[bksvol-discuss] Re: about braille

  • From: "Liz Halperin" <lizzers@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 21:51:48 -0700

I have to add a few cents. I am too deaf to use talking books and depend
on braille.  I still have residual sight, so I can use Kurzweil to scan
and then read in very large fonts with contrasting colors on the
computer--but I can't take it to bed or with me for my 3 hours a day on
the bus, etc. That's where braille and a notetaker come in. And after
straining my eyes watching sign language if I've not receiving
tactilely, or straining my eyes for visual computer, then braille is a
delightful relaxation for reading. I have noted one thing that bothers
me A LOT: kids who grew up using screenreaders and talking books often
have really poor spelling skills. I have run across young adults getting
trying to get their visually impaired teaching credentials, working on
master's degrees, with the spelling skills of a junior high student. I
believe braille should be taught as a tool for literacy--and as a
general tool. There's a 7 year old I know who can't read standard large
print books, and uses a CCTV for everything. Her V.I. teacher says she
doesn't need braille so they don't plan to teach it--will use CCTV and
screen readers. But what will she do on long drives in the car with her
family? And to read in bed at night? Or if she's tuck in the bathroom
for a long time? (Smile.) I believe braille should be taught and used as
a tool so the individual can then decide *how* to use the tool to her or
his advantage.  Ok, soapbox done. I am so grateful for Bookshare making
everything available in braille format. (NLS braille selections
generally bored me as they were so limited of quantity and range.)

Liz in Seattle

Liz Halperin
Seattle, WA

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