What Braille Isn’t

BY Edward Bell

 

No one ever told me that braille was supposed to be slow, hard, difficult, cumbersome or outdated. So it wasn’t.

 

No one ever said that braille would take a long time to learn, and so it didn’t.

 

No one ever said that braille was antiquated, and so it wasn’t.

 

No one ever told me that braille would make me a second-class citizen, and so it didn’t.

 

No one ever told me that braille would be among the most influentialfactors leading to my success, but it was.

 

Today braille is a daily part of my life. Just last evening I used my braille syllabus and notes to lecture graduate students. This past weekend I pulled out my trusty slate and stylus in order to write out notes for the speech I had to give at a statewide conference.

 

It, like many things, is what you make of it. If you think it defines you as blind, you are correct. If you think it is somehow a defeat or failure, then it will be.

 

But if you think that braille is the path to literacy, freedom, independence, hope, success, satisfaction and fulfillment, them it will be. Or, at least it has been for me.

 

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