Less than 10 percent of the 1.3 million Americans who are blind can read braille, according to a report released Thursday by the National Federation of the Blind. And that means that the visually impaired are less likely to excel academically, be employed or live independently.

In 1950 about 50 percent of people who were blind learned braille. But today Braille is seen as difficult and outdated and few teachers are trained to provide instruction in the system of raised dots. Instead, many people rely on audio technology, reports the Associated Press. To read more click here.

“Braille is said to be slow and inefficient, difficult to learn, unnecessary in light of new technology and something that isolates blind students from their sighted peers. But the blind know these myths to be false, and studies have shown that Braille leads to employment opportunities, independence and self-confidence for blind people,” says Fredric K. Schroeder, a vice president at the National Federation of the Blind.

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