The most important medium used in education today is the printed word. Knowledge is preserved in books and the first step in education is learning to read. But a blind man cannot read a book. is he then to be denied opportunities to educate himself? No, not necessarily so. The blind can get themselves educated, not only in the sense of being able to read and write but even in the sense of training themselves for the profession. Teachers of the blind have devised methods by which the blind can ‘read’ books without the aid of the eyes. The most famous of these methods is, undoubtedly, Braille.
Braille ( named after its inventor ) is a system of representation of printed symbols by raised dots on a flat surface. Six dots in various combinations are used to represent letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and some common words. The blind person ‘reads’ the boo by passing his fingers over the dots. Thousands of blind people all over the world have used Braille to educate themselves. A book in Braille is not so compact or handy as compared to any other book. The size makes it difficult for people to use Braille as easily as printed books.
To overcome the difficulties, a new method has been introduced in recent times. The American Association for the Blind made ‘Talking books’ or long-playing discs with recordings of books. The popularity of talking books and tape recording is steadily increasing, and governments and private agencies have come forward to support the effort to produce them and make them available to people who need them.