• Changing Times

    From Ardith Hinton@1:153/716 to Richard Webb on Mon Jun 6 23:42:56 2011
    Hi, Richard! Recently you wrote in a message to Ardith Hinton:

    AFrican signal or war drums require a whole lot of
    of space to capture [...] as those drums are designed
    to be heard.

    Ah... like the Scottish war pipes, I guess. :-)

    <this should draw James out of lurk mode>.

    How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm
    After they've seen Paree? 

    -- Joe Young & Sam M. Lewis, 1918

    at that time became the beginning of the big slide down
    the slope of braille illiteracy, which is a crying shame.
    THey were doing experiments with kids reading large print,
    even with desktop magnifiers, etc. I'm sure in Canada as
    well, from stats I"ve seen, but there is currently a
    worldwide braille literacy crisis among blind children.

    I find the trend disturbing too. A family friend who graduates from elementary school this year has a rare syndrome which is causing deterioration in her vision. Years ago I had a student who was in a similar position... and who got Braille lessons from an itinerant teacher who came to the school. Our friend's mother wants her to learn Braille because she's reached a point where the printing has to be enlarged so much that even at elementary level a single word may not necessarily fit onto a single page. But it seems that everywhere Mom goes looking for help she's told "We don't do Braille any more"... (sigh).

    part of that is the mistaken belief that synthesized
    speech, etc. can supplant braille.

    I don't believe it can... not yet, at any rate. I've heard what the synthesized speech on a GPS makes of "Lougheed Highway", "Shaughnessy Street", etc. And as one who's taught developmental reading I understand how important it is to be able to read words in groups & to notice subtleties in intonation.

    DUring the formative years especially it's good for
    children to actually "see" written language, even if
    they "see" it with their fingers, and audio doesn't
    quite make the same connection to the brain.

    Makes sense to me. There is now an increasing body of evidence that human beings can "see" via the skin & I think our friend would take to Braille like a duck to water. She is very sensitive to touch, and she already knows a bit of sign language. As a teacher I generally found a multi-sensory approach most effective... i.e. the more connections one can establish the better. :-)

    --- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
    * Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver CANADA (1:153/716)