Learning Braille Solo

book covers of Illinois braille series. with picture of Lincoln on front with cardinal sitting on shoulder

Did you grow up reading print and now find yourself not able to read it very well or maybe not at all? Do you miss the freedom that reading gives you? Are you curious about learning to read braille, but have no idea where to start? Well, keep reading for information about a great resource and some help too!  

There’s just something about the ability to pick up a piece of paper (no matter if it has print or braille letters on it) and read it independently. It can be a real confidence booster. Whether you miss reading hard-copy books or audiobooks just aren’t your thing, or maybe you just want to be able to learn a new way to read a restaurant menu on your own again—this is a resource you will want to explore. Designed specifically for adults who used to read print but who now find themselves wanting to read braille, the Illinois Braille Series is a two-book series that teaches the Unified English Braille system in a comprehensive way.  (Note this book is not the best option for children to learn braille) 

More About the Illinois Braille Series

Book One of the Illinois Series is one volume that covers the braille alphabet and punctuation marks. Book Two is comprised of two volumes and teaches the rest of the Unified English Braille (UEB) system. Each time a new letter is introduced, you feel that capital letter in raised print, and under it is the corresponding braille letter. Below that you are given various letters to read. Once you have learned enough letters to make words, you are shown words containing the letters you have learned. After that, you’re given sentences to reinforce your new letters. There are also writing-practice drills later in the book.  

Some people just want to learn braille to be able to read signs outside of restrooms or elevator buttons. Other people want to learn braille so they can curl up on the sofa with a book again and read albeit with their fingers instead of their eyes. Some people want to play cards! It doesn’t matter what your reason is for learning braille, the Illinois Series can help you achieve your goals.  

It’s always great to have a braille instructor, but the reality is that not all of us have access to someone who can walk through a braille course with us. The great thing about the Illinois Braille Series is that you can purchase a print copy of the books as well.  If you get stuck, a sighted family member or friend can find the line you are on and provide some assistance. Another great resource to know about is that Sharon, one of the ConnectCenter I&R specialists, has the books on her desk, and can provide brief assistance from time to time if you really get into a pickle! 

Additional Information 

Reading and Writing Uncontracted Braille | Hadley