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November 2017
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Aerden [userpic]
Braille US Silver Dollar

A US silver dollar featuring the face of Louis Braille on one side and an illustration with Braille dots spelling out the word 'Braille' in contracted Braille--'Brl'--will be released in 2009, according to a CNN news story. It was publicly displayed at this year's National Federation of the Blind (NFB) convention.

Am I wrong for wanting to grouse that there's all this hoopla about a Braille coin that has no really useful Brailled information on it--like the coin's denomination, maybe?

Though very cool, it smacks of being a political correctness stunt, to me.

The story also mentions that only a small percentage of children are being taught Braille, nowadays? I'm wondering why that is? Every employed blind person I have talked to or whom I currently work with says Braille is indispensable for maintaining employment, that you can't record everything. So why aren't more children being taught it?

I was bugged off an on throughout my childhood to learn Braille. I never did because I could see well enough to read without it. But good Lord, if I couldn't see to read without it, I'd sure as heck brush up on what I've taught myself of it. Literacy is a desirable thing.

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Comments

My guess it's more for collectors than for regular use

Yeah--Since it's a 1-oz. silver coin, I agree with you. Quite likely done for artistic interest. It is a very pretty coin on the one side I saw of it.

Chantal

OMG yeah! I'm so with you there on the political correctness stunt! It feels like they're patting us poor stupid blindies on the head and saying, "There now, isn't that cute? We're such a good country for doing this.

I think when I was a kid we were introduced to Braille, that is, we were told what it was, shown what it looked like, told how it worked, etc. but we were never actually taught how to read it. We might have been shown what the numbers 1 through 10 looked like in Braille, but we weren't encouraged to actually learn it.

I think the point is that nobody ever expects to have to use it. That is, the assumption is that they aren't going to need it, therefore why teach it? Which, I think, is a flawed way of thinking, but then again, it's not exactly the only thing wrong with America's school systems.

Well, unless you get to a point at which you're suffering progressive vision loss expected to lead to permanent blindness, there really isn't much reason why a sighted person should learn Braille. Print is far more efficient a medium for communicating ideas and for retrieving information. Add to that the fact that there are three types of Braille, all of increasing difficulty, and it really becomes more and more impractical for people with normal vision to learn, unless they work with people who are blind.

I was introduced to Braille when I was a kid, too; we were given little sheets of paper containing the alphabet, the number sign, and the numbers 1-10. That was all the instruction we got, and it made sense to me to receive only that.

Chantal