[bookshare-discuss] Re: old vs new

  • From: Monica Willyard <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bookshare-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 19:01:19 -0500

Hi, Ellen. I like that you're doing things to help to support your students. You're asking good questions, and that's the sign of a person who wants to solve problems well. (smile) I have owned a BrailleLite notetaker for several years and find reading with it to be both comfortable and portable. The Braille is clear, and the surface of the plastic seems to resist becoming sticky even over hours of reading and writing. To me, the portable part is especially important for students since they have to manage a lot of information while moving from class to class. For example, my high school Spanish book consisted of eleven volumes. Since my teacher liked to skip around a lot, I frequently found myself carrying the wrong volume to class. They kept my Braille books in a storage room that they kept locked most of the time, so getting the right volume was a hassle. Accessing the dictionary without a custodian to unlock the door was out of the question since it was a whopping 22 Braille volumes. If I'd had a modern notetaker back then, I could just flip to the correct page of my book and would be reading along with everyone else. I could access both a dictionary and an encyclopedia with just a few keystrokes. No heavy, bulky books to carry. No missing volumes or pleading with a custodian to let me into the storage room just one more time today. And no heavy Perkins Brailler to lug around along with the heavy Braille books. I would have thought I was in paradise back then. Imagine going from lugging around 50 pounds to carrying around 10 pounds!I guess you can see that I'm firmly in the computer Braille camp. :) I truly believe that paper Braille will be phased out within the next 10 to 15 years because of its bulk and inefficiency. I still have a lot of Braille paper at my house, but I rarely use it since my family doesn't read Braille, and email is much faster than a snail mail letter.

Monica Willyard

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