To Braille or Not? Didn’t We Cover This Already?
Lunch with friends and a discussion about braille in their lives…
MS, just on the other side of 60, who likes his Thai food spicy, learned braille in public school during the 60’s in Maine. As a student, many of his books were provided on reel-to-reel tape, and he lugged the recorder around with him. MS reported that he always had enough vision that braille was not something he used outside of school. He reported he was able to keep up with the other students with audio book. As an adult he reports he can still recognize baille code visually, but is unable to read with his fingers because of reduced sensitivity n his fingers. He sees no reason to use braille himself, but recognizes the need for braille for literacy.
DS, who is maybe 50, and likes his Thai food a bit tamer, never learned braille in school and was driving until 25 before he was determined legally blind. Now, with very little vision, DS reported that “Hadley saved me,” (Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired offer many correspondence courses including braille). After vision diminished, DS taught himself braille quickly to keep up with his work as an agricultural consultant. He reported that he uses braille everywhere in the shed, in the field, with tools, primarily for labeling. Like others DS reported he’s used tech for labeling but had it stop working, or dealt with slow tech support and finds that using a metal slate and stylus on durable material like a heavy vinyl tape makes lasting labels he can wipe clean as needed, and read without batteries. The slate and stylus are about $13 and the labeling tape, negligible.
DS reported that he is not a reader of literary braille per se, but he does use contracted braille for labeling and can’t imagine not using braille.
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