Though sighted, I learned to read Braille as a child. My best friend in elementary school was L., who had been blind since infancy. L. was mainstreamed into our public school classroom with the help of a teaching aide, who read Braille and corrected the assignments that L. produced on her Braille typewriter. L. taught me how to read Braille too, and gave me a stylus and a slate so that I could punch out the symbols myself and hence write letters and stories in Braille. We had great fun reading to each other, using our respective fingers and eyes; she would accuse me of cheating when I scanned the Braille page visually instead of feeling out the narrative with my fingertips.
I have somewhere read the theory (and now can't remember the source) that literacy is a cause of aggression (if I'm recalling correctly, this theory held that the cognitive norms of pre-literate or non-literate societies are somehow more productive of peaceful human interaction). The Times article seems to suggest, however, that the inability to read, now prevalent among the non-Braille-tutored blind, gives rise to chaotic, disorganized thinking, which seems to me one of the root causes of aggression.
Above: "Blind Tom" Wiggins, a nineteenth-century piano prodigy and autistic savant.