Excerpt: Whenever 16-year-old Abby Salber wants to listen to a CD, she grabs the disc and touches the label affixed to the front so she knows which one it is.
Salber of Mosinee is one of 16 visually impaired or blind students in the Wausau School District and one of two blind students using Braille at Wausau West High School.
Whether she is listening to music or cooking dinner, Salber depends on a form of written communication using a system of raised six-dotted cells created more than 180years ago.
But some national advocates of Braille fear the growth in popularity of electronics using text-to-speech technology could threaten Braille literacy and hinder the academic success of thousands of blind children who otherwise would not have a command of written language.
Knowing Braille also equates to success in the work force. Only 30 percent of blind adults are gainfully employed, and of those, more than 80 percent work in careers where they use Braille every day, according to the National Federation of the Blind.
Braille Literacy Crisis. (08/08/2009)
Celebrating Braille. (01/03/2009)