2018-08-04 19:27:49

Not that I read braille very often in the first place, but to get strait to the point, I can't read with my left hand. I mean i can just barely recognise little things like, the, and, etc. But I was talking with a friend of mine, and she said that she learned to read with both of her hands moving across the page, and that she's never heard of anyone reading with only one hand! So now I've just been wondering if I was supposed to learn to read with my left hand as well, and if that's the case, why my teachers didn't catch my only using one hand when I was learning. Maybe  I should contact the library for the blind, and have those big bulky books shipped to my house, just so I can somehow tie my right hand behind my back and try to read with only my left hand lol. Actually it really wouldn't be worth doing at this point, as it's been about a year sence I've even seen anything in braille, but I'm curious anyway.

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2018-08-04 19:44:34

Answer this question: What works for you? With practice, could you read with both hands? If so, great! Do it! It will increase your reading speed a lot. However, I only use one hand, but I have blindness, as well as a mild but effective case of Cerebral Palsy. I can still read a good 215 to 238 words per minute with one hand. Do what works for you.
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2018-08-04 21:43:00

Interesting. I was going to ask somebody about this, but mine is the opposite. I can only read with my left hand, while with my right one everything feels so weird and I never got the hang of it.

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2018-08-04 22:52:09

I can read with my right hand only, I've tried reading with my left hand but it just didn't work.
My reading speed isn't bad, and I also wasn't the fastest one in my class at that time.
It's been a very long time since  I've read a book in braille though tbh.
I don't think it is something wrong if you are not able to read with your left hand as well as your right one, it is just that everyone is different imo.

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2018-08-04 23:24:46

I myself read with both hands, when I need to read braille. But whatever works for you, if you can only read with one hand, go ahead, it's not going to hurt anything.

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2018-08-04 23:28:01

It kind of gets to be a problem when for example playing the piano and you must play with one hand and read notes with another one, which is kind of why I was trying to fix that but never actually tried hard enough.

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2018-08-05 02:03:38

I know some teachers try to get students to use both hands, and as many fingers as possible at that. I find I can do it faster mostly just using my index fingers on both hands, although I can read with the others, thumbs, etc. I'm not sure what it is that affects how this works for different people.
Someone once asked if it was possible to read braille with other parts of your body than just fingers. It turns out I cannot read with my feet, but can with my lips, but far from quickly.

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2018-08-05 02:09:33

This is actually very interesting to read about.
I myself was taught to read using both hands, with my left hand starting on the next line as my right neared the end of the page to speed things up ever so slightly. But that also only works for paper, I do still use both hands on a display though. It's also been a year or two now since I've had to read any braille, period.

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2018-08-05 04:21:01

Yuck braille music! I've never hated braille more than when I had to struggle my way through musical notes. Also unless your a college student or music student in the US, braille music is very hard to come by for personal use. Plus how do you play a stringed instrument that requires both hands at all times? I play guitar, mandolin, ukulele, dulcimer, and a little banjo.
If I need to learn a song, I listen hard to the notes they're playing in a lesson on youtube. It's very hard, but it's the only thing that works, and doesn't cost a boat load of money.
Getting back on topic, it's interesting to hear how other people can read braille. I would like to try reading braille with my lips and feet, but I only have a braille display to use, so it would probably be better not to try doing that now lol!

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2018-08-05 05:34:07

Interesting, I can't say I've ever tried to read Braille with anything other than my hands, nor can I imagine it. The thought of reading Braille with my lips kind of makes me want to giggle, if I'm honest. I was also taught to read with both hands, so I'm used to it, but I can't judge someone for using a different method. Hell, there are sighted people who read more slowly for any number of reasons. Oh, but the blindies make us look bad by not being literate! I hear the unseen mob shout. No, they don't. Not those who are actually trying, anyway. You do you, in other words.

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2018-08-05 06:00:04

I cannot read with my right hand. I am not great at braille, never have been, topping out at a snail's 35 wpm. However, what you're supposed to do is read with your right hand, and track with your left. Tracking means to stay on the line you're at and not really move, then drop down when your right hand returns to the start of the line so you always have a reference. That's on paper though,which is what I learned on, because braille displays were not really prevalent, turning out to be a few cells or something.

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2018-08-05 06:21:08

Braille Music isn't that bad in my opinion, if you give it the proper time and dedication. Just out of curiosity, how many on here are reading this topic with a display and writing with it?

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2018-08-05 10:42:13

I read braille with my right index finger, personally. I'm happy with single line spaced, but since I was never really keen on reading, contracted braille slows me down. without all that, I can read up to around 50 words per minute. people tried forcing, yes, forcing, me to use 2 hands, but they just had to give up at the end. I showed them how to braille 1 handed on the purkinz while I was at it, now that truly pissed them off. LOL those days.

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2018-08-05 10:57:41

People who read using two hands are usually slower than those that don't. Your second hand would most likely slow you down instead of helping. Don't listen to anybody though, read like you like it. With your right hand, with your left, or with your lips, it doesn't really matter as long as you can read.

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2018-08-05 11:11:44

this is really interesting. I always read with just the two index fingers. I wonder if there are methods to use, as our sighted counterparts have, to speed up reading for example. Some people, like my father can just skim through an e-mail and read it in less than 30 seconds. I actually have not counted how many words per minute I manage, probably 50 or a so, because spanish stenography (or contractions, or grade two as a lot of u.s. people call it) is harder and rare to come by, and even in translators its not even fully done, which is a bit of a shame.

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2018-08-05 15:11:14

I was taught to read with both hands, with usually the index and middle fingers on both hands playing the same part, but the right hand sometimes tracking to the end of the line, the left going down the page.

I have tried a few other body parts, I can read with the top of my palms but not the heal of my hands or the back, not with my feet though I did once read lift buttons with my chin whilst carrying a package big_smile.

A braille display I can't speak about since expense has always made them prohibitively expensive for me, and these days I prefer to just use a screen reader anyway, with audiobooks for actual books when I can get them.

Braille reading I always found rather slower than desired. I had a relatively high reading speed but always found it cumbersome.

Oh and I'm afraid brailel music I regard as the spawn of Satan, though that is possibly at least partly due to my very evil specialist boarding school who made it a weekly torture,  why the hell you can't call a c a c I don't know.

Interestingly  enough on the music angle, there was a section in one book I read on the history of blindness and education for my phd which stated that specialist schools taught music as a repetitive craft rather than an art, with students being taught enough music to learn a specific curriculum or work in an accepted blind profession such as Organist or piano tuner, but not actually enough to understand or appreciate much musically beyond that.

This definitely describes my specialist school's method of teaching, indeed its ironic that I learned far more about music theory, scales, key signatures, time signatures, dynammics and notation etc from my sighted flute teacher than I ever did from two years of so called "music" at specialist school, yet my flute teacher was teaching me to play by ear.

Still, I confess even later when I've looked at braille music solo the system just seems intrinsically illogical to me, particularly since these days I can learn by ear far more quickly and easily anyway.

If people find braille music useful, fair enough,though myself it wouldn't be something I'd recommend.

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2018-08-05 15:53:28 (edited by wightfall 2018-08-05 15:58:50)

oh interesting question since I have been reading this topic let me give my opinion
I was using only left hand for reading braille book when I trying read with right hand it odd I don't know what latter I was catching actually is
if I know this latter just take around 10 seconds at minimum
so I decided give up using right hand for reading braille
since I use only left hand don't know about how much word I can read per minute due to English braille have grade 1 and grade 2 so I don't know you guys count as grade 1 or 2
I myself not recommend braille display since it has expensive not worth expent though nowadays we have new technology coming full with screen reader support
but for anyone who want instrument that related braille i'd recommend braille notaker it worthwhile than braille display
never consider using other part in body reading braille book before but most of us can't use other part except finger with both or single hand lol
anyway do the thing that you comfortable with don't try to make your self waist valuable time unless you interested and concentrate on them otherwise do as you like
oh I forgotten about how I increase my speed when reading braille
I only use right hand for scro until last latter then move to next line that make I know I have to change line but for anyone who have some tips that increase speed up please let me know on that tread

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2018-08-05 20:09:23 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2018-08-05 20:11:35)

well, as for music braille
I find really no good use when learning pieces, but I find it helpful for rhythm reading. I also find it helpful for storing bits of information. Or for checking what you play versus what is written. Giving a rather defensive posture, I think a c  cannot be a c in music braille because the letter C desperately and miserably tries to look like a real tie in print, in other words, since a tie connects notes of same pitch it is usually a horizontal line. Its a really lame excuse in my book anyway. And I am surprised that even in the 2015 edition of the music braille manual things like these have not been addressed fully. I mean making a system for music representation is no easy task--you try an go and do it yourself, but again the system as most say is pretty inefficient and laborious and there could be other, better ways of doing it. I am a couple of days away from getting the inexpensive orbit 20, (just waiting for it to arrive, because I paid  for it a long time ago) I bought it just for reading. just because in the end there is something special about you being able to read with your fingers ... its sort of, an intimacy time with the text, if you will. Its basic but worthy note taking features are what most probably will ever need too. I like that they give you the option of reading a book and have a shortcut to directly edit the last file you were on before, then switch back immediately to the book again. Its almost, like highlighting and taking notes on what your read.
Being it almost a pocket sized display, it means I can read pretty much everywhere I have free time. Like traffic jams or waiting for a friend to arrive. I think that is much better and more secure than carrying a cumbersome laptop and headphones setup, or having the smartphone battery drain just because i am reading a book (having a power bank does not count lol).

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2018-08-05 21:07:14 (edited by redfox 2018-08-05 21:07:38)

personally, i only use my left hand to read braille, but i can read slowly with my right hand if i need to, i'd say it's worth practicing with both hands, rather individually or together, your choice, but i myself recommend one handed, with your dominant hand, preferrably.

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2018-08-06 04:56:32

when I read braille on my low-cost $449 orbit reader20 braille display, I mostly just use my right hand. I only use my left hand when reading music braille.

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2018-08-06 07:33:57 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2018-08-06 07:37:14)

ok, if there is ever  anyone interested, I found a stenography  or grade two Spanish course. Its dated 1998, and even though I am not sure if that would be the latest (its been hard to come up with something stable because Spanish is spoken in so many countries) it seems to be pretty legit and complete. of course, the entire text is in Spanish and sadly in .doc form but its totally doable as there are tables with the signs, their exact dots and what they mean. The course gives you exercises at the end of each section, and a cheat sheet with the answer to every exercise. Signs are grouped using the same logic for teaching braille to sighted, like a through j first, and then k through r, and so on. As you might expect, just like in English, there are common words linked to single letters. For example,
B for the word bien, c for the word con, k for the word al, ETC.
Other signs, are used too, probably way more than in English for single words. like the & symbol stand for ella, and a few accented letters, like ú stand for según.

the thing is that, as with any complex language like Spanish, endings are more difficult and require way more context. And so it can get really really abbreviated but its doable as well. And at last you have contractions. For example dots 2 3 6 stands for "er", dots 1 2 6 for "em" and so on.

Of course I really doubt there would be many books using abbreviated Spanish Braille (some efforts certainly had been made to revive it) but I don't think it took off as well as it did with English.

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2018-08-06 14:33:11

Hi! I too was taught to read with both hands, but I've always failed at it. I read with just my right hand and the left index at the beginning of the new line that awaits me. For music, I've played piano for 3 years, never liked it, but I remember I memorized all the song's notes before playing it so that I had both hands free to press the keys. It was a pain!

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2018-08-06 20:21:47 (edited by musicalman 2018-08-06 20:25:32)

Anthony002, you basically posed your question the same way I would have. And I fully agree with the statement that you should do what works for you. The only time you should really worry about it is if you know that the benefits of getting faster outweigh the frustrations of taking 2 steps back to hopefully come forward 3 steps in the end.

Personally I think that if you can read at a comfortable speaking pace, that should be fast enough for most needs. Your dominant hand can do that with practice, so I don't know why people who don't use their non-dominant hand for reading are so disadvantaged. The argument I often see is that if you read with both hands, one hand is always reading while the other is moving down to the next line, so there is no pause between lines. They told me that in school anyway. But for me, moving down to the next line didn't take long at all, because I used my left hand as a marker, so when my right hand reached the end of the line, my left hand would move down and my right hand would swing over to meet it. I don't think those short pauses were too significant. If there was anything I had to work on, I think it was just reading words faster, which left-handed reading wouldn't have helped much with. So my left hand really never got practice, and I struggle to read even short words with it. Granted, there may be situations where braille speedreading is preferred. Maybe for reading long books or the like, but for me, braille reading was always a little tiring, not to mention cumbersome with hard copies. I'm a very auditory person so there's a little voice in my head reading aloud when I read braille. It just made sense for me to use speech, and over time I have been able to speed my speech up quite a lot.

Now what's really strange is that while I can only read braille with my right hand, I can write braille with either hand on its own. I only do it with note takers, I don't at all want to try it on a Perkins. Those keys are wider and much heavier. When I did try it once, my fingers almost got caught between the keys.

The first time I remember brailling with one hand, I was 10 I think. I was being lazy and sort of laying on my side and wanted to open a document on my Braille Note and read it with speech, and only one hand was within reach of the keys, and I discovered that I could do the keystrokes and get it going without getting up. Then I got curious and tried actually brailling that way. Anything involving both dots 3 and 6 was a bit of a stretch, and dots in the middle made it harder. I remember y being especially difficult; my hand wasn't able to contort enough to reach all the keys at once. I had to split it out into handfuls, hitting some keys on one side such as 1 3 4, then holding 4 so I could pivot over to the other side and hit 5 and 6. And since the letter y is common, it slowed me down. I used to practice sometimes, because that's the odd sort of person I am, and after experimenting with different angles and allowing my hands to grow a little, I could do those letters more easily without splitting them out. The same couldn't be said for full cells though! Those I either always split out or just didn't use the contraction.

I of course rarely needed to braille with one hand, but it did become useful when I wanted to make electronic copies of hard copy braille papers. I would often sit at a big table with the paper on my right and Braille Note on the left pointed at a 45-degree angle. I would read with my right hand and type with the left. I think it was faster than going back and forth with both hands, and I know it required less concentration since I didn't have to memorize a phrase at a time, I could just allow my hands to pace with each other without too much thinking.

I dunno, it seems kinda funny how I can braille and type with either hand on its own but reading with the left is almost impossible. I guess the neural pathways for feeling fine tactile details are different than those for manipulating larger things. Maybe playing piano from an early age made it easy for my brain to grasp typing on a keyboard more intuitively, but didn't help me learn to read braille so much? Perhaps.. Though I bet braille music would've made my left hand proficient at reading. I never used braille music though.

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2018-08-11 07:31:46

I also wondered this. I can only read with my left index finger and nothing else. Well I can with some other fingers but way too slow to make it worth it. Never tried with any other body part, but now I'm curious to test it. I'm interested to know if the two finger thing actually makes it any faster. Not that I really use braille anymore, but it does have its occasional uses.

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2018-08-13 02:14:41

has anyone had any luck when reading 8 dot computer braille_ I say this because links are really, really hard to read on my braille display. I really confuses me, since NVDA shows underlined text with dots 7 and 8 underneath.

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