點與線的選擇:十九世紀末臺灣盲用文字的演變

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2020-03-??

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國立台灣師範大學特殊教育學系
National Taiwan Normal University Department of Special Education

Abstract

臺灣盲人特殊教育迄今已有一百三十多年的歷史,不過目前對早期盲人教育的瞭解非常有限且有不少訛傳。本文旨在探討與釐清十九世紀末,臺灣盲人所使用的文字系統及其演變過程。使用之資料主要來自英國與臺灣基督教會與圖書館保存的歷史檔案與相關書籍。從英國格拉斯哥大學的特藏室,與臺灣基督長老教會歷史檔案館所保留的盲人讀本,可以得知早期臺灣盲用文字至少有穆恩字體(Moon)和布萊爾點字(Braille)兩種。但根據史料記載,在此之前盲人可能還使用過近似羅馬字母的亞士頓(Alston)線體字。從亞士頓、穆恩等線體字到使用布萊爾點字,過去視為不可避免的進步趨勢。然而盲文字體的選擇涉及許多不同考量,而非單純由學習效率或製作成本來決定。甘為霖考慮不同年齡層盲人的需要而決定點線並用,穆瑞則從盲童發展到文盲明眼人的教育因此將點連成線,最後羅馬字母點字成為主流主要則是考慮到中國方言種類與教會發展之歷史因素。過去許多障礙研究以為,早期特殊教育多由健全者(able-bodied)的角度出發,而不是基於障礙學生自身的需要。障礙權利意識抬頭之後,布萊爾點字和手語才開始為盲啞學校所接受。然而實際上盲文字體的選擇牽涉因素很多,許多時候是同時考慮障礙者與非障礙者的結果。
Although special education has been provided to people who are blind for morethan 130 years in Taiwan, little is known about its early development. The purpose of thisarticle was to explore and clarify reading systems used by people who are blind in Taiwanduring the late 19th century, as well as describe the evolution of these systems. Methods:The majority of materials used in this study were historical archives and books maintainedby Christian churches and libraries in the United Kingdom and Taiwan. These data wereanalyzed and compared to determine the types of reading systems for people who are blindthat were used in Taiwan during the late 19th century and to reveal reasons for their adoption.Results/Findings: Textbooks for people who are blind maintained in the special collectionroom of the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, and the historical archives room ofthe Presbyterian Church in Taiwan revealed at least two reading systems, namely Moon typeand Braille type. However, according to historical records, people who are blind may alsohave used Alston type, which is similar to the Roman alphabet, before Moon type and Brailletype were adopted. The evolution from line-based reading systems, such as Alston typeand Moon type, to the dotted Braille type has often been regarded as inevitable. However,the choice of reading system requires consideration of many different factors in addition tolearning efficiency and production cost. William Campbell considered the varying needs ofpeople who are blind of different ages and thus decided to use both dots and lines. As forWilliam Murray, he employed Braille for children who are blind and later connected the dotsinto lines to teach sighted illiterate people. Braille, which is based on the Roman alphabet,triumphed as the mainstream reading system in Taiwan due to the variety of Chinesedialects and the history of missionary work. Conclusions/Implications: Disability studieshave often argued that early special education was developed from the perspective of the able-bodied, without considering the needs of students with disabilities. Only with risingawareness of disability rights did Braille and sign language become accepted by schoolsfor children who are blind and those who are deaf. Nevertheless, many practical factors areinvolved in the choice of the reading system for people who are blind, and the decision infact results from the simultaneous consideration of people both with and without disabilities.

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