National Braille Literacy Month is celebrated in January every year. It is also a celebration of the founder, Louis Braille’s birthday. Apart from honouring Braille’s legacy, this month aims to educate people about the importance and advantages of Braille literacy. We have asked some of our members various braille related questions and would like to thank Eric, Liz and Chris for their responses.


Our member, Viv, gave the following answers:

Question 1:  Why did you learn braille?  Answer:  I was blind from birth so had no choice.

Question 2:  How long does it take to learn?  Answer: I cannot remember how long it took me and picked it up as I went along.

Question 3:  With assistive technology that is now available, do you think you would have learned braille now if you were just starting out?  Answer:  Yes, it’s important as people rely too much on social media.  I would never want braille to die out.

Question 4:  When you are out and about, how much do you use braille and should there be more?  Answer:  I don’t use braille much when I’m out, however, some supermarkets do have some items marked in braille.

Question 5:  Do you enjoy reading as a hobby?  Answer:  Yes.

Question 6:  How quickly can you read a book and can you scan read?  Answer:  I can sometimes read a volume in two hours but it depends what I’m doing.  I tend to prefer reading audio books.

Question 7:  People enjoy reading a book over listening to audio books; do you feel the same about reading in braille?  Answer:  I like both formats and tend to read braille books when reading in bed or just sitting down.  Audio books are good to listen to when doing chores.

Question 8:  With audio and other means now available, has your use of braille reduced?  Answer:  My reading of braille has reduced but I wouldn’t want to lose it as I still like to scrutinise documents in braille.

Question 9:  What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about whether or not to learn braille?  Answer:  I wouldn’t want braille to die out and for people losing their sight later in life it wouldn’t do any harm to learn braille.

A huge thank you to our members for taking part in our National Braille Literacy Month questionnaire.