Teaching the Blind: An Electronic Project at Sevenoaks

Christopher M. Thomas
1981, Vol. 13, No. 2,

Abstract


Roddy Fairweather from Sevenoaks School in Kent designed an electronic device which teaches young blind children to recognise and learn braille letter forms.

'I did it, Miss Fulton, 1did it!' exclaimed Neil Thomas. It was a moment of joy for all those present because Neil has always been blind and at seven was learning to read braille letters by touch. It was this exclamation that meant success for both himself and for Roddy who had only just finished making the machine Neil was using. It had made a funny noise as reward for Neil's correct recognition of the letter 'P'. The other children in the class were cheering but Roddy and Neil's teacher, MissFulton, were watching with a critical eye for ways of improving the device. This was, in fact, Roddy's 'A' level Design project being evaluated under the stiffest conditions. Apart from all the observations one could make about the design itself, it was a moving experience and a very valuable one for Roddy. Neil was learning, being rewarded immediately for recognising the letters, and enjoying himself! Roddy was putting his work to the acid test and was being made aware of the value of what he had done. MissFulton, perhaps was dreaming of all her children acquiring these devices!


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