[bct] Re: Learn Braille?

  • From: Tim Cross <tcross@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 11:49:33 +1100

As someone who hasn't really bothered to learn braille, but now
realises I do need it, I thought I'd just mention a couple of the
reasons I've decided to learn Braille. 

firstly, I didn't bother learning braille when I lost my sight 9years
ago because it seemed to be at the time the technology was good
enough. I'm a computer programmer by profession, though I now do more
project management and analysis than programming. 

The reasons I've decided to learn braille and start using it are 

1. Overly high reliance on technology. Apart from being expensive and
often a bit 'bulky', there is always the issue of being over reliant
on technology and I think its good to be able to survive without
it. Technology can break down or the power can fail. Where does that
leave you if your totaly reliant on the technology. The good thing
about braille is that it can be produced and read without any need for
electricity and only minimal technology to produce it. 

2. I've found that as I've moved into management roles, therre are
more and more situations where a bit of braille would be useful. For
example, despite the modern office, its still not paperless. I still
have to deal with considerable numbers of forms, letters and other
documents. While I can usually scan these in and have them in
electronic form, I'm still required to keep track of them and be able
to access them for my sighted colleagues. Braille labelling of files,
manilla folders etc, still seems the most efficient way to do this. 

3. I'm now often required to do presentations to anything from half a
dozen to hundreds of people. To ensure I don't miss points and as an
aid to keeping me on track, I like to have notes. However, recorded
notes or computer based notes read out via TTS can be slightly
inconvenient in a presentation senario. Either you ahve to use an ear
piece or everyone gets to hear your notes. Its also difficult to be
checking recorded or TTS notes while speaking. Braille provides a less
intrusive way to check your notes and is less distracting when your

4. Technology is more complex and therefore can fail in more
ways. Braille, once produced is reasonably light and as long as it
doesn't get wet, squashed or creased, is unlikely to break down. There
is nothing worse than starting a presentation only to have the
batteries in your laptop/pack mate/braille n speak/whatever run out
part way through or some other technical hitch. 

anyway, just my two cents worth. Of course, now I have to try and
organise braille training when I'm already doing a job which takes 45
to 50 hours per week. 

John Melia writes:
 > if you want to learn Braille Hadley school for the blind offers a course 
 > this  is a correspondence course I don't have the website   but I think they 
 > have a 800 number.
 >    I think learning grade one at least would allow you to write and keep 
 > messages and notes yes it is true we have all that technology but it can get 
 > pretty expensive.--- Original Message ----- 
 > From: "beth" <fb-oe@xxxxxxx>
 > To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
 > Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 6:59 PM
 > Subject: [bct] Learn Braille?
 > > It's a personal decision:  Are you interested in it?  Does it fascinate 
 > > you?
 > > Would you like to keep reading, in the strict definition of that word?
 > > Would you feel more comfortable labeling things with words or with 
 > > objects,
 > > like rubber bands, glue dots, et cetera?  One thing is for sure:  No one 
 > > is
 > > ever too old to learn anything.  Beth
 > >
 > >
 > > 

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