My gratitude is due to a number of people and institutions. Foremost is the Department of Experimental Psychology of the University of Oxford for providing the stimulating intellectual climate and facilities without which it would not have been possible to write this book. A research grant from 'Blindness: Research for Learning, Work and Leisure' contributed financial support which is gratefully acknowledged. The Birmingham University Centre for the Education of Visually Handicapped Children has been an indispensable source of information. I was honoured to be awarded the title of Honorary Senior Research Fellow by that Department. The experimental research on which this book is based was supported throughout by the Economic and Social Research Council, formerly the Social Research Council.
My particular thanks are due to the children and young people who participated in my studies, and to their teachers and head-teachers, for their unfailing cooperation and interest. I am greatly indebted also to the adult braillists and former print readers who gave their time so generously. Relatively few people work on touch. The interchanges with colleagues and their studies in this field have been invaluable, as has the communication with other developmental and cognitive psychologists. The book is dedicated to Fergus for his constant support and encouragement.