Braille vs. Speech: Making Sense of the DebateBy Halliday, Jim; Closing the Gap, Vol. 17, No. 6, pp. 6-7, 26-27, 36
Publication Date: February/March 1999
Article discussing the use of braille versus speech output devices by individuals who are blind or have low vision. The author believes that it is necessary to get past an either-or mindset on this issue. He discusses the effects of multiple disabilities and different learning styles, and asserts the importance for literacy of using multiple pathways within the brain. He argues that electronic media, which can appear in either braille or print formats, are different from fixed media such as braille books or cassette tapes. He surveys the differences in how our minds relate to specific types of written material (fiction, poetry and drama, technical manuals, reference books, journal articles versus magazine and newspaper articles, notes, signs and labels, advertisements, web pages, charts, tables, graphs, maps, spreadsheets, mathematics, and computer code), and discusses how braille and speech satisfy the varying cognitive needs involved in reading and writing these different types of material. His conclusion is that blind people need both braille and speech.
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)
Link to text: http://www.closingthegap.com/solutions/articles/1999-02-01