Learning to Read Again (part 3)

So, I’ve learned the Braille alphabet, and some punctuation (period, comma, quotes). I can even read (veeeeeeeery slowly) some items.  I was so proud of myself for learning the alphabet that I started trying to read other items out in the community. Imagine my shock when I go to read the sign by the Men’s room door and there are only two cells.  “That’s odd,” I thought, “and one of those is’t even a letter.” I look over to the women’s room sign and it has the same strange non-letter that I didn’t recognize, I had just had my first interaction with a contraction.

At work the next day I grab a booklet from the lobby from the library printed in Braille and I could only get about half of the items on the front page.  I honestly felt a little deflated, I had put so much effort into learning the alphabet and punctuation, only to learn that most items are printed in Grade/Type 2.  A cursory glance told me that I still had a lot to learn and cover. I now only know about three of the contractions (thanks to figuring out “en”) and I have “ed” and “and.” So, I’m still technically illiterate.

In the near future (once I have evenings free again) I hope to start a “Braille club” at disABILITY LINK. I have some interest from a couple of staff members, and can hopefully get some of you interested to join the Braille journey with me.  In the meantime, I will try to sneak in a few whole word and sound contractions to build up my repertoire.  Any advice on useful ways of learning the contractions? I’m also looking for a useful course to try in my free time.



People with disabilities have the right to be independent, make decisions for themselves, have access to their community and to achieved goals in life like any other individual. disABILITY LINK is committed to promoting the rights of ALL people with disabilities.
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