In today’s society, we often overlook things that are commonly used by so many people. That is why it is important to take a moment to recognize Braille Literacy Month. For those that aren’t aware of what Braille is, it is the reading system used to help the blind. The system uses a series of dots that can be felt by a reader. Braille is used in many instances too. The blind often uses it to learn, enjoy books, or simply cross a street. With that said, it is obvious why we need to celebrate this system. These ten ideas will help you learn more about braille and perhaps even learn how to use it for yourself and your family.
1. Learn About the Inventor
One of the first ways to celebrate National Braille Literacy Month is to actually learn about the inventor. This will allow you to gain a better understanding of the reading technique, which can bring even more appreciation for the language. Braille was invented in 1824, just a few years before his death. He was a French educator who was blinded when he was just three years old. His amazing invention has been virtually unchanged to this day, which makes it quite incredible. There are many amazing books, websites, and so much more to check out on this remarkable man, which will help you truly gain the importance of this literacy system.
2. Gain Understanding
Another way to celebrate the month is to try to gain an understanding of what people experience when they are blind. Although this is incredibly hard to do, there are minor things that can be done to gain a smaller understanding of what it is like. One way is to use a blindfold to obstruct your vision. The better the blindfold the better understanding you will have. Try to walk around or do a chore with the blindfold on. Of course, you should make sure you will be safe while doing this. Another way to gain an understanding is to take the blind challenge on the 2 Blind Brothers’ website. For this, you will choose a specific amount of money to spend. The website will then allow you to shop around until you meet the money criteria. Then, your items will be shipped to you and you can see what you purchased blindly. Money on this website does go to charities too, so you’ll be helping out while gaining an understanding.
3. Take a Braille Course
Another way to get the most out of National Braille Literacy month is to simply take a braille course. This can be a very enlightening experience that might change the way you look at the language. There are lots of braille courses online, but you also might be able to find one at a local college or school. There are also many libraries that will offer lessons to people hoping to learn how to read braille. You might like it so much that you may even find yourself working to teach it to others once you get the hang of it. Reading braille can open up many new windows for you too, which can both improve your career and your leisure time.
4. Volunteer with the Blind
If you really want to try to make a difference during this month then you might consider volunteering to help the blind. There are actually many programs that you can check out that would help you with this too. However, you might start by asking at local colleges, libraries, or even care facilities if they need help. Of course, if you’re shy on time then you might just take the time out to help someone you see that is blind. They might need assistance crossing the street, grocery shopping, and so on. You would be surprised by how much you can help others when you’re hoping to. If you have learned Braille, you might also consider taking the time out to help others. This in itself can change lives for the better.
5. Raise Awareness
There’s no doubt about it, one of the most efficient ways to celebrate this month is to raise awareness. These days, technology is on the rise, which means there are newer ways to help the blind interact with the world. Although this is an amazing development that we shouldn’t overlook, it is also a risk to braille. So, it is important to show people how important braille is, even with the new technologies stealing the show. After all, if we ever find ourselves in a position in which technology is not available, it might be wise to have an alternative for those in need of one. You can raise awareness by talking about braille, teaching it to others, or even sharing key points as to why it is important to have it around. You can also shop for clothing that features braille, which is a great way to get a conversation rolling.
6. Braille Crafts
If you’re working to teach children how to read Braille, then there are many ways to make the task a bit easier. For starters, you might begin by looking up braille crafts online. There are a lot of fun ideas, especially if you’re working on a holiday, so make sure you look around to see what there is to offer. One easy idea to work with though is to simply have kids add braille to images. This can help you make lots of fun pictures that will show them how easy it is to learn to read new things. Apart from that, you can also hand them an illustration and have them write a short story about it only using braille. These can then be crafted into a book that can be shared for years to come or donated to others.
7. Donate Books
A good way to support braille literacy is to help others out by donating books. Whether you have the books around your house already, you’re collecting them from others that might have them, or you’re simply buying a few every now and then, giving the books to a facility in need can work wonders. You might start by asking around the schools in your community. Since braille often isn’t in the curriculum, students that actually might need the books could go without. This can be a huge problem, so donating a few books would make a huge difference. Your local library also might need a few books to help out those curious about braille or those that go to the library to check out books they can read. Your good deed could change the way many people educate and entertain themselves.
8. Community Events
If you look around your community, you might actually find that there are events to attend that celebrate National Braille Literacy Month. However, it might require a bit of digging around since the events are likely not to be major events. Your best chance of finding something is on January the 4th though, as this was Louis Braille’s birthday. Your local library, schools, community colleges, or universities are also going to be your best option when it comes to finding an event to help you celebrate. So, make sure you look around, as you might be pleasantly surprised to find classes, activities, and more.
9. Braille Games
To add even more fun to your month of celebration, you might want to add games that add braille to the mix. At first, you might think it is hard to figure out these games, but there are actually a lot of things you can do with braille, especially while learning it. If you look online, you will find lots of ideas for games that can suit the whole family. However, if you’re serious about learning braille, you might consider investing in some board games. This can really change the way you look at braille while improving your own skills. Plus, these games can help bond the family and teach literacy to the next generation.
10. Donate to Charities
Without a doubt, there is one thing that will truly help when it comes to braille literacy. That is, donating to charities. You have a lot of options to choose from here, as well. There are charities that do help to offer assistance to those learning braille. Some of these charities even provide books and educational material to the blind, which can change their lives forever. There are also medical research charities to look into. These charities offer money to research facilities that are working to end the cause of some forms of blindness. This can help millions prevent sight loss or maybe even regain sight one day.
National Braille Literacy Month is a great time to learn about the form of literacy many people must use on a daily basis. These ten ideas will help you gain more knowledge about braille so you can help support the reading method while supporting those that must use it. This month can truly be life changing too, especially if you choose to make braille a part of your life.