Depression on the left inner forearm, and positivity on the right inner forearm - my version of yin-yang/balance, and part of the idea is that they're matched to standard letters so it also means can show sighties what braille really looks like - another one of my pseudo-awareness thingies.
The tattoos themselves are done slightly deeper than standard, and my tattoo artist (who's done all my other tattoos as well in the old days) reckons he also used ink that has slightly bigger particles in it - basically a form of pseudo-scar tissue invoking/emulation, and they stand out a bit more/less at different times, and while not perfect, it's partly the idea - still said want to get what they call egyptian tribal (thick dark lines) eyes put on the back of my hands, since they are my eyes...LOL!
Stay well Jacob Kruger Blind Biker Skype: BlindZA '...fate had broken his body, but not his spirit...'----- Original Message ----- From: "Trouble" <trouble1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Friday, December 24, 2010 12:46 AMSubject: Re: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspective
I can see the use for braille in math doing those long formulas. And me bit, what are the 2 tattoos and what keeps them raised? At 02:06 AM 12/23/2010, you wrote:Ok, while I also don't personally use braille for anything more than labelling things, and while I can literally write braille faster with a slate and stylus than I can generally read it, and while I can only read basic braille, I do actually have braille tattoos inside both forearms - and they're done so that they stand out a bit.Honest truth is how many sighties write things physically nowadays...?Apart from notes, etc., I honestly don't think I wrote too much using a pen on a piece of paper 5 years ago, when was still sighted, so even then, I pretty much did/handled everything on electronic devices/units, but during my adaptation process in 2006, I still learnt at least basic braille, and during at least one power failure, I played solitaire using braille cards, so will also say that while nothing is necessarily more important than anything else, maybe, at least for some people, all things have their time/place.Stay well Jacob Kruger Blind Biker Skype: BlindZA '...fate had broken his body, but not his spirit...' ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dale Leavens" <dleavens@xxxxxxx> To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 4:48 PMSubject: Re: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspectiveKen,I didn't mean this to be personal and I don't deny the benefits of technology. I bought my first HP125 with speech to assist my practice in 1982 when I couldn't really afford it and began programming because there really weren't the applications back then for it. I also keep an address book on my phone and of course I don't carry my notes about with me any more than do my sighted colleagues. I take my notebook computer traveling with me where ever I go and sometimes even a little note recorder though I prefer a small slate and paper.This discussion always seems to get personal and defensive. As I said I am not a really good braille reader but sure glad I am a functional braille user.What your buddy cannot do technologically isn't a discussion of braille use. It is a technologically illiterate presumably in a situation where that disadvantages him. That is not the same thing. I worked with many technologically disadvantaged persons, with increasing use of PDF and other non screen reader friendly applications in the Health Industry I was often technologically disadvantaged and braille was of no benefit to me there either. these are not the same issues.----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken Perry" <whistler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:16 AMSubject: RE: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspectiveYou are wrong those of us who read Braille at a low level totally agree that reading Braille would be nice. What offends me though is people jumping theshark and calling anyone who can't read a story or a menu fast enough toorder illiterate. As I said in my first email I agree that Braille should be taught in school and those who have the ability to learn at a young ageshould but not knowing how to read Braille at a fast enough page to readbooks is not an end all. I don't feel robbed because I can't. Whereas I would feel robbed if I couldn't read text in the sighted world as a sighted person. It's a total different ball game. You have signs in the sightedworld. Braille signs are not only hard to find but when you find themsometimes they are just stupid I found a Braille sign on a fire hydrant oncethat said it was a fire hydrant. You mentioned taking notes. I have 3devices that instantly turn on if I need them and can take notes not onlyfaster than I could with a brailler but I could search and call them upfaster. For that matter one of the devices I edit notes on my server with in almost any place because its 3G so do you carry those volumes of notesaround with you in Braille? That would be a site. All I am saying is Iagree that Braille is good to learn. So that makes a middle ground I do notagree that I lose greatly by not knowing how to read Braille at a level where I can read books. I tell you what though. I know a person that I work with that still tothis day cannot use a computer. He is trying to learn right now. I findhim at a much larger disadvantage and he is a Braille expert. He uses a Braille note and has no idea of things he could do if he understoodtechnology. I find him at a much larger disadvantage than I find myself. You can't individually shop without getting help if you know only Braillebut you can if you know technology. You can't create documents for thesighted world if you know only Braille but you can with technology. Braille doesn't help you if you have to create those pill labels for other customers but technology does. I find that technology is a much more important tool than Braille when interacting with the rest of the world. Braille has madeit possible for the blind to get started and to self organize while Technology has opened the world like nothing else has for blind people.Again I will finish this by saying I believe Braille should be taught butit's time to stop telling our kids they are something less if they don'tread at the rate needed to read books in Braille. They are not something less they are something different. Even the sighted world is starting to have to come to terms with what the new technology age is bringing our kids into. It used to be you could not be a programmer in the sighted world if you cannot learn a language. Not so with programming languages like scratch kids are learning to code visually. When coding languages get to the point where you can tell the computer what to do and it will do it and create anapplication for others to use will they no longer be programmers. Nothey will be programmers in a different way. We have to use the tools thatgive us the best life style possible and Braille is only a very small portion of that life style unless you have multiple disabilities. Ken -----Original Message----- From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Dale Leavens Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 8:55 AM To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspective But surely that is the point. I too came to braille somewhat late and never was a really good braillereader nevertheless Janet and I have three braillers around here, I always had one on the corner of my desk at work for banging down notes or telephonenumbers, getting correct spellings for patient names and organizing lists for placing orders or any number of other things. Nothing like the random access to bits of information offered by written notes. We label things withbraille dymo tape, so convenient though we don't do it enough. Computer voice has certainly sped some things up and much recreational reading I would never do without talking books. Certainly one can get along without being able to read or write braille. remarkably large numbers of sighted people cannot read or write print adequately either and many function so well that people don't know theycannot. all that notwithstanding those who do not read braille adequatelyfor function really cannot appreciate the value and benefit of brailleliteracy and those of us who do don't like to think of getting along withoutit. Interestingly, neither has anyone ever asked me if I use braille when applying for work. Many make assumptions that I would use a dog guide or that a spouse drives me about or that I would be counting steps, I don't think those questions have much to do with what is required. What computers have done for us more than anything else is add anotherchannel of literacy of a sort for us. As with braille they give us a better random access to what we read than we had with tape and a currency we couldnever have with tape or braille and in some situations more instantly.I don't know why this debate always seems to get defensive. It is like thedog/cane thing somehow there doesn't seem to be any neutral ground. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jamal Mazrui" <empower@xxxxxxxxx> To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Cc: "Bob Kennedy" <intheshop@xxxxxxx> Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 7:55 AM Subject: Re: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspectiveI agree that braille is generally a valuable skill for a blind person to have. I think all rehab programs should include braille instruction, and all blind kids should be taught braille at an early age. Unfortunately, I have also concluded that it is extremely difficult for someone to becomeefficient in reading braille if he or she did not learn it as a youngchild -- perhaps similar to the way that languages are much harder to reachfluency level when learned later in life. So, I read braille, but despite much practice during my late teens andearly 20s, (I lost my sight as a junior in high school), I never achieved a speed that made it practical to use braille except for things like menusand labels. I have met many blind adults who are similarly situated. Wehave to make the best of speech or other techniques besides braille. Jamal On 12/22/2010 4:18 AM, Bob Kennedy wrote:Wow I didn't know there was so much passion for Braille. Having gone blind at age 12, I had to learn Braille, just later than most. Never could read fast and the careers I've had have left me with a small spot that is smaller than a full Braille cell of sensitivity on one finger.I've never had a problem finding work though, and no one has ever askedme if I can read Braille as a part of a job interview.No need for that when I built transmissions I guess. I have been askedmany times about my computer skills since I've left the garage business but still no concern for Braille. I better hope it stays that way or I'll have to get the Think Green peopleinvolved. What is the ratio now? Four pages of Braille to one of print?----- Original Message ----- From: "Sina Bahram"<sbahram@xxxxxxxxx> To:<programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 10:40 PM Subject: RE: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspective What Ken said. Take care, Sina -----Original Message----- From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken Perry Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:44 PM To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: RE: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspective You said ,"Take away your tech, your electricity, your computer, your gadgets, yourwilling friends to read to you, hand you a greeting card from a friend, a recipe, a medicine bottle with a braille label on it, and what happens? Go to a nice restaurant with a sightedfriend, have the waiter hand you a braille menu which they have gone tothe trouble and expense of providing you, have that friendstep away to go to the restroom, the waiter approach you and ask: "Whatwill you have today?" What happens? "Sorry, can you read me your menu? I can't read this." Litterate or illiterate? You tell me."You assume a lot of things in the above. I have been blind 20 years andgot one Braille Christmas card, I have only recentlystarted seeing any Braille menus. If you took the tech from most sightedpeople they would be lost as well. I have never got one bottle of pills with a Braille label. Most of the Pill bottles I get come with barcodes though and read fine. As for Cards my sonand daughter have given me audible ones. Hell I got one this year withactual letters I could feel true this is like brailed so don't really count. The point is Tech is here to stay and if it went away then maybe it would be worth me gaining speed with Braille. It is like saying you don't know how to ride a horse so you won't be able to travel more than 20 to 40 miles a daybecause you will have to walk if you don't have a car. . When I want toread a menu I download one and I do that on my Brailleplus and or Iphone both. I actually take pictures of menu on my IPhoneand read it that way many times. I am sorry but my brother has started going to restaurants in Atlanta only if they have online menus does that make him illiterate? Kids in college nowcouldn't do Calculus if you took their calculator away but I could doesthat make them lost in the world of business because they use a tool?I never said that my way I s the best way. What I said is to call themilliterate is asinine. If they can write and read and spellthey are literate. You might not call them fully self sufficient but Iwould argue that until every written word is in Braille thenno blind person is self sufficient when it comes to reading but then itlooks like Google will fix access to text long before paper Braille ever catches up. Ken The funny thing is you say take your tech away and yet what you were talking about originally is reading with a Braille display. Find yourself in a place with no new batteries for your machines, no power, access to a PC ETC. Hand you a slate and stylus or,heck, just a sharp pin and some paper. Instruct you to leave a note fora friend that you stepped out for an hour and will be back, and what happens?Take pride in your abilities, do. Even boast about how well your memoryworks, your accomplishments in programming, your mathematical prowess, whatever you like but, don't tell me there is no value in reading and that implying that if some can'tactually interact directly with text for themselves, know that letters onthat page are forming themselves into words and so forth, that this is an assinine thing to say. For one thing, it's rude, discourteous, ETC. for another, it's not true. Do as many studies as you like, ask as many people as you like, whatever. You are not illiterate because you learned to read and write as a child. You used print. You have some knowledge of braille. If you can't do grade II, it is probably because you chose to deny yourselfthis skill. If you can learn computer code, you can learn braille codebe it Nemeth, computer braille, musical notation, whateveryou like. If you can learn alternate keyboards, you can train your mindto learn the feel of different symbols. The only reason you couldn't is if your sense of touch is not working for some reason. In spite of this, the fact that you were taught your letters and how to read and write them as a child and learned them makes you literate. You just haven't fully transferred those skills toanother medium because you chose to rely on tech instead of putting forththe time and effort it took to master them. There arethose who never really truly learn their letters unless they are the onesdoing the writing, output, not input. Their knowledge ofletters is more akin to their ability to put words together in a spokensentence. They know how to type out letters on a computerkeyboard to get the computer to say what they want. A lot of them writeate when they mean eight, break when they mean brake, speach when they mean speech and so forth because the computer speaks them out just the same and their mind never skips a beat whenthey hear it spoken and when their friends hear them spoken from a screenreader. They can write, they can not read. ugly?Unyielding? Yes, the world often is. Yes. Uncomfortable? You tell me.Fact? Absolutely. It is immutable, uncontradictable, inarguable. Sorry about the rant. I will stop since this has gotten off topic. It was never my intent to offend anyone. Regards, Alex M On 12/21/10, Ken Perry<whistler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:Well I agree that Braille should be taught and is good to know. I have to put my 3 cents in. I went blind at 20 and in my now 20 yearsof being blind, I have only been able to learn to read Braille to thesee dick run levels. That means I read enough to be able to code Braille outputmethods(i.e. My unique way of Braille scrolling on the Braille+ and Icon) andIcancode games like Sudoku for the same devices. I can also read labels butifyou give me a Braille book be ready to age before I finish a paragraph.NowI realize if I would have learned Braille when I was young it would bemuchfaster but I have said all this to say this. The idea that someone is illiterate because they don't read Braille andaretotally blind is just stupid and asinine. I have Taken High level math classes with no Knowledge of nemeth, True I would not have had to use a reader if I knew nemeth then but I also could have done it alone if they would have let me use the tools I can use for example I could do all my calculus by hand with my Calculator/ worksheet called xplore. It ofcourseis not really that accessible now that it's a windows app but when it wasados app it was awesome for doing math by hand on the computer. Yes the computer did some of the work when I wanted it to but hell seen a sighted person take calculus without an hp48 in hand lately? Now I will say whenItook Calculus I could and did do five page problems in my head. Myteacheractually insisted I do this for him once because he thought my readerwas doing the math. Little did he know I did the stuff better than hecoulddoon paper in my head. I definitely couldn't do that now but back then I could. Ask Sina I am sure he has that same ability. Now you say there is a difference from reading something by hand to listening to it? Hell yeah the thing don't always pronounce things right and you can read a hell of a lot faster and retain more when listening. Doubt me? Test me against anyone who can read Braille at what wouldbe considered 100% give us 10 books to read in the same amount of timeandtestus on it. True this would really need to be done in a large group to make sure the people involved just were not stupid but I will guarantee the person listening to the text will retain more. You say yes but what about graphics and table. Um sorry but getting graphics and tables into Braille still takes translation of informationandyou will lose something there as well. I actually found my Calculus books on tape from RFBD very well read and well described in fact the guycorrectthe text book like 3 times that I remember while describing the graphics. Note I have lived in both worlds a world where I had to read and do mathonpaper and now one I do everything in my head or on a computer. I findusingmy brain a much better exercise than writing everything down. I callpaperwhether it be sighted paper or Braille a disability in itself. I don'twhipout a book to take down a phone number I either remember it or poke itintomy phone. Most of the time I remember it just because that works for me. Now am I saying people don't need to learn Braille no. As I started out I think people should learn Braille from the beginning and even if theylosetheir site it's a useful tool but I fully disagree that a person is illiterate just because he or she cannot read Braille well. I want to end by saying my wife who has a Kendil, and and IPad still loves to listen to Audible books and find she gets more out of the books whenshelistens because her mind can both listen to what she is reading and assimilate the information without having to do the work of actuallyreadingthe text and if you think that doesn't make a difference again I thinksomestudies should be done. Ken -----Original Message----- From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Alex Midence Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 9:14 AM To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspective Hi, Don, For someone like you, braille isn't a viable solution. Your case is special and understandable. You can't read braille unless you canfeel your way across a line. About the most sensitive organ remainingto you short of your tongue for this purpose is probably the tip of your nose and, that would be ... well ... Let's just say that audiotech is a wonderful thing. We can't have folks giggling at us when we read, you know. =) I'm talking about kids who grew up blind and havetwo perfectly functioning index fingers (never could read with my pinky, can anyone?) and a mind to go with them. They should be able to use both braille and audio to good effect. alex M On 12/20/10, Don Marang<donald.marang@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:My older sister was upset at me because I was unable to learn braille!Myremaining fingers are just too insensitive now from nerve damage andendlessblood tests. She has been a teacher at a blind school for at least 20yearsand is a huge advocate for braille litercy. She even reads braille while she is driving! Don Marang There is just so much stuff in the world that, to me, is devoid of anyrealsubstance, value, and content that I just try to make sure that I amworkingon things that matter. Dean Kamen -------------------------------------------------- From: "Alex Midence"<alex.midence@xxxxxxxxx> Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 6:03 PM To:<programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Subject: Re: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historical perspectiveGlad you liked it. I was hoping someone on this list would have personal recollections of this time and the tech available. Neat how there was braille output as far back as the 50's. It's a shame that that stuff is stil as expensive as it is. Perhaps, some day, as happened with speech technology, blind people will see the price of a braille display drop to something affordable as in, under a thousand dollars? Same for a braille printer/embosser. I am enormously concerned at how many of the blind kids I have met recently have poor braille reading skils and don't really seem to care that they are bordering on illiteracy. Having something or someone read to you is not the same as direct input from a written document to your mind without an intermediary. In this age of electronic texts, you would think that braille would explode inpopularity since you no longer have to fill a room with tomes of thestuff. Alex M On 12/20/10, Rasmussen, Lloyd<lras@xxxxxxx> wrote:That was fascinating. Dr. Stoffel worked at NIH for a period afterhe wrote that article. I could go on and on about this ancient technology, but had better do it off-list. People had produced braille from computers since the 50's. The first speech for a blind computer user was for Jim Willows, an engineer at the Lawrence-Livermore Laboratories in 1968 (letters and numbers played out through a digital-to-analog converter). The context of this article ... Votrax devices had been on the market for several years, but the SC-01 chip was put into the Type 'n Talk in1981.This device had built-in letter-to-sound rules, so you didn't haveto send phonemes to it as you did the earlier V S A and VSB boards.Thesethreedevices took RS-232 data and either acted like terminals or interpreted terminal sequences and sent the data along through another serial porttobe displayed. They were not screen readers running on the computer whose screen was being read. It was revolutionary to think that you couldbuya$300 Type 'n Talk instead of a $5,000 talking terminal to speak thedatacoming from an RS-232 device. The Echo II synthesizer (using the TI technology) was added to the Apple II at about this time. By the endof1983 there were screen readers for the Apple II and for the IBM PC.I worked a little bit with the FSST-3 and the VERT terminal, and heard Deane Blazie demonstrate the TotalTalk at various conventions. Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Project Engineer National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Library of Congress 202-707-0535 http://www.loc.gov/nls The preceding opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect thoseofthe Library of Congress, NLS. -----Original Message----- From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of AlexMidenceSent: Monday, December 20, 2010 3:24 PM To: programmingblind Subject: Screen readers and how to develop them: A historicalperspectiveHi, all..I thought this was rather interesting. It is an article written in1982 about some of the techniques used back then to write screnereadersor "talking terminals" as they called them. I was struck by some of the predictions the author made with regard to the future, some of wichcametrue and others which did not. There was also a very interestingsectionon speech synthesis and how to get the hardware and software to do many of the things we take for granted nowadays like starting andstopping speech, repeating previously spoken text, deciding what tosay as an acronymandwhat to speak as a word, punctuation levels and so forth. It was fascinating stuff.kingterminals.htmlOh yeah, and get a load of the prices for that stuff! Keep in mindthatwas in 1980's money too. Put like a 33% markup on it and you might approximate what it would cost in today's money. 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