Stylus in hand, slate on the table, Mme Agnes Tabi Ashu is bent over writing using the language of the blind, the Braille.
On this 4th January 2018, World Braille Day, the blind lady explains how the Braille has helped her.
“I got blind at the age of thirty while I was a state-registered nurse,” she begins.
Agnes Tabi explains that she learned just the basics of the Braille in order to meet up with her day-to-day communication needs.
“I studied the it in order to be able to discuss with others, read on my own and effectively communicate especially when I was selected to represent Central Africa at the African Forum of Blind Women.”
Is it easy to use the Braille?
“For those born blind, learning how to use the Braille is easy as their sense of touch is already very sensitive,” Agnes Tabi says.
“As for me, the beginning was a little difficult but I finally got comfortable. It is actually pretty easy,” the lady in her sixties goes on to explain.
The Braille however requires maximum attention, “That is why a blind person concentrates a lot when writing and should be allowed to focus,” Agnes indicates with a smile.
How does the Braille work?
It all begins with inserting a blank A4 sheet of paper into the slate.
A stylus (works like a pen) is then used to write from right to left.
Writing using the Braille involves making some points (dots) on the paper.
When writing is done, the writing board is turned over then opened and reading could be done from left to right by feeling the points (dots).
The Braille Watch
The blind just like every other human being need the services of a clock or watch.
Apart from a talking clock or watch, Agnes uses a Braille watch too!
All she has to do is feel the face of this special clock and read the time.
It is worth mentioning that as technology evolves, the Braille is not only being taught in schools; it is also being incorporated into other communication media like telephones so as to ease communication for and with the blind.
The Braille, it should be recalled, is “a system of writing invented by Louis Braille, in which letters and some combinations of letters are represented by raised dots arranged in three rows of two dots each and are read by the blind and partially sighted using the fingertips.”
Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi