Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Braille and Technology

Steady advances in technology, along with increased use of audiobooks, might lead to “A quick assumption…that the utilization of braille has decreased in recent years.” However, this tactile form of reading and writing for individuals who are visually impaired, relied on since the 1800s, has not only survived in the modern era, but “has since evolved from solely embossed paper to its incorporation in accessible technology.” The advent of technology has added new dimensions to the use of braille. An individual who is blind or has low vision may use braille to read and write, along with smart devices that read to them aloud, according to the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). These advances have expanded the options for access and address “personal preferences for the use of assistive technology…(to) complement braille reader’s individual accessibility.” For example, Karen Arcos, who completed her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience with an emphasis on Chicano/Latino Studies from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), noted that she used braille every day in her studies. Dr. Arcos, who is totally blind, explained how she used different formats, stating that “’Braille on paper is especially useful when creating or interpreting tactile charts, tables and graphs. Reading braille digitally comes in handy for pleasure, like texting and when revising papers…’” Get additional details about her story and more in New University, the UCI campus newspaper: Braille’s Place in the Age of Technology.