Past and Present Braille Literacy Among the Blind Population

Here in  the United States, a disturbing change is taking place.  Although about 75,000 people lose their vision every year, and many more are born blind, the percentage of people being taught Braille is extremely low.  Braille is more than just an option, it's the fundamental way for blind people to be literate.  Braille cannot be replaced by magnified print and vision surgery.  Despite popular belief, Braille is easy to learn and fast to read.  A blind child can be proficient in Braille by the time a sighted child is proficient in print, with adequate instruction.  And blind children have demonstrated an average Braille reading speed of over 100 words per minute.

US Statistics in the 1930's

Legally Blind Adults
Total Employment Rate:  Unknown
Total Braille Literacy Percentage: Unknown

Blind Minors

Total High School Dropout Rate: Unknown
Total Percentage Being Taught Braille: 50-60%

Present Statistics in the US

Legally Blind Adults
Total Employment Rate:  Less than 30%
Total Braille Literacy Percentage: Less than 10%

Blind Minors

Total Highschool Dropout Rate: Estimated 50%
Total Percentage Being Taught Braille: 10%

Braille is a key to success that every blind person needs.  Every visually impaired child needs to be taught this treasure chest of knowledge and creativity.