[bksvol-discuss] Re: about braille

  • From: "Shelley L. Rhodes" <rhod3021@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 11:34:36 -0400

Gyddo, LoL and all I can say, smile.

I my self am primarily Auditory, secondary Braille and third, print, though
the third option is fading fast.

When I went through school I was part of the large print crowd, so I had a
CCTV growing up.  In some ways I am glad that I was allowed this tool as I
can visualize a lot in my mind about subjects still even today as I loose my
sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa.

I didn't learn Braille until seventh grade, and it was a secondary
suggestion at the time.  Am glad he started though.  My itinerate teacher
and I mastered Uncontracted Braille together, and I took the Hadley Courses
on Reading Braille throughout High School.  My itinerate teacher had fifty
of us to keep track of and I wasn't one of his most neediest students, doing
most of my own accommodations and stuff.  So we figured this would work
better.  I finally learned contracted Braille at the beginning of my senior
year.  And am now starting to build up some speed.

My personal philosophy and I hope t pass it onto my students is that you
have to have a tool box of skills.  If they are for example, print reading,
Braille, auditory on tape, auditory on the computer, and the like.  You have
to have the skills to use these to the best of your abilities and then
decide which to use and when.  I am a young one on the list, smile, just
turned 23.  But I can tell you I gather much more information from what I
hear than what I read.  I use Braille in cases where I need to read
something out loud, to identify things in my home, to write down portable
materials like shopping lists, or labels on student papers, but for the most
part I am auditory.  I use Jaws, and the ATT natural voices at 240 words a
minute, hitch is of course not the max but I understand them and they make
the enjoyment of the reading materials better.  I use the BN to edit books I
am submitting to Bookshare, but... I will use the speech with headphones as
well as use the Braille display.  I can still read raised letters and some
printing if done on a surface that makes it tactile, like on a screen.  And
once in a great while I can still see a printed word, though not a ton
anymore.  But this works, as say I am in a class I can turn off the auditory
and still take notes, on the BN while feeling the Braille.  At a later time
I might use the voice to reprocess what I have read.

My education may have been different, in fact it would have been.  I wasn't
diagnosed with RP until college, which at that point it was actually far
along.  It was my opthmologist who dropped the ball.  If my itinerate
teacher had known I was to loose my vision later, he would have pushed for
Braille.  I think I had an awesome Itinerate, and he taught me a lot of how
to adapt and create accommodations where there weren't any.  I have made it
through college on my own for the most part creating accommodations as they
came.  I used our Disability office for Test taking.  He taught me a lot of
what I know about computers, and taught me more about real life, and having
the confidence to handle any situation.

Actually he is the reason I wanted to become a Teacher of the Visually
impaired.  smile.

So I am with Gyddo, as a not big Braille reader.  And definitely get all my
information auditory.  I am a very visual learner, visualizing what I am
learning in  my mind and in a picture on the table rather than processing it
just by hearing it or by just feeling or doing it.  I have to have things
explained, then let me try and then I will decide which is working and which

Shelley L. Rhodes and Judson, guiding golden

"One glance at a book and you hear
the voice of another person, perhaps
someone dead for 1,000 years. To
read is to voyage through time"

 ~ Carl Sagan

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