toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
When I was a kid, both my parents learned Braille as adults.
On 8 Mar 2020, at 20:41, Pamela Dominguez <pammygirl99@...> wrote:
Yes; I know a person who didn’t start learning braille until she was an adult. She was put in what is called the “project class” in Lavelle school for the Blind. I asked her why they said she couldn’t learn braille, and she said they told her it was
because she had no feeling in one of her fingers! I mean, what about the other nine? They didn’t teach her arithmetic except things like ten pennies makes a dine, four quarters is a dollar, stuff like that. She’s really not stupid, and she always had a
very sharp sense of humor. I haven’t seen her in years, and don’t know what she is up to, now. But they basically ruined her life, not teaching her what she needed to know. Pam.
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2020 8:49 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
I read Brian's heartfelt response just before I read your response to Ann. Now we can only go by what Brian is saying and as with everyone else, I wasn't there when all these things were done to him. Assuming that what he says is largely true, his situation
seems to be more and more prevalent with blind people.
For example, I know a woman whose teachers determined that she was learning disabled when she was about five years old. From that time on, she was always told that she couldn't do this or couldn't do that and so on. To add to this, her parents were over protective
and added to the issue. By the time I met her, she had become some what resigned to the fact that she couldn't do a lot of things--and in particular, she couldn't use a computer with the same ability of a normal blind person. After working with her for about
six months, I was able to teacher a significant amount. I don't think she had any real learning disability. She was just conditioned to accept less someone else said about her true potential.
I knew another man who was diagnosed as profoundly mentally disabled. When I first met him, he was working in a sheltered workshop. Just talking to him, I did not think that he was in any form mentally challenged. So just on a whim, I started teaching him
basic computer skills. He took to it like the proverbial duck to water. He now runs a number of distribution lists and is a member of the JAWS public beta team and the NVDA devlopment team.
So much for expert diagnosis of 'the blind.'
On 3/7/2020 6:33 PM, Gene wrote:
It is far more useful to discuss possible ways of improving the situation rather than, and I'm sorry if you object, labeling someone with no real diagnostic work. If you label someone by saying he or she has different learning styles, what does that do?
It implies that the rest of us who don't can do nothing to hhelp. And you are medicalizing a problem that may simply be largely someone rushing when he becomes emotionally involved in a discussion. I've seen many messages from Brian and I've seen many much
better written ones. I simply do not believe you can diagnose some sort of problem by reading some e-mails, especially when more plausible explanations exist based on the number of much better written messages I've seen. I am trying to help by discussing
the matter and not ;labeling or diagnosing. I'm using what I have observed. You are defending, labeling, and medicalizing a problem when there are other just as plausible or more plausible explanations.
Ours is an age of medicalizing everything. If you rush to medicalize, you take attempts to help out of the hands of us mere mortals. it must be done by specialists. If I were convinced that there were some medical problem in this case, I might defer
to the specialists. You haven't even begun to prove your contention.
I'm sorry if you are offended and don't like what I've written. I'm not serving anyone if I don't honestly write what I think.
Brian has sent a message saying that people on lists have told him to use a spell checker and asking about where to get one. That indicates that Brian wants to improve. I'm willing to help and I think a lot of others are as well. and I think you are
I believe that in a situation like this, you try to help by trying to solve problems in a practical way. One way is to find out what e-mail prohgram Brian is using. We can proceed from there.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2020 3:35 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
No, I am not making unsupported statements. First, after being a tutor
to both sighted and blind students in English and in Social Studies,
as well as in braille and adaptive computers, since 1978, I'm well
acquainted with the signs of writing by persons who have learning
differences. They are similar to the ways people who are DeafBlind
write, so I wasn't sure which we're dealing with. Hmmm, let me see,
1978 was forty-two years ago now. Good Lord, that's a lot of
experience! I'm still tutoring.
Although he may be rushing to write his responses, his writing has been
consistent during the time I've observed him on various lists. This is
not a single occurrance.
As for the coasting, he admits it himself in his message. He said that
his teachers never told him his writing was less than adequate. That,
Gene, my friend, is the behavior of teachers who allow PWD to coast
If you want to check out my creds, you can look at my web site below.
On there is a link called Instructor. Have a look.
> You are making unsupported statements. How do you know Brian has
> learning differences? How do you know he was coasted through school?
> I'll offer an alternative explanation. I'm not saying either are
> correct nor am I saying which one may or may not account for observed
> phenomena better. But how do you know that some or many of these errors
> are not the result of someone feeling strongly about something and
> rushing to get the message written as quickly as possible? If Brian is
> typing far above the speed at which he types more accurately, that may
> result in some of what is observed. And, since I've seen messages from
> Brian that don't have all these mistakes, I'll consider my theory to be
> a possibly better explanation, since I don't know Brian's background
> and I think it is absurd to infer some sort of learning differences
> based on a few e-mails.
> But none of this, learning differences, spelling difficulties, a rush
> to type as quickly as you can to get your message out as fast as
> possible, none of these possibilities precludes the use of a spell checker.
> To this point, I have been writing as a list member. I am now writing
> as the list owner.
> This discussion has been very interesting and we know more about each
> other than we did, thus helping build community on the list. But if the
> discussion becomes mostly one of how messages are written, I'll close
> it. I realize that you and a few others may want to respond to what I
> and others have said but this part of the discussion shouldn't continue
> for more than a few more messages.
> Now, I'm writing as a list member again.
> Brian, I would think it may be uncomfortable seeing your writing
> critiqued. But keep these things in mind and you may find the
> experience useful:
> My view is that if I expect someone to spend the time reading my
> messages and thinking about them, I have a certain responsibility to
> make them reasonably readable. In your case, many people probably have
> to stop to review phrases where words are written together without
> spaces. Because I've seen messages from you that are much better
> written, it appears to me that if you get emotional about a subject,
> you rush to write what you want as quickly as you can. the result is
> errors that make your messages difficult to read, such as words written
> together with no spaces.
> As to spelling, in general I would just let that go. But when you call
> a whole class of people illiterate, then don't use a spellchecker and
> have misspelled wordafter misspelled word, then, like it or not, you
> become part of the discussion. Like it or not, literacy is partly
> sending a message without perhaps thirty or forty or more misspelled
> words. And nothing precludes you from using a spellchecker. As I said,
> in general I wouldn't comment on spelling, but it is inevitable that at
> least a few people will when you accuse people of being illiterate and
> don't use a spell checker, resulting in a great many misspellings. It's
> as though I attended a cooking contest, made a speech before the event
> in which I said that with frozen dinners, no one knows how to cook
> anymore, then I burned the soup and my main dish.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Ann Parsons <mailto:akp@...>
> Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2020 6:27 AM
> To: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
> Hi all,
> I could write a long rant about how I am treated when I correct
> people's spelling publicly. I have been called harsh and arrogant and
> more. I won't do that because it would be counter-productive. I will
> say, however, that taking advantage of someone who has made a public
> mistake is, I feel, cruel. it demeans those who perpetuate such crimes.
> If you wish to correct Brian's writing, you might do so privately,
> thereby giving him the dignity he deserves. It isn't his fault that he
> was coasted through school. It isn't his fault that he may not have a
> braille display or possess hard copy braille so that he could improve
> his writing.
> If you want to help, take it off-list! Truly be of service and not
> part of the problem.
> Ann P.
> Original message:
>> Now Brian,
>> I don't want to personalize this, but you say you're a good
>> Braille reader now: correct? You say that people who use audio
>> primarily aren't truly literate and you can tell by the way they write
>> e-mails: is that what you're saying? Well let me be your teacher and
>> quote and correct your own mistakes that you have made in your lengthy
>> <spelling error> aAmen(I guess you are trying to say Amen to that or
>> something similar--note the repetition of the first letter A.)
>> <grammatical clumsiness> if you don't braille than you are not truly
>> literate. (I guess you mean: if you don't know/use/are competent in,
>> Braille then you are not truly literate.)
>> <run on sentence> If you doubt this then read emails from blind people
>> who don't know braille there spelling and (There should be a period
>> after the word Braille.)
>> <spelling error> gramar and punctuation leave alot to be desired. (In
>> this sentence grammar and a lot are misspelled.)
>> <run on sentence> I have been there myself if I don't read then I to
>> will fall in to trap as well. (There should be a period after the word
>> If you truly want to be literate then you just have
>> <spelling error> toread and not just listen to audio. (there is a run
>> on word toread that should be separated into 'to read.')
>> Those of us who do prefer braille and would rather read than listen
>> have only audio as the option all to often. For me if I want to stay
>> literate then I have to read braille and as I said in my email to Grumpy
>> Dave I can't
>> <spelling error> amagine my life with out braille. (I guess you mean
>> 'imagine my life without Braille.)
>> <wrong use of the word loose> I have had braille most of my life and I
>> would loose independence (I guess you mean lose independence.)
>> <spelling error> ifI were to not know braille. (You ran the words If
>> and I together.)
>> Reading braille is active reading but listening to audio or computer
>> speech is just passive reading.
>> I prefer to <spelling error> activly read but most of the time I can't
>> because it's audio only. (You misspelled actively.)
>> <spelling errors and a run on sentence> I do rember haveing to cary
>> volumes of braille books acrost campus at the blind school but I never
>> gave it a though it was just what I hav to do it was no problem for me
>> at all. (You misspelled remember, having, across and probably mean the
>> word had when you wrote hav. And I almost forgot, you used the word
>> though instead of thought.) (There should be a period after the word
>> The campus at the Michigan school for the blind in Lansing Michigan
>> covered a 4 city block area. I tried college back in 1987-1988 and I
>> could have
>> <spelling error> donee much better if I had braille. (You misspelled
>> the word done.)
>> <spelling errors> I had tapes from recording forthe blind but I had
>> issues with the readers with pronouncations. (you ran the words for
>> and the together. You misspelled pronunciation.)
>> I remember taking test and what I heard during the test sounded nothing
>> like what I heard on the tapes.
>> If I would have had my books in braille I would have known the correct
>> words and the tests would have made <spelling error> sinse. (You
>> misspelled the word sense.)
>> <spelling error> If yur going to read on tape then you must be able to
>> speak properly and say your words properly. (You misspelled the word
>> you're--or at least I think that's what you meant by writing the word yur.)
>> <grammatical oddity> There was the issue of only tape at a time and
>> having to send 2 copies of every book to recording for the blind to be
>> recorded. (I'm not quite sure, but I think you meant 'only one tape at
>> a time.)
>> <spelling error> Audio is usless if I don't know what you are saying.
>> (You misspelled useless.)
>> This is why we need braille. Braille readers don't make a big deal of
>> how many volumes a book is it just is.
>> LONG STORY SHORT: BRIAN, YOU ARE A POOR EXAMPLE OF THE IDEA THAT BRAILLE
>> READERS WRITE COHERENT AND GRAMATICALLY CORRECT E-MAIL MESSAGES.
>> On 3/6/2020 3:01 PM, brian wrote:
>>> aAmen if you don't braille than you are not truly literate. If you
>>> doubt this then read emails from blind people who don't know braille
>>> there spelling and gramar and punctuation leave alot to be desired. I
>>> have been there myself if I don't read then I to will fall in to trap
>>> as well. If you truly want to be literate then you just have toread
>>> and not just listen to audio. Those of us who do prefer braille and
>>> would rather read than listen have only audio as the option all to
>>> often. For me if I want to stay literate then I have to read braille
>>> and as I said in my email to Grumpy Dave I can't amagine my life with
>>> out braille. I have had braille most of my life and I would loose
>>> independence ifI were to not know braille. Reading braille is active
>>> reading but listening to audio or computer speech is just passive
>>> reading. I prefer to activly read but most of the time I can't
>>> because it's audio only. I do rember haveing to cary volumes of
>>> braille books acrost campus at the blind school but I never gave it a
>>> though it was just what I hav to do it was no problem for me at all.
>>> The campus at the Michigan school for the blind in Lansing Michigan
>>> covered a 4 city block area. I tried college back in 1987-1988 and I
>>> could have donee much better if I had braille. I had tapes from
>>> recording forthe blind but I had issues with the readers with
>>> pronouncations. I remember taking test and what I heard during the
>>> test sounded nothing like what I heard on the tapes. If I would have
>>> had my books in braille I would have known the correct words and the
>>> tests would have made sinse. If yur going to read on tape then you
>>> must be able to speak properly and say your words properly. There was
>>> the issue of only tape at a time and having to send 2 copies of every
>>> book to recording for the blind to be recorded. Audio is usless if I
>>> don't know what you are saying. This is why we need braille. Braille
>>> readers don't make a big deal of how many volumes a book is it just is.
>>> Brian Sackrider
>>> On 3/6/2020 7:26 AM, chris judge wrote:
>>>> This is true. There is a huge difference between not learning braille
>>>> if you've lost your site later in life. The unfortunate fact is that
>>>> even people who are blind since birth are not learning braille at the
>>>> rate they were when I was a kid 50 years ago. If you are blind since
>>>> birth and you don't learn braille you miss out on basic literacy. How
>>>> do you learn proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and such if you
>>>> don't learn braile. If you have had site you already understand these
>>>> things so knowing braille isn't as paramount.
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io>
>>>> <main@TechTalk.groups.io <mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io>> On Behalf Of
>>>> Sent: March 6, 2020 12:42 AM
>>>> To: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>>> Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
>>>> Hello everyone:
>>>> I would like to point out that many blind people lose their eyesight
>>>> later in life and they find it too difficult to learn braille. It is
>>>> much easier for them to access information by listening to audio.
>>>> It’s hard enough for them to get over losing their eyesight and live
>>>> without seeing their loved ones or other things ever again. The last
>>>> thing they want is to learn a new skill that they may find just too
>>>> After obtaining my iPhone, I attended a users group where are the
>>>> people taught each other to use iOS devices. While at the group one
>>>> day, one of the group leaders brought a focus 40 refreshable braille
>>>> display for everyone to examine. I was the only blind person in the
>>>> room interested in touching the device because I knew braille and I
>>>> owned a previous generation of that device. It was not discussed, but
>>>> I knew that they were not interested because most of them had lost
>>>> their eyesight later in life. I suspect that they found it much
>>>> easier to listen to audio than reading braille. Plus, most of them
>>>> had learned how to access information using their iPhones. I’m sure
>>>> they found it much easier to whip out their iPhones and listen to
>>>> their books, podcasts, scan documents and do everything else we can
>>>> do with our iPhones. I realize that not everyone owns a smart phone
>>>> because they have not found a way to obtain one. I also realize that
>>>> not everyone is into these types of gadgets. However, many blind
>>>> people have discovered how great these gadgets are and how useful
>>>> they can be in helping them become more independent. For many of us,
>>>> that is the route we have chosen.
>>>> In any case, don’t be too surprised if you meet a blind person who is
>>>> not interested in learning braille. Don’t be too hard on those
>>>> people. Maybe they just prefer to do what is easier.
>>>> I am so glad that refreshable braille displays exist now. I am also
>>>> glad that low cost refreshable braille displays are being developed.
>>>> I definitely don’t miss the days of carrying bulky braille books to
>>>> and from my classes. I do not miss the days of trying to look up
>>>> words in the dictionary and dealing with a whole bookshelf of braille
>>>> books. No thank you! I do not miss my five volume braille New Testament.
>>>> If I did not already on a refreshable braille display, I would
>>>> definitely look into obtaining the orbit braille reader or the
>>>> braille me.
>>>> Anyhow, these are just my rambling opinions.
>>>> Victor Sent from my iPhone
>>>>> On Mar 5, 2020, at 7:40 PM, brian <bsackrider55@...
>>>>> <mailto:bsackrider55@...>> wrote:
>>>>> Thanks Grumpy Dave for your explination. I would be willing to
>>>>> pay a few dollars to get braille. I am not saying that I should get
>>>>> for free but not to have the option is my complaint. My local
>>>>> liberary use to provide braille for 10 cents per page. I was also
>>>>> told that if I provided the paper they would braille what I wanted.
>>>>> They required 67 weight paper which I can get at Staples. All to
>>>>> often we are forced to except only audio as the only format that is
>>>>> available. Braille will always be my prefered format because I
>>>>> prefer to read for myself instead of just listen. You say that you
>>>>> hate braille but you can use it well I feel the same about audio.
>>>>> Why do we have to be locked in to just one format? How many people
>>>>> would rather read than listen? Blind or sighted. People who prefer
>>>>> to read than should be commended instead of being kind of bashed for
>>>>> it. If not many blind people request braille than it should be no
>>>>> trouble to provide it. Braille is not that dificult to produce once
>>>>> you have the equipment. my liberary had no trouble all they needed
>>>>> was files in microsoft word and the paper and they were good to go.
>>>>> I use to get my weekly meterials for my church all in grade 2
>>>>> braille. It was really great to finally be an active participant in
>>>>> the service instead just a pasive listener. To be able to read
>>>>> along with everyone else the verses and hyms and classes lessons is
>>>>> a great feeling you just can't discribe the independence that it
>>>>> givesyou. It's kind of like having access to dvs you can finally
>>>>> know what is going on when there is all of that dead air. I was
>>>>> able to read infront of the church and be active in bible study and
>>>>> even lead the groop all using braille. I do use braille menus when
>>>>> ever possible even if I don't really need it just to let them see
>>>>> that somone is acually using it. Braille has given me a very full
>>>>> life and I don't know whear my life would be with out braille. I
>>>>> feel that every blind person who is able to read braille should
>>>>> learn it. I do understand that there are blind people who have
>>>>> medical conditions that prevents them from being able to read
>>>>> braille. For them they have no choice but to use audio but I do
>>>>> have the choice I just don't like being limited to just audio only
>>>>> and not braille. You hate braille and I hate audio. a good example
>>>>> of when I wish that I had braille instead of a file was when I
>>>>> requested my local newspaper to be accessable. my lions club
>>>>> purchassed a sara reading machine for me there was no braille manual
>>>>> but there was a print manual. I had to go to the help file on the
>>>>> machine and try to find what I wanted. When I called the paper
>>>>> office they asked what files my machine could read. If I had a
>>>>> braille manual I could have just looked it up while on the phone and
>>>>> gave them the answer. I had to call back after I went to the help
>>>>> file and found it. This is very time concuming I can look up
>>>>> somthing much faster in braille than any other format. I am not
>>>>> saying that I can do it as quick as a sighted person can with print
>>>>> but for me it's the fastest way for me to get the job done. When I
>>>>> was a kid I attended the Michigan school the blind in Lansing and we
>>>>> had to learn braille and all of our books were in braille. There
>>>>> was no I don't want to learn it you had to. I will say that I can
>>>>> certainly listen much faster than I can read but when it comes to
>>>>> looking up somthing braille is faster hands down. I have been blind
>>>>> since birth and thats all I ever knew was braille. It's like the
>>>>> sighted grew up with print. I wanted to learn the opticon at the
>>>>> rehab center but they would not let me because they said that I was
>>>>> not fast enough. I felt that I was learning and making progress and
>>>>> I should had the right to continue but they said no. If somone
>>>>> really wants to learn a new skil then they should beallowed to do
>>>>> so. If I am determind to learn somthing that then I will even
>>>>> though it might take more time then the teacher would like. I guess
>>>>> that modavation means nothing. If somone reallly wants to learn
>>>>> braille so what ifit takes several month to do so they should not be
>>>>> told no you can't continue. If companies had the equipment to
>>>>> produce braille they could charge me for the cost of the paper to
>>>>> get braille manuals or catalogs.
>>>>>> On 3/5/2020 9:26 PM, Dave wrote:
>>>>>> Hello Brian,
>>>>>> I have nothing against Braille other than the hassle it is to create
>>>>>> it, such as a Manual in Braille.
>>>>>> I've been blind for a long time now, and there were many times when I
>>>>>> would have Kissed the Feet of anyone who gave me a manual in Audio
>>>>>> format. many times have I had to just Wing it, learning by Guess and
>>>>>> by Golly. Once Computers became a Tool for the Blind, Guessing was
>>>>>> not always the best thing to do, as guessing wrong could ruin your
>>>>>> day in a Big way. Still can.
>>>>>> but, Brian, I have no Beef with Braille. To produce it is just
>>>>>> not an
>>>>>> easy task. And I would guess that most manufacturers of items for
>>>>>> the blind, may not want to hire another Staff member to do nothing
>>>>>> but print out Manuals in Braille.
>>>>>> Yes, it all sounds good, until the costs of doing such a thing is
>>>>>> These days, I do expect a Manual at least in a PDF format, if not an
>>>>>> Audio file. And if I own my own Braille Printer, I can then print
>>>>>> out the PDF file.
>>>>>> Although, I can't afford one of those printers, so I do without.
>>>>>> However, I could run the Audio file through an Audio to Text
>>>>>> converter, and then print that file out in Braille.
>>>>>> When I get nothing but an On Line Manual, where I need to go On Line
>>>>>> to read the thing. I am Thankful for at least that much, but I
>>>>>> always look to see if I can just download the manual so I don't need
>>>>>> to be going On Line so much.
>>>>>> Call it my personal Taste.
>>>>>> I would think most who are Blind have learned over and over again to
>>>>>> look for Work Arounds for doing many things in Life.
>>>>>> You like Braille, and while I do use it, I Hate it. So a Braille
>>>>>> Manual would be a waste of resources to send me one.
>>>>>> You Love it, and can use it well. So, when the Company doesn't send
>>>>>> a manual in Braille, but has sent you one in PDF, or even Audio, if
>>>>>> you want a manual in Braille, the Work around is to convert that
>>>>>> Audio or
>>>>>> PDF file into Braille. And if you are like me, and can't afford a
>>>>>> Braille Printer, there are Services that will take your Manual file
>>>>>> and make you a manual in Braille.
>>>>>> it may cost you a few dollars, which again is all part of the Life of
>>>>>> someone who is Blind. In the past, I have hired Readers to read
>>>>>> Manuals on Tape. Paid them $10 for every hour of Recorded material.
>>>>>> I've paid people to read my Mail. This was before smart Phones had
>>>>>> built in Cameras and OCR programs. I paid them $10 an hour too. this
>>>>>> was back in the 1980's and 90's.
>>>>>> I haven't had to hire anyone for about 20 years now
>>>>>> And Dare I bring up the Quality of Manuals? So often, regardless of
>>>>>> what Format it comes in, the information in the thing is totally Nuts!
>>>>>> It doesn't make Sense, and you can't tell if it is a Translation of
>>>>>> something in Chinese to English, or from Chinese to Spanish and then
>>>>>> Russian, and then to English etc.
>>>>>> And some manuals that come in English are so poorly written, lack
>>>>>> helpful information and seem to be missing a great deal of actual
>>>>>> instructional information and are next to useless in any format.
>>>>>> Grumpy Dave
>> They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
>> They ask: "How Happy are You?"
>> I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"
> Ann K. Parsons
> Portal Tutoring
> EMAIL: akp@... <mailto:akp@...>
> Author of The Demmies:
> Portal Tutoring web site:
> Skype: Putertutor
> "All that is gold does not glitter,
> Not all those who wander are lost."
Ann K. Parsons
Author of The Demmies:
Portal Tutoring web site:
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost."
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"