There is many reason why Abby read Braille. The simplest reason is she is blind and its the most effective way for almost all blind people to read.
She also reads braille because she can't see print or standard large print at all. She can't see what she writes. Abby would have to use magnification tools far beyond what is practical just to be able to see print. Just because a blind student can see a little bit of print doesn't mean that print is the best medium for them. Braille is best for Abby. Braille is best for a lot of students who are blind even if they have some remaining vision. We never had to fight for Abby to get braille because she has a great teacher. I know many parents who have struggle to get any braille instruction for their blind children much less an appropriate amount.
Reasons why Braille is great...
- solves visual fatigue
- its cool
- you can read in the dark with it
- a blind person has a greater chance of being employed if they read braille
- you can read and write braille on the computer and iPad (with additional equipment)
What Braille is NOT
- a different language (its just the tactile version of print)
- hard to learn
- obsolete or out of date
What about technology like audio books and text to speech?
- listening isn't reading or literacy
- you don't learn spelling or sentence structure
- Would you have a sighted child not read?
- audio books and text to speech are tools but they don't replace reading
In the most recent Future Reflections a story of mine was published about how important a positive view point of braille is. Let know what you think.
National Federation of the Blind
"A Matter of Justice:Our Fight to Obtain Braille Instruction" by Holly Miller
"Why Are You Trying To Make That Child Blind? by Carol Castellano" (audio file) http://www.nfb.org/images/nfb/Audio/2009_Convention_Highlights/Wednesday%20July%208/04_Why_Are_You_Trying_To_Make_That_Child_Blind.mp3
"Why Are You Trying To Make That Child Blind? by Carol Castellano" (text file)