by James Salsido
I have always loved to read and write stories. I was lucky enough to be able to read books with normal-sized print thanks to a pair of reading glasses, and I continued to do so for many years, barely noticing the way my vision was changing — until a few years ago when I realized I was reading for 15 minutes at a time instead of 2 hours the way I used to. This scared me badly. So, I decided to learn how to read Braille.
I fell in love with the system almost at once, realizing that I could use it to read the way I had when I was younger. One day, a thought came to me as I was reading a Stephen King book; someone had to read the print version of this book and then rewrite — or to be more accurate, emboss — the raised dots I felt beneath my fingers, and I thought “I want to do that, too.” Today I am in the middle of a class that will allow me to do just that. I feel so grateful to Louis Braille (and the many others) who have made it possible to read again, and I am really excited to be able to give others the same opportunity this fantastic language has given to me.
James Salsido is a guest contributor to Exceptions. Salsido lives in Romeo, Michigan, and is legally blind, and is currently in training to become a Literary Braille Transcriber.