supernova and Hal screen readers for a year. Dolphin screen readers have fantastic Braille support and they had a number of spare displays for testing the Braille support in their products. James, one of the Developers at dolphin encouraged me to try writing computer code using a Braille display. After about 2 hours of using the display I was hooked. It makes my life so much easier to use Braille when coding, writing emails, and updating documents and for anything that needs precision.
Iíll never be a fast Braille reader and I canít imagine myself reading a Braille book but in meetings, for code and when Iím doing presentations Braille is fantastic.
Iím trying to imagine how my Braille teacher, Mrs Parks, would react if she read this, I bet it would be with some astonishment as she really struggled to beat Braille in to my unwilling head.