[real-eyes] Re: e: Fwd: Article: Braille Under Siege As Blind Turn To Smartphones

A very partial list of uses for Braille that can't easily be replaced by 
speech would include things like making Labels, speaking notes, higher 
science and mathematics notation, learning to spell, diagrams, maps, sheet 
music, charts, tactile drawings, conjugating sentences, so much more. 
Anyone want to add to the list?  Some might  argue about labeling.  Talking 
bar codes help a lot.  But who wants to take their electronic wand into the 
elevator to look for floors, or the hotel for room numbers.  And why should 
you need an electronic aid fr something you can read with your own senses.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jack and Becky
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 1:03 AM
To: real-eyes@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [real-eyes] e: Fwd: Article: Braille Under Siege As Blind Turn To 
Smartphones

Well, just as a point of view, those of us who are deaf blind
depend on braille as a form of basic communication, without which
we'd be in a word, sunk.  There will ALWAYS be people who will
use it, out of necessity if nothing else.
My Best ! all
Jack


> ----- Original Message -----
>From: Terrie Lee <terrieiphone@xxxxxxxxx
>Date sent: Mon, 13 Feb 2012 19:57:53 -0600


>The wining keeps going on from the braille camp how braille is
declining and how many people just don't use the format any more.
As the world moves faster and faster, the use of braille will
decline.  Will it ever vanish completely?  I don't think so.
If not, why aren't blind people using it as much.  Because of the
size of a braille book and because for large books braille is way
to bulky and not easily produced in mass.  The paper isn't even
standard.  It's thicker and more costly.  The printed book is on
the way out as well and you should hear the wining.  There is
nothing like the smell of a new book.  True but that smell can be
synthesized and made to go into book readers.  As synthetic
speech gets better and better, the day may come when you won't be
able to tell the difference between a real human reading a book
or a synthesized voice reading it.  I just don't see Braille
lasting as more then just a note taking means.  In my opinion,
save a tree, burn a braille boo
> k <grin> Just kidding!.

>Alan

>----- Original Message -----
>From: Lisa belville
>http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/02/13/146812288/b
raille-under-siege-as-blind-turn-to-smartphones





>February 13, 2012

Meagan VERLEE



>Audio for this story from All Things Considered
>will be available at approx.  7:00 p.m.  ET


>Transcript


>The National Federation of the Blind estimates that today only
one in 10
>blind people can read Braille.  That's down dramatically from the
early
>1900s.
>Steve Mitchell/AP

>The National Federation of the Blind estimates that today only
one in 10
>blind people can read Braille.  That's down dramatically from the
early
>1900s.

>Like a lot of smartphone users, Rolando Terrazas, 19, uses his
iPhone for
>email, text messages and finding a decent coffee shop.  But
Terrazas' phone
>also
>sometimes serves as his eyes: When he waves a bill under its
camera, for
>instance, the phone tells him how much it's worth.

>Terrazas is blind, and having an app to tell bills apart can be a
big help.
>For one thing, it means he doesn't have to trust clerks to give
him correct
>change.  Terrazas' daily life is full of useful technology like
this, but it
>also has a downside: The more he uses technology, the less he
uses Braille,
>the alphabet of raised dots that the blind read with their
fingers.

>"All through elementary school I used Braille," Terrazas says.
"But when I
>got a laptop, I switched over and I went away from Braille.  If
you don't use
>it, you lose it.  And that's what happened to me."

>Terrazas uses software that reads out loud what's on his computer
screen.
>These days, he's slowly re-learning Braille as a student at the
>Colorado Center for the Blind,
>south of Denver.

>The center puts a lot of effort into convincing students they
still need
>Braille to be independent and employable.  Director Julie Deden
says
>technology
>is making the nearly 200-year-old writing system more accessible
than ever.
>She shows off an electronic reader that's about the size of a
paperback.
>Instead
>of having to lug around massive volumes of printed braille, this
reader
>allows Deden to just sweep her fingers over little plastic nubs
that rise
>and fall
>with each line of text.

>Still, Deden worries that technologies like smartphones are also
masking a
>serious problem - Braille illiteracy.

>"People will let it go and they'll say: 'Well, you know, they're
not really
>illiterate.  They just don't really use Braille or print very
much, but
>that's
>just because they're blind,' " she says.  "I think that it's kind
of an out,
>and technically they really are mostly illiterate."

>Blind people choosing not to learn Braille is only one part of
the equation.
>Chris Danielsen with the
>National Federation of the Blind
>says his group is increasingly butting heads with school
districts trying
>to get out of federal obligations to provide a Braille teacher.

>"They will tend to say, 'Well we have screen magnification
software, we have
>all these tools available, and in light of that we don't think
it's
>necessary
>for a blind person to be taught Braille,' " Danielsen says.

>The federation estimates that today only one in 10 blind people
can read
>Braille.  That's down dramatically from the early 1900s.  Jackie
Owellet lost
>her
>sight as an adult, after an operation.  Standing in a cafe in a
Denver
>suburb, Owellet says learning to read Braille was the last thing
on her
>mind.

>"When am I ever going to use Braille? I'm never going to sit down
and read a
>novel in Braille.  You know, I'd rather download an audio book
from iTunes,"
>she says.

>But last year, while taking classes for her yoga instructor
certification,
>it became clear that having a mechanical voice reading off
teaching notes
>didn't
>make for a very soothing yoga experience.

>"So I realized there is a use for Braille," Owellet says.  "I
think everybody
>uses Braille in their own way.  You know, I think that everybody
finds what
>they need to use Braille for."

>Advocates for Braille are hoping blind people like Owellet will
continue to
>find enough reasons to keep their tactile system of writing
alive, even
>amidst
>the growing chorus of computer voices.

>BlindTech is owned by Michael Capelle:
>michael.capelle@xxxxxxxxxxx

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>women are not complicated.  Seriously.  How hard is it to say
"you're pretty"
>and give us chocolate?
>Lisa Belville
>missktlab1217@xxxxxxxxxxxx


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