Braille courses for adults

We offer a range of interesting, useful courses for touch or sighted adult learners, covering uncontracted and contracted braille.

Choosing the right braille course for you

We want you to pick the right courses for you. This section of the website lists all the courses we offer for adults. You can browse through them to pick the right course for you, or we can help you get straight to the right courses for you:

Learn uncontracted (grade 1) braille

Grade 1 braille translates each print character into a braille character or cell. It is great for basic labelling of objects like CDs, canned food in the cupboard.

Courses for touch learners

We recommend Dot-to-dot

Dot-to-dot is a self-teach uncontracted braille (grade 1) course. There are two versions of the course available: Dot-to-dot for sighted learners and Dot-to-dot for touch learners.

You may also be interested in Firsthand

Firsthand is not designed as self-teach course. It should be taught by someone with a good knowledge of braille and touch reading techniques.

Courses for sighted learners

We recommend Dot-to-dotThis is a self-teach uncontracted braille (grade 1) course. There are two versions of the course available: Dot-to-dot for sighted learners and Dot-to-dot for touch learners.

Learn contracted (grade 2) braille

If you enjoy braille and would like to go further, you can learn the complete braille code which is known as contracted braille.

Contracted braille is used by more experienced braille users. It's quicker to read and write than uncontracted braille, and also takes up less space.

Courses for touch learners

Fingerprint helps you learn how to touch-read and write contracted braille (grade 2) from scratch.

One Day Literary Braille course

If you're already familiar with Standard English Braille, but want to up your skills to Unified English Braille (UEB), this bespoke One Day Literary Braille course could be for you.

Courses for sighted learners

The RNIB Certificate in Contracted braille is a distance learning course aimed at any sighted learner who supports individuals using braille, such as parents, teachers, teaching assistants and support workers. It is also open to anyone who has a specific interest in braille.

The Birmingham Braille Course is intended for sighted learners who wish to teach themselves to read and write contracted (grade 2) braille.

The Braille Primer is a comprehensive guide to contracted (grade 2) braille. The Braille Primer is suitable for those people wanting to learn to write braille or to become transcribers.

Other contracted (grade 2) resources

You might find our range of braille rules and reference books useful.

Support a braille learner

We offer a range of material designed to help you support braille learners.

Braille teaching methods

Sense and sensitivity, written by Nigel Berry

This specialist book focuses on how to teach braille reading and writing to adults and young people who are losing or have lost their sight.

The book is based on Nigel Berry's extensive experience, both as a successful teacher of braille, and as the author of two widely-used braille reading schemes published by RNIB.

It provides a structure for introducing braille to new touch readers, guidance on establishing good reading and writing techniques and selecting appropriate resources. The book includes unique insights into the development of shape and pattern perception through touch. The book is available in our online shop.

Welsh braille

RNIB Cymru run a reading and writing Welsh braille course from uncontracted braille (grade 1) up to contracted braille (grade 2). The course is also accessible to non Welsh speakers who want to learn Welsh braille. There is also a library of Welsh books in braille and a catalogue is available on request.

For more information about Welsh braille, please contact RNIB Cymru on telephone 029 2045 0440 or email accessibleinfocymru@rnib.org.uk

Myths about learning braille later in life

There's really just one big myth (perhaps more a fear) about learning braille as an adult: it's too hard. It's true that most people who are blind or partially sighted lose their sight later in life. It's also true that after a lifetime of reading by sight, the prospect of learning to read all over again can seem daunting. But don't let this put you off. Many people who lose sight in their later years go on to be successful braille users.

It's up to you how proficient in braille you wish to be, but it's worth remembering that just a little braille can make a big difference and will give you greater independence. Learning uncontracted (grade 1) braille will open the door to activities like playing cards, doing crosswords or labelling personal items.

Everyday braille leaflet

This leaflet is for anyone wanting to find out about braille and how it is used, particularly the friends and families of blind and partially sighted people.

Sighted people can learn the braille alphabet from its pages.

It explains how a little braille knowledge can be used to enhance the life and independence of a blind or partially sighted person.

Get your copy from our online shop.

Donate now

Right now we can only reach one in three of the people who need our help most. Please make a donation and help us support more blind and partially sighted people.

Donate now