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March 26, 2009

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--Deb

Okay, that's just appalling. I would never deny that audio books and technology aren't wonderful things and probably make life so much easier for the visually-impaired, but to not know how to write down your own thoughts? To not be able to read a book on your own, in quiet? (And what about people who have trouble with their hearing, too?) Helen Keller would be rolling over in her grave.

Technology doesn't ALWAYS make things better. How about all the "normal" school kids who can't construct full sentences because they're so used to writing in "text?" Or, heck, any kids that are relying on their computers and gadgets to provide them information rather than reading it themselves? If you're not going to teach people--sighted or otherwise--how to write things down, well, we may as well just toss civilization into the wood-chipper now.

Sigh. This just saddens me--that I, a fully-sighted person, apparently know more braille than the people who actually NEED it. (And all I know is the alphabet!)

KG

--Deb: Absolutely. You make such important points.

And it's also about offering a choice to people. Those who are sighted can choose either to read a book on their own or listen to an audiobook, on a whim. It sounds like from the article, that the blind population is not even being offered a basic, vital tool in their survival set. This study show that they most likely will not thrive unless they have Braille fluency...

This sentence of yours really spoke to me: "To not be able to read a book on your own, in quiet?" Being empowered and self-sufficient in one's life directly impacts the quality of it; if blind people are being deprived of these basic human rights, no wonder if affects unemployment rate, and many other aspects of their lives.

I'm curious: Where (and how and why) did you learn Braille?

C.B. Whittemore

This is so very sad. My French grandmother 'translated' books into Braille in her spare time. Whenever I visited her, she had projects in the works. I remember delivering her finished projects with her...

I wish I had asked her how she got started and learned Braille. I also wonder how many books she completed over the 40 or 50+ years she did this.

Thanks for bringing the subject up.

KG

C.B. — What an amazing story you have begun to tell here. Would you consider writing more about it? There is something very powerful in just the bit you've written.

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  • My name is Kristin Gorski. I recently earned my doctorate (EdD) in instructional technology and media. My research focuses on technology and literacies, writing in digital spaces, and how media literacy may support academic literacy (among other incredibly interesting topics). On occasion, I’m also a freelance writer and editor. “Write now is good.” is my personal blog about writing, creativity and inspiration (with healthy doses of technology in relevant places). I started it in blogging's heyday (2006) and still post to it, time permitting. If you'd like to collaborate on a project, have writing/technology/creativity info to share, or want to say, "Hi," contact me at kgwritenow (at) yahoo dot com. To read more about me, click on the "ABOUT" link below.

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