A child reading braille in a book

World Braille Day | January 4

In recognition of World Braille Day, we’re showcasing one of our great videos from 2019 discussing the importance of braille. Mary Beth Wagner, a braille instructor from the Alabama Freedom Center for the Blind in Birmingham, Ala., explains why it is important to read and write in braille as well as the impact braille has had on her life.

“Reading is essential anyway,” said Wagner. “Unfortunately a lot of blind children fall through the cracks because they are not exposed to braille at a young age. My vision teacher sat down with me at three years old and began to teach me the braille alphabet. If it weren’t for braille I can’t even imagine where I would be education wise.”

In the video below, Wagner explains how braille is a series of dot combinations and shows how to write in braille both manually and using a braille writing machine.

“No parent of any sighted child would be content with their child just listening to an audible recording, they want their children to read,” said Wagner. “If your child is blind, they have the same right to learn how to read as a sighted child. Reading is amazing. I have had a lot of experiences in my life where I’ve been able to just become a part of the story. I’ve always loved stories. So the fact that I can have the same access to information as any sighted person who loves to read is definitely a blessing. I’m thankful that it’s available to the blind.”