[accessibleimage] Re: Future of braille?

what argument is this?  I don't remember invalidating any arguments.

-- Jonnie Apple Seed
With his:
Hands-On Technolog(eye)s



On Jan 8, 2006, at 7:13 PM, Blackburn, Alan wrote:

David

Sorry mate, I may have given you the wrong impression, I’m sighted!! Does this make my argument more or less valid? You decide. At the end of the day communication is all, how you do it is neither here nor there, different horses for different courses … etc.



You make a good point about reaching beyond braille to a larger audience. It’s nice to see the embracing of technology (finally) by the visually impaired, I’m all in favour of it, though I still maintain braille has its (very important) place, the more tools one has to do it the better I reckon!. Now, if only that technology was more blind friendly …



Alan





From: accessibleimage-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:accessibleimage- bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of David Poehlman
Sent: Monday, 9 January 2006 10:50 AM
To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Future of braille?




Alan, Would you use braille if you had never been blind? I use braille precicely because I am blind, not because it is an advantage. Braille is only an advantage if you want to communicate with braille users. True, there is nothing for us that rivals it but there you have it. I learned to use a computer and associated devices precicely because with it, I can reach beyond braille.



--

Jonnie Apple Seed

With his:

Hands-On Technolog(eye)s






On Jan 8, 2006, at 6:35 PM, Blackburn, Alan wrote:




David,

Remember that the relatively small club of which you speak are the blind community as a whole, who else but that small club would need or want to use braille? These are precisely the people that braille was invented for! Therefore for this small club, I still maintain it is an advantage.



Sure you can write and print via electronic media, and as the portability of computer technology improves and the price drops more people will have access to the higher end technologies. What about the blind persons in less affluent places (or even in your own country) who don’t have access to technology? Are they to be illiterate?



I still maintain there is a place for a simple and (relatively) quick and cheap hard-copy system. After all, you can fit a slate and stylus in your handbag, or pocket, and use it anywhere. I’d love to see someone set up a laptop and Everest on a bus!!

I have sat in a meeting and watched, in awe, an older blind lady take minutes on a slate and stylus almost as fast as one could speak, I have also watched the same procedure done by a younger person on a Braille Note, they both used braille, one used more technology than the other.



Without braille you cannot use a portable refreshable display on a computer, I for one would hate having an electronically produced voice droning away in my ear incessantly! As you yourself said you miss all that wonderful formatting.



Just a few more things to think about <smile>



Alan



From: accessibleimage-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:accessibleimage- bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of David Poehlman
Sent: Monday, 9 January 2006 9:56 AM
To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Future of braille?




I can type and print. I can read electronic files. I can address envelopes and much more all without braille. While it is true that anyone who can use braille can write in it, its limitation is that many people cannot read it if you write it. Don't get me rong, I'm not saying braille should go away, but I'd hardly call something an advantage which can only be read by a relatively small club.



--

Jonnie Apple Seed

With his:

Hands-On Technolog(eye)s







On Jan 8, 2006, at 5:18 PM, Blackburn, Alan wrote:





Guys (and girls)

Most of you seem to be forgetting the other major advantage of braille. It can be read but it also can be WRITTEN by any braille user. How else are you to make shopping lists, write down phone numbers, send a note to your best friend etc? In today’s society, whether you are working or not, it is a definite advantage to be literate i.e. able to both read and WRITE.



Alan



PS and BTW, would it be possible to keep discussions to one thread, as it makes it hard to keep a discussion going when it splits into 3 or 4 separate threads i.e. unless you are replying privately off line use “reply”.



From: accessibleimage-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:accessibleimage- bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of David Poehlman
Sent: Sunday, 8 January 2006 11:20 PM
To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Future of braille?




Hi Chris and all,



I share your joy of braille. Unfortunately, as I get older, my fingers get numer. I also am gaining a deficite in short term memory so by the time I get finished reading a braille sentance, I don't remember its beginning some of the time.



If purely verbal interaction is what is going in a person's life, I agree with you that a lot is missed. Today, though with the advent of technologys such as JAWS and the like, we can interact with text on much more than just a verbal level and therefore if propperly taught, gain and maintain a mastery of the language including, spelling, grammer, enunciation and punctuation as well as formatting and much more. One thing for instance that does not make sense for me in braille is the web. I grew up being able to read braille in pages. On a computer, I am reduced to reading bbraille one line at a time which kills the experience of all that wonderful formatting and such if I rely on braille alone.



Thanks!



--

Jonnie Apple Seed

With his:

Hands-On Technolog(eye)s








On Jan 8, 2006, at 6:37 AM, Chris Hofstader wrote:






Hi,



I spend a day fishing and suddenly this list explodes with a very interesting topic.



As I stated during Barry's thread, I'm not much of a Braille reader but, rather, an unspeller. I am currently enrolled in Braille classes at our local Lighthouse and am taking it very seriously. Learning a new writing system and different modality of reading at 45 is one of the more difficult things I have ever attempted. My definition of "unspelling" is taking one letter at a time, putting them together in my head and forming a word.



So why am I, an advocate of and expert in audio interfaces trying so hard to learn Braille? The reasons are tremendous. They range from the difficulty I have doing presentations with audio notes which require me to pause, listen to JAWS through my ear bud and then speak. This is sorely sub-optimal and makes presentations very jumpy. This is also the reason that I will often start a presentation by telling the audience that they can read the details in my paper so I will speak extemporaneously and take questions.



The other huge reason I want to learn Braille is so I can read in my own voice again. I enjoy audio books but, often, find that a character is verbalized in a very different way than I would expect. I have an essay that received an "honorable mention" in a blink writing competition about six years ago called "Actors Inside." This describes my previous attempt to learn Braille and how terrific I felt when I regained the "voices" in my own head. Hearing an RFB&D volunteer read my favorite poets is far from hearing my internal voices read them. Hearing them butcher Toni Morrison, Faulkner and my other heroes drove me to once again take the plunge into learning Braille.



Moving away from personal experience, though, I can point to ideas I've learned from people at the Braille institute and elsewhere about the value of learning Braille for children and adults. We've heard the number 10% of American blinks read Braille, this is actually closer to 12% but why quibble? The employment number is now a bit less than 90% of blinks with jobs are also Braille readers but it isn't much more than 85%.



Those of us who grew up reading by sight (including me), according to the Braille institute, along with those who grew up reading Braille have tremendous advantages over those who grew up with audio books. Before I learned this from people at the BI, I assumed that audio was probably as good as Braille as the information presented is the same. This, however, is not the case. People who learn from childhood how to read (visually or with Braille) learn much more about the language, syntax, grammar, semantic relevance and other very important aspects of literacy that most of take for granted.



The Braille Institute demonstrates that sighted people who grow up without literacy and, therefore, through auditory ways of learning are not just unable to read but, in many cases, can never learn to read effectively. This causes long term difficulty in symbolic processing of any kind of semantic information and, therefore, tremendous difficulty learning many other things.



This is clearly not my area of expertise but these are the things I've learned from others about this topic. I recommend checking out the Braille Institute and other sources for a more definitive opinion on this matter.



Enjoy,

cdh

From: accessibleimage-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:accessibleimage- bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Lisa Hall
Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 11:24 PM
To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Future of braille?





Hi David,



I know that 10 percent of the total population of blindness read braille. 90 percent of that population that reads braille have jobs.

That means the other 80 percent do not know braille or unable to learn braille because of diabetic retinopathy, and other learning disability that the person may have.

When learning braille, it requires the ability to memorize dot patterns, sensitivity to fingers, and good patience.

I have experienced working with people who had problems recognizing letters, recalling the dot patterns, and some others who did not have good verbal communications skills.

We have an unemployment rate of 70 percent and 30 percent are actually working.

The biggest problem is the attitude of blindness.





Lisa Hall,

Former Consultant for Adaptive Technology for Northwest Vista College, a college of the Alamo Community College District.

Web page: http://home.satx.rr.com/lisahall

Phone: (210) 829-4571

E-mail and MSN I.D.: lhall10@xxxxxxxxxxx











From: accessibleimage-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:accessibleimage- bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of David Poehlman
Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 7:04 PM
To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Future of braille?




so that means that less than 10 percent of blind people are employed and I've never seen a figure like that. I know many blind people who work but do not read braille.



--

Jonnie Apple Seed

With his:

Hands-On Technolog(eye)s









On Jan 7, 2006, at 6:22 PM, LindaHorto@xxxxxx wrote:


The faster we can produce it, the more will be used. My understanding is that, at least in the US, only 10% of blind people used braille, but 90% of all employed blind people read braille. That's quite a testamonial.




Linda M. Horton
9322 E. Cedar Waxwing Drive
Sun Lakes, AZ 85248
480-883-6369










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