Tyler’s Lighthouse For the Blind says significance of braille remains

Tyler’s Lighthouse For the Blind says significance of braille remains
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:35 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2023 at 11:34 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The month of January recognizes the legally blind and visually impaired for National Braille Literacy Month.

Although, as audio technology advances, people are questioning the use of braille.

East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind says braille is still relevant and reliable to this day.

“It (audio) doesn’t replace the braille beside the elevator button or the braille at the door of a classroom. It’s still very important and vital part of someone that is a braille reader to be able to be independent and get through life.” said East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind Community Relations Administrator Craig Ellis.

Different kinds of braille devices are being invented and are used today.

Assistive Technology Instructor Brittney Walters is blind herself. She lost her vision at the age of seven when she had a brain tumor. It was removed, but leftover fluid caused her optic nerve to shatter, which is called optic atrophy.

She says she has 10% usable vision, so she quickly learned how to read braille. And now, she teaches people how to operate braille equipment at East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind.

“As the technology increases, braille is steadily increasing. I’ve seen it. I’ve used braille since I was in the first grade and I have definitely seen the change.”

From the Perkins Braille Writer that is similar to a type writer, to the Focus 40 Blue Braille Display that uses bluetooth to connect to an Apple or android device or computer, braille is evolving as time goes on.

Walters says braille makes her feel empowered and it provides that independence to interact with her language, regardless of her disability.

“You may look at me and you may say ‘well, she’s already done. She’s past it,’ but don’t give up. Keep fighting, it’s not a death sentence. You can do it. You can be anything you want to be.”

January is National Braille Literacy Month and KLTV 7's Kristine Guevara is bringing awareness to the legally blind and visually impaired.