Research in Developmental Disabilities vol:33 issue:5 pages:1366-1379
Similar to many sighted children who struggle with learning to read, a proportion of blind children have specific difficulties related to reading braille which cannot be easily explained. A lot of research has been conducted to investigate the perceptual and cognitive processes behind (impairments in) print reading. Very few studies, however, have aimed for a deeper insight into the relevant perceptual and cognitive processes involved in braille reading. In the present study we investigate the relations between reading achievement and auditory, speech, phonological and tactile processing in a population of Estonian braille reading children and youngsters and matched sighted print readers. Findings revealed that the sequential nature of braille imposes constant decoding and effective recruitment of phonological skills throughout the reading process. Sighted print readers, on the other hand, seem to switch between the use of phonological and lexical processing modes depending on the familiarity, length and structure of the word.