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Student shares experience of using braille to learn at Waco ISD

Bilan Garcia-Cardona loves to read and write. He’s also visually impaired and only speaks Spanish, which means he has to learn in a different way.
Student shares experience of using braille to learn at Waco ISD
Posted at 1:03 PM, Jan 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-04 14:03:45-05

WACO, Texas — Thursday is World Braille Day — named after its inventor, the day recognizes the importance of reading and writing systems.

A Waco ISD student who is visually impaired and only speaks Spanish, shared his experience with 25 News about how he learns with braille in Waco ISD.

Meet Bilan Garcia-Cardona — this is his first ever public school experience at Provident Heights Elementary.

Bilan loves to read and write. He’s also visually impaired and only speaks Spanish, which means he has to learn in a different way.

Bilan uses special tools like a braille writing machine and braille books that he can touch and feel.

Waco ISD is helping Bilan succeed.

“The first time I worked with Bilan he said ‘I’m going to be able to read, will I really be able to read?' — everyone deserved the ability to have literacy,” Audrey Kelley said.

Kelley teaches students who are visually impaired.

She says the district provides several books, flashcards and assignments in braille.

“Our librarian here at Provident Heights and is working with me to have him pick out a pile of books every week for me to put Braille into," Kelley said.

"I’m having to add that braille in because it’s not something that we can mass produce on the printer in the same way."

Kelley says using braille in everyday life can help Bilan and other students connect.

“You go to any building, you’re going to see braille with the number of the room that you’re walking into, or braille where you are," Kelley said.

"Once you see it you can’t unsee it."

Kelly said of the 30 visually impaired students, only two use braille — there are two levels of braille and different codes used for math.