For the past few months I have been taking courses from The Hadley School for the Blind. If you’re not familiar with Hadley, it’s a free distance learning school for people who are visually impaired and blind. Their mission:
To promote independent living through lifelong, distance education programs for people who are blind or visually impaired, their families and blindness service providers.
I am finishing up with my second course, Braille Literacy 2 which completes the full Braille alphabet. The methodology used by Hadley gives the student significant practice which is highly required in order to become proficient. Braille Literacy 1, introduces the student to using tactile reading. Various techniques are taught enabling the student to remain oriented to the line being read. Students are encouraged to set their own pace, making the learning process less stressful.
I am very happy to report that I am now going label crazy. Not only labeling file folders, but items throughout the house. I can now do away with non Braille tactile methods that I was forced to remember translations. For example, pins with 1 Braille dot translated to the color black, two for white. I would place these pins on my socks. While this method works fine for simple items, it sure does feel good being able to open my file drawer and quickly find a specific folder.
I am not where I want to be just yet with my Braille proficiency, but thanks to Hadley and my extremely supportive instructor, Betsy, I am on my way.
For those who are visually impaired or blind and have not checked out Hadley, do yourself a favor and pay them a visit.