Hesperian Health Guides

Learning to read and write Braille

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 14: Getting Ready for Child-care and School > Learning to read and write Braille

If your child cannot see letters or is blind, a specially trained teacher can teach him to read and write using a system called 'Braille'. Braille may look difficult, but that is only because it is new to you. Most children and adults can learn Braille easily.

HCWB Ch14 Page 139-1.png
There may be special schools or classes for children who are blind, and teachers who will teach Braille to children.

Braille patterns for the letters 'd', 'o', and 'g'.
To read Braille, a child runs his fingertips over patterns of bumpy dots that stand for letters of the alphabet. These 'letters' are put together to make words, like this.

To write Braille, a child can
use different tools. These are
the most common writing tools
— a slate and stylus.
HCWB Ch14 Page 139-4.png
HCWB Ch14 Page 139-3.png

A child writes with a slate and stylus by pushing the tip of the stylus into heavy paper on the slate. The stylus pushes dots into the paper. He can then turn the paper over to read the raised dots with his fingers.

A child will be able to learn Braille more easily if he has strong, flexible fingers.