Published January 1, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

The Braille Reading Skills of German speaking Students and young Adults with Visual Impairments

  • 1. University of Education Heidelberg
  • 2. University of Applied Sciences in Special Needs Education Zurich


This study aims to investigate the literacy skills of braille readers in the areas of reading fluency, reading and listening comprehension, and spelling. A total of 119 German-speaking, braille readers aged between 11.0 and 22.11 years were tested for this purpose. Data collection was carried out using a questionnaire, psychometric tests and self-constructed assessments. Wherever possible, the results were compared with the standards of sighted peers. Regarding reading fluency, braille readers performed significantly slower than print readers. In terms of spelling, the braille users performed within an average range of sighted peers. Furthermore, a positive correlation was obtained between braille reading fluency and spelling, whereas the use of auditory aids (e.g. speech output) showed a negative correlation with braille reading fluency and spelling. In addition, a comparison between listening and reading within the study sample revealed that reading braille proved to be better for comprehension, although listening was significantly faster. In conclusion, the findings provide evidence that braille reading skills are important for the development of literacy skills in general. Nevertheless, listening skills are important and need to be systematically promoted.


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10.1177/02646196209676 (DOI)