Jasmyn smiles as she works on her brailler

I’ve grown over these past three years to enjoy braille. Every time I use my braille writer or slate and stylus to write, it’s hard to stop.

Braille is great for me because I have glaucoma, a progressive eye condition that could blind me, so I must learn braille for my future as well as my braille teaching career. Glaucoma doesn’t scare me because I have braille as a back up in my life toolbox.

Whenever I read a braille book with my blindfold on, I can find a mysterious word or contraction to learn about. I love that braille allows you to use different contractions in a word or by itself.

My favorite code is grade 2 braille – the short forms and contractions really challenge my brain to learn new symbols to use in words. When I don’t know a contraction, I ask my one of my friends who are more experienced with braille to help me. They will kindly give me the answer and encourage me to practice everyday. This also helps me to enjoy braille more! It’s great to have friends to help you be better at something you aren’t sure of.

I encourage all blind and visually impaired people to learn braille.  Once you learn this code, you will see how much it can bring up your confidence level. It will change your life for the better!

People who have helped me in my braille journey:

  1. My mentor and friend, Ted Hart, who assisted me with braille and gave me a slate and stylus along with braille paper. He would also give me great advice.
  2. Ciara Hall, Courtney Boylan, Iesha Thompson, Sarah and Stephanie Knob, Angie Diaz, Ann and Sam for encouraging me to keep up the good work with braille.
  3. Liz Tinsley and Angie Diaz for quizzing me on the braille contractions.
  4. Others for encouraging me to keep studying braille every day.
  5. Courtney for giving me a braille writer and three packs of paper.
  6. Iowa Department for the Blind for giving me cartridge cards to braille on my braille tape, and workbook and my mini slate and stylus from APH. Also, for letting me borrow their braille library books. Also for teaching me braille.
  7. Ann and Sam for subscribing me to American Action Fund for free braille books.
  8. National Federation of the Blind for encouraging me to learn braille and sending me the Braille Monitor to read. And for the free slate and stylus.
  9. Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired for the braille classes, braille paper and their Spring into Braille program.
  10. The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind for teaching me braille.
  11. My friend Kristian Deolivera for making videos about braille
  12. Yansi for sending braille paper.
  13. Kathleen Resodo for encouraging me to keep learning braille.

How has blindness impacted your world?

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