Why Is Braille Important?

braille-important Credit: Ralph Aichinger/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Braille is important because it allows blind people to become literate, allows them to live independently and increases their chances for employment. Even though text-to-speech technology is helpful for blind people, Braille still offers powerful benefits to the blind, including the ability to navigate public areas and the ability to write without special technology.

When blind children learn Braille, they learn grammar, spelling, punctuation and sentence structure skills that they do not learn using text-to-speech technology. Braille also lets blind people read charts and graphs that are almost impossible to convey using text-to-speech. Braille notations also exist to express scientific equations, mathematical symbols and computer notations, allowing blind people access to those fields.

Statistics support the value of Braille. Although 74 percent of blind people are unemployed, of the remaining 26 percent, most read Braille. Braille allows blind people to function in the workplace by annotating documents, reading spreadsheets and creating filing systems.

Braille also allows blind people greater options for independent living. Even if they also use low-vision aids or text-to-speech technology, Braille lets them label items clearly, read public signs at airports or bathrooms, leave notes for others, take notes, play games and go back and forth within a Braille text.