How do the blind read?

I have always wondered how difficult it must be for the blind to read. Thanks to Louis Braille, it isn’t as it seems. Learning Braille is pretty much like the normal 2-D alphabet children learn to read by visualising and interpreting. While, it seems, that the alphabet is more visual, Braille is tactile. Interestingly, reading Braille also involves the cells that are associated with vision.

As popularly believed, is it true that the blind have special “powers”?
The activation of different parts of the brain is different, but it’s not like it enhances other abilities. This too is not entirely true. For example, let’s take a hypothetical land which has different smells for different places. A sighted person, say A, can walk there normally without even noticing the smells. But if A closes her eyes and tries to walk she initially may have a lot of difficulty. Gradually, it will become easier for her. Does this necessarily involve different brain wiring? Its similar to increasing reading speed with every book read. This amazing post by a visually impaired writer clarifies this doubt.

Will Braille ever be replaced?
In my opinion, Braille can be replaced but only by any other readable thing. Technology, for example complete audio interpretation is very unlikely. This is analogous to whether the practice of writing alphabet can be completely extinct, which I believe is not really possible.

Have you ever thought why we have only 5 senses and is is possible to create new senses?


Are we like microcomputers in which input and
output devices  can be inserted and removed?

Watch this fascinated TED Talk by David Eagleman:

Freaky fact: Everyone is born color blind. Vincent Van Gogh was once color blind!

Fun fact: Blind people smile even though they haven’t seen anyone smile.

A social message:
About 80% of visual impairment cases can be prevented. It’s just there are not enough donors. This is for so many more diseases. Why don’t people not donate their organs even after they die? The reasons are varied, one of them being, people believe that being brain dead does not mean actual death until all the organs stop working. That is not true. Brain dead means death. With all due respect to everyone’s reasons, I would just like to request everyone to consider being donors.

Have a stupid question? I love stupid questions.
Comment or email me at


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