Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Outreach/Braille

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Braille
South American Division

Outreach

Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 2012


Limited Availability



Note: A qualified and fluent instructor in Braille is required.

1. What is Braille?

A system of writing and printing for blind or visually impaired people, in which varied arrangements of raised dots representing letters and numerals are identified by touch.

2. Write a biography of Louis Braille of at least one page.

We will not reproduce the biography here, but point you to the many online sources of this information such as Wikipedia's article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Braille which will allow the Pathfinder to summarize Braille's life in at least a page.

3. What is epicritic sensitivity?

Epicritic is relating to or denoting those sensory nerve fibers of the skin that are capable of fine discrimination of touch or temperature stimuli. Sensitivity, the ability of an organism or organ to respond to external stimuli. Epicritic Sensitivity is required to read braille and is a developed skill.

4. What are Braille papers, slates and styluses?

To write Braille by hand requires three things:

Braille Paper: paper designed to be used in a Brailler or other ways to write Braille. It comes in heavy and light versions. Perkins describes it this way:

"We offer two "grades" of paper: HEAVY and LIGHT. While both are suitable for all Perkins Braillers, we recommend the "heavy grade" for best results. It provides more durable dots by brailler or slate. The "light grade," however, is easier to emboss by slate and stylus. All braille paper is white."

Braille Slate: A board with holes in it designed to press the stylus through to write Braille. These come in various styles and materials including aluminum and plastic.

Braille Stylus: A pointed tool for making the Braille dots or dimples.

Seeing (or for the blind, feeling) the tools is very helpful to understanding them so see here for examples: http://www.perkinsproducts.org/store/en/35-slates-styluses

5. What is a Perkins Brailler?

The Perkins Brailler® is the most widely used brailler in the world. More than 300,000 braillers have been sold to over 170 countries. Invented in 1951 by David Abraham, a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind. It has withstood the test of time, owing to its great durability, reliability and ease of use. It has an interesting history. Even though computers can be outfitted with a Braille printer and lightweight handheld note taking devices are available, the reliability of the Perkin's Brailler continues to drive demand, especially in the developing world. Read more here: http://www.perkinsproducts.org/sites/default/files/perkins_brailler_history.pdf

6. What is a Braille cell?

Braille characters are small rectangular blocks called cells that contain tiny palpable bumps called raised dots. The number and arrangement of these dots distinguish one character from another. Since the various braille alphabets originated as transcription codes of printed writing systems, the mappings (sets of character designations) vary from language to language.

7. What are Grades 1, 2 and 3 of the Braille system and what do they mean?

In English Braille there are three levels of encoding: Grade 1 - a letter-by-letter transcription used for basic literacy; Grade 2 - an addition of abbreviations and contractions; and Grade 3 - various non-standardized personal shorthands.

8. Take a class to learn to write and read in Braille. The class can be online or in person.

Note: The website Braille Virtual presents an interesting and interactive course, suitable for youth in Portuguese, Spanish and English.

9. Transcribe, in the presence of an instructor, the Bible verses of Mark 10:46-52.

Mark 10:46-52 New International Version (NIV)

When they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

10. Read, in Braille, at least 90 words a minute.

It is perfectly possible for a sighted person to learn to read and write in Braille. Gaining this skill allows you to communicate in writing with the blind, develops your brain to think in a code, and gives new appreciation for those with a disability. This requirement confirms your mastery of the skill set required by this honor. 90 words a minute is not that fast. By comparison, the average adult reads printed English at 300 words per minute.

11. Write a short letter with a Biblical message to someone visually impaired.

To do this you will need equipment that can emboss since the letter presumably will be in Braille. You'll also need a braille key and/or have memorized the alphabet (required to read Braille in Requirement 10). You'll want to find a blind person to send or give the letter to as well. If you really have trouble finding someone locally, try Christian Record Services for a name and address.

12. Discuss the message of John 9 with your instructor.

John 9 relates the story of a man healed by Jesus who was born blind, the religious leaders investigation of the healing and the spiritual lessons Jesus taught about spiritual blindness. Enjoy your discussion.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braille http://www.perkinsproducts.org/sites/default/files/perkins_brailler_history.pdf http://www.perkinsproducts.org/store/en/ to explore the latest in Braille products