Why are blind children not taught braille at an early age? Why do they not take advantage of their local braille library?
After spending three months interviewing families with blind children, I have realized that braille is oftentimes not taught to young children because adults believe it is too hard of a language to learn. Some sighted parents feel that they would have to learn braille first before teaching it to their children. So what is stopping sighted parents from learning braille if it could help their child in the end?
The answer is not as easy as one would hope. Braille is challenging to learn, so parents tend to put it off. Braille is unique in that one must learn 189 letter contractions in addition to different alphabets for upper and lower case. However, there is a light at the end of the braille tunnel; the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
In the redesign of my children’s space within the library, I hope to create a space for children and parents to learn braille while simultaneously engaging the children’s other senses. Currently the library has very few patrons and I intend to bring the Maryland State Library for the Blind into the foreground for being a valuable source for parents with blind children.