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The Power of Access & Choice: Braille in the 21st century

NOTE: Are you a braille user, blindness professional, braille transcriber or parent of a braille reader? Want to stay informed about the exciting braille developments described below and more? Check out Braille Literacy Canada.

Nowhere in history is there an invention as pervasive and influential as the printed word. Print is everywhere, yet we often take its power for granted.

In school, learning to read and write is the backbone for later success, inclusion and societal participation. Arguably, the most liberating aspect of the modern age is the power of choice: we can often choose to access information electronically or in print, depending on what is most ideal for the situation at hand. But what about those who do not read print?

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Accessible communication is critical to enabling independence, and full participation in life.

World Braille Day 2015 -- In honour of the dots!

This day (January 4th) marks the birthday of one Louis Braille who, in 1824, at the age of 15, devised the tactile code now known as braille, used by those who are blind to read and write in much the same way as the sighted use print and handwriting.

  • Braille is critical for students who are learning to read and write and who will not otherwise gain the same appreciation for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Braille is critical for those who work: research has shown that among those who are blind, the vast majority of those who are employed are also braille users.

The Passing of Abraham Nemeth, creator of the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Science Notation

We have just learned that Dr. Abraham Nemeth, Professor Emeritus of mathematics at the University of Detroit Mercy and inventor of the Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics and Scientific Notation, has passed away. His contributions have touched the lives of many braille-reading Canadians.

The below press release was copied from the NFB website and the original version can be found here

National Federation of the Blind Mourns Passing of Dr. Abraham Nemeth, Honors His Pioneering Work to Enhance Braille

Baltimore, Maryland (October 2, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind today mourns the death of Dr.

The Expanded Core Curriculum

In a previous blog post, it was noted that parents often become the very first advocates for their children with visual impairments. That post provided several useful resources, but this discussion will focus on another important theme: the expanded core curriculum. What is it and why does it matter?

While not an exhaustive overview, this discussion notes some of the specialized services that may be available to a child with a visual impairment in a regular, mainstream school.

A Toolkit for Success: Children with Visual Impairments in the Inclusive Classroom

Parents of children with visual impairments often become the very first advocates of their child. With very little guidance and with no road map to steer them, these parents navigate with perseverance through what can sometimes feel like a very confusing system. Questions abound: Will my child be left behind? What resources are available, and how do I know which are appropriate for my child?

Though it can seem daunting at first - fear not - a number of resources and supports to foster success exist.

I would like to start by saying that blindness is but one thread in the rich tapestry that make some of us who we are. I would also like to say that blindness, in and of itself, is often not the obstacle.

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