Date   

locked Re: warning if you doing business

Ann Parsons
 

Hi all,

No, he is not a troll. He has learning differences. Deal!

Ann P.


Original message:

I'm sorry, but this message is difficult to read. Is this a self-troll?
Cristóbal
-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of brian
Sent: Friday, March 6, 2020 12:01 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
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 <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of
Victor
Sent: March 6, 2020 12:42 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
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 difficult.
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@...> 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
considered.

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


















--
Ann K. Parsons
Portal Tutoring
EMAIL: akp@...
Author of The Demmies: http://www.dldbooks.com/annparsons/
Portal Tutoring web site: http://www.portaltutoring.info
Skype: Putertutor

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost."


Re: alka tell V phone

Gerald Levy
 


Our list moderator,Gene, will be doing a presentation on the Alcatel Go Flip phone this Monday, March 9, on Accessible World Tech Talk at 8:00 PM EDT.  The podcast of this program will be available on the Accessible World Tech Talk site later in the week.  I suggest taking your new phone to a Verizon store where one of their clerks can install the battery for you and turn on speech, which requires a long series of keystrokes that is best performed for the first time by someone who is sighted.


Gerald



On 3/6/2020 8:50 PM, Dave Mitchel wrote:
Hello, I just received my new alka tell V phone and I can’t even figure out how to get the battery installed. does anyone know the trick to opening up the back so I can install the battery?
once installed will it come up speaking to me or do I need to figure out how to do that also?
my sighted helper could not figure out the trick to opening the back either so I don’t feel too awfully bad.
any help will be appreciated.
Dave


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Dave
 

Hello Ann,


I too am not a huge Fan of raking poor Brian over the Coals in a Public
List, but then again, Poor Brian did make some statements while
attempting to prove the Value of reading Braille, that when looking at
Brian's Emails. . . Well let's just say they make a person wonder if
Poor Brian, the Braille Reader, knows his writing has as many,errors of
one kind or another as those who do not read Braille?


And Ann, all I ask from most people is to do the Best they can, at what
ever it is we are doing together.  They do not need to be Perfect,
although Perfection and High Competence is Greatly Appreciated.


Imperfect, and Still Grumpy about it, Dave


locked Re: warning if you doing business

David Goldfield
 

Hi, Laz.

I just want to say that I'm very impressed that you sell Fire tablets not only with VoiceView enabled but with the Google Play Store installed. While I personally am able to install the Play Store I can appreciate that this process can be overwhelming to some users and it's a very nice convenience to know that users who need one can order an Amazon Fire tablet with accessibility enabled and the Play Store installed.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

WWW.DavidGoldfield.org

On 3/6/2020 12:06 PM, Laz wrote:
Well, not quite, but I do have audio and text directions which I email
to my customers and when possible include right on their devices so it
can be accessed in whatever way the person chooses.

The name is Laz which rhymes with Jazz. (smiles)

On 3/6/20, Carolyn Arnold <4carolyna@...> wrote:
Lan has video instructions on all of his products.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io
[mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ann Parsons
Sent: Friday, March 6, 2020 8:15 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business

Morning all,

Several points have been made in this discussion, but I want
to concentrate on Dave's assertion, and his amusement.

Dave, let me explain something to you. Stop being grumpy
and listen.
There are people in this world who actually need braille,
not prefer it, or desire it, but actually need it. These
are our friends who are DeafBlind. They cannot use any
audio materials spoken by either human or synthetic voices.
They need braille.

Second, RE the matter of Free Matter for the Blind. I would
not want equipment of any kind shipped Free Matter because
it takes so long to ship and also because it is treated like
third class mail, the potential for damage is great! I
don't think you can ship computers Free Matter. It has to
be something specifically designed for the blind, not
something that is available to all.

Now as to instructions sent with equipment for the blind,
many companies which sell material specifically designed for
the blind do, not, ship, accessible instructions with their
products!! They don't ship large print. They don't ship
braille. They don't ship audio, nothing accessible, only a
printed pamphlet! This is unconscionable!
A person who is blind should receive instructions in some
kind of accessible format, period! It could be an audio CD,
or a braille hard copy or a braille file, but something!
Instead, they ship their products with printed instructions,
expecting the blind person to be able to access them
somehow. Roger Behm is the *only* businessman I know of who
ships accessible instructions and manuals without being
asked. I had to get sighted help to label a calculator for
a student because the company which sent the thing didn't
bother including accessible instructions.

Ann P.


Original message:
Gosh, a couple of you had me Laughing Out Loud!
Complaining about having to pay Postage, and that Braille
instructions
don[t come in the package?
Sheesh! Be Dam Thankful you get an Audio file! but,
Braille?


Now that was Funny! I Needed a Good Laugh today.
Grumpy Dave
--
Ann K. Parsons
Portal Tutoring
EMAIL: akp@...
Author of The Demmies: https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dldbooks.com%2Fannparsons%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C01b46155e4004f2f3db808d7c1f0ad89%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637191111749716838&amp;sdata=YrDMgW8AdziTF%2FzsCYRc9JMSviB15rvO0Qr6Ylo8CDU%3D&amp;reserved=0
Portal Tutoring web site: https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.portaltutoring.info&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C01b46155e4004f2f3db808d7c1f0ad89%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637191111749716838&amp;sdata=k3LzK2nrDNWpXYvsVYLcW9q2CAHllnRHrPKbmlg6a2Y%3D&amp;reserved=0
Skype: Putertutor

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost."








locked Re: warning if you doing business

David Goldfield
 

Hi, Gerald.

It was nice to read your positive comments regarding Computers for the Blind. In 2013 my wife and I purchased a desktop computer from them as I had a rather old PC running Windows XP, which was scheduled to lose support in April of 2014. Money was very tight for us and I could not afford an expensive computer but I knew that I had to purchase one fairly soon. I was a bit nervous at buying a refurbished computer but I decided to take a chance. The computer was almost in perfect physical condition and it ran Windows 7 very nicely, being quick and responsive. Over the years I've done some upgrading to it, adding more RAM, larger hard drives and upgrading it to Windows 10. It still purrs like a contented kitten and I probably won't part with it until it either falls apart or until I need to run some software which it won't be able to support.


David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

WWW.DavidGoldfield.org

On 3/6/2020 12:24 PM, Gerald Levy via Groups.Io wrote:

Allow me to address two of your points.  First of all, not all deaf-blind people are dependent on Braille, as you seem to imply. Indeed, many of them use IPhones with Voice Over successfully with their blutoot hearing aids.  I know this because I run the Blind Hearing Aid Users list, and hardly a day goes by without somebody inquiring about using an IPhone, so just because a person is classified as "deaf-blind" does not necessarily mean that they cannot hear or see, and thus must rely totally on Braille to read. I am classified as deaf-blind myself, but have never learned Braille and get along just fine without it because I can still hear reasonably well with hearing aids.


Secondly, it is not true that computers cannot be sent as free matter.  Computers for the Blind in Texas ships all computers and accessories as free matter and even provides tracking numbers, something that some merchants don't do even if you pay for shipping.  I have ordered three computers from them and all were well packaged and delivered undamaged within a week of being sent out


BTW, did your precious Smart Vision cell phone come with comprehensive Braille instructions??  For $700, it's the least they can do.


Gerald



On 3/6/2020 8:14 AM, Ann Parsons wrote:
Morning all,

Several points have been made in this discussion, but I want to concentrate on Dave's assertion, and his amusement.

Dave, let me explain something to you.  Stop being grumpy and listen.  There are people in this world who actually need braille, not prefer it, or desire it, but actually need it. These are our friends who are DeafBlind.  They cannot use any audio materials spoken by either human or synthetic voices. They need braille.

Second, RE the matter of Free Matter for the Blind.  I would not want equipment of any kind shipped Free Matter because it takes so long to ship and also because it is treated like third class mail, the potential for damage is great!  I don't think you can ship computers Free Matter.  It has to be something specifically designed for the blind, not something that is available to all.

Now as to instructions sent with equipment for the blind, many companies which sell material specifically designed for the blind do, not, ship, accessible instructions with their products!!  They don't ship large print.  They don't ship braille.  They don't ship audio, nothing accessible, only a printed pamphlet!  This is unconscionable!  A person who is blind should receive instructions in some kind of accessible format, period!  It could be an audio CD, or a braille hard copy or a braille file, but something! Instead, they ship their products with printed instructions, expecting the blind person to be able to access them somehow. Roger Behm is the *only* businessman I know of who ships accessible instructions and manuals without being asked.  I had to get sighted help to label a calculator for a student because the company which sent the thing didn't bother including accessible instructions.

Ann P.


Original message:
Gosh, a couple of you had me Laughing Out Loud!

Complaining about having to pay Postage, and that Braille instructions
don[t come in the package?

Sheesh!  Be Dam Thankful you get an Audio file!   but, Braille?

Now that was Funny!  I Needed a Good Laugh today.

Grumpy Dave


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Stan Bobbitt
 

Hi,

I have a very similar experience to Ron’s. I was not born blind and started out in public school. I learned to read and write print and could do things like ride bikes, play ball etc. I was totally blind by the age of 8. I learned braille and continued my education through state schools.

I too got into computers in the mid nineties and brought most of my skills up to college level.

So I started out reading with my eyes, progressed to reading with my fingers, and now I do nearly all of my reading with my ears. Although I still read a couple monthly magazines in braille.

M2C,

StanB

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Canazzi
Sent: Saturday, March 7, 2020 12:22 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business

 

Hi Gene,

I have had an experience that is probably much different than many other blind people.  For background, it is important to state that I was born a partial (partially sighted) but a very high functional partial.  I could ride a bicycle, play football and baseball with fully sighted people, swim by myself, walk to and from school by myself without sighted help and so on.  Just before the age of twelve, I lost my vision rather quickly--inn about two months.

Here I was totally blind at the age of twelve.  So I wanted to learn Braille very quickly.  I had been an avid reader and I had a good knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar--for a twelve-year-old.  Since for more than a year, I concentrated on learning Braille, I put some of the other stuff aside and probably fell behind my grade level for basics such as spelling, punctuation and grammar.  In addition, as Braille readers know, braille is full of contractions, one letter word representations and so on.  I learned to read Braille fluently fairly quickly.  In doing so, I was able to continue to read more and more advanced books.  But my spelling, punctuation and grammar skills were--in a manner of speaking--left behind.  As time went on and I read more and more complex books, my comprehension improved, but due to the issues of transitioning from sighted print reader to blind Braille reader, my spelling, punctuation and to a degree even grammar skills stayed a lower levels.

Enter the digital, computer/Kindle/whatever age in the 1990's.  I began using a computer and all the other modern advances for the blind and by using spell checkers, grammar checkers and the like, my spelling, punctuation and grammar rapidly improved to college level capabilities.

So you see, I had the exact opposite experience that some others had--being blinded quickly, trying to compensate for that quickly, falling behind and then using the modern, non Braille methodologies to catch up to speed.

It just goes to show that people are people and that blind people are people first--each with individual needs, strengths and weaknesses--and blind secondarily.

On 3/6/2020 9:03 PM, Gene wrote:

You can't assume that what you are relating as your experience is true in general and I very much doubt it.  I don't know if or why it is true for you.  I learned xpelling and punctuation from reading Braille.  I may have learned other things about how to write by reading Braille that I am unaware of.  But my literary skill in writing and in listening hasn't gone down as I've read Braille less.  I learned these skills.  When I listen, I employ the same skilss as when I read Braille.  When I write, I use the same skills I learned as I learned to write.  None of them are lessened by how little or how much I read Braille. 

 

When I was in school, I comprehended and interpreted what I read as well whether I got the information from Braille or print.  In my later life, I lost none of my abilities to comprehend and interpret as I read Braille less.  There was a time when I read a lot of Braille.  I very seldom read much in Braille now.  But, as I said, my skills in comprehension, interpretation, and writing have not gone down at all.

 

Thinking a little about history shows more inaccuracies in your argument.  People listened long before they read.  the Illiad and the Oddesey were in oral form long before they were written down.  Old myths and legends were in oral form long before they were written. 

 

You may prefer reading.  You may concentrate better.  I concentrate and interpret what I read or what I listen to with equal ability.  And there is simply no loss of my skills as I've read Braille less over the years.

 

Again, you are generalizing with no supporting evidence but your own experience and that is just your experience.  You cannot build convincing arguments based on geneeralizing in these areas just from you to the whole. 

 

I am not saying that my experience is representative of most people, but I think it is.  But without studies of people to see what we can determine, I don't claim what I'm saying as fact.  You have generalized throughout this discussion as though your single personal experience is fact for all.  It isn't, as I have explained by relating my experience in this message. 

 

Also, consider that the recorded book is now very popular among sighted people.  We are born listeners.  Regardless of the merits of reading, it came long after listening. 

 

Gene

----- Original Message -----

From: brian

Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 4:22 PM

Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business

 

    If you get the writter magazine they will tell that if you want to
be a good writter than you have to read alot.  They are published
writters who make their living from their writting.  For the record I
have never claimed that my writting skills are any better than any one
elses I did say that are not as they should be.  This is because I don't
read like I did in school.  I am only blind I am not deaf blind.  I am
sure that I am not the only blind person whos writting skills are not as
they should be.  It is all because we don't access to paper braille as
we should to keep our writting skills as they should be.  wWhen blind
people don't read their reading will suffer as I said that mine does. 
When people say that we don't braille because we have audio and screen
readers they are not telling the truth.  If you never read how words are
spelled then you will sound try to guess how they are spelled by
sounding them out.  As we all know not all words are spelled like they
sound.  This is a very big problem if you only listen.  For example if
you never read the word laugh in braille you might spell it laf because
thats the way that it sounds.  Why would have any reason to think that
was wrong?  You would think that that word must be spelled because thats
they it sounds.  You may say why don't you just use spell check.  If you
don't read then you would have no way of knowing that was the wrong way
to spell the word.  Another example is people say words not the way that
should be said.  All of my life I have always heard the word wash
pronounced as worsh so I would write it that way because I had no reason
to question it.  Once I read the word then I knew that it was spelled
wash and not worsh.  The way that people talk is very confusing to
blindpeople if you can't read for yourself.  You may never know that not
all words are spelled as they sound.  If you did learn proper spelling
back in school and you don't read you will forget how many words are
spelled after many years of not reading.  When I was in school my
teachers did not tell me that my writting skills were very bad they
could be better and thats we are in school to learn and get our skills
as they should be.  If you don't use them then you will loose them. I do
think that when I was in school my reading and writting was better than
it is now because I had to do it every day.  Now I don't have to.  I
have no problem with somone telling that I spelled a word wrong and even
sighted people spell words wrong so it's not a blindness thing. No one
is going to rember how every word is spelled any one can be wrong.

Brian Sackrider

On 3/6/2020 4:45 PM, Ann Parsons wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I believe that Brian writes as well as he is able.  Not sure what his
> difficulties may be e.g. learning differences, DeafBlindness,
> whatever. Criticizing someone who is doing their best to communicate
> is not productive.  Pointing out errors, yes, privately, but calling
> someone out for commenting on mistakes made by others when he,
> himself, has made mistakes may feel good, but is, in my view,
> unproductive.  That's what I was referring to, Gene.
>
> Sorry, I keep forgetting to quote stuff.  This mailer doesn't quote
> automatically.
>
> Ann P.
>



-- 
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!"


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Victor
 

Hello Jean and Ron:

It is definitely true that people have been listening to stories much longer than they have been reading them. For centuries, people listened to Scriptures read to them in their churches long before the Gutenberg press was invented.

Years ago when I received audiobooks from the national library service in the mail, sighted people asked me how they could get audiobooks so that they could listen to them while driving or doing other things. At the time, I told them I didn’t know how they could get such books. Shortly there after, I learned that one could get audiobooks from video stores. Shortly after that, listening to audiobooks caught on nationwide. I know a woman who said that audiobooks were a Life saver for her while driving across the country because she got tired of listening to the radio and her CDs.

While in college, I knew sighted students who told me that they wished they could listen to their textbooks sometimes so that they could rest their eyes. Listening to their textbooks would enable them to process the material and study while driving and them Make more productive use of their time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that listening to audio is not all that unusual anymore. Maybe we are coming full circle back to ancient times in this way.

Victor


On Mar 6, 2020, at 9:37 PM, Ron Canazzi <aa2vm@...> wrote:

 Hi Evan,

Well this analysis while tightly argued, is like a biblical literalist that represents a false dialectic by only examining terminologies and factoids that support their own belief structure.

One falsehood of your argument is in semantics Since the perception of reading has been from time immemorial the use of one's eyes and printed material to intake facts derived by, thought of and/or written down by others. If so, then how is it that Braille can be thought of as the exact equivalent of print when it in fact is not.  Not only is it not the same as a standard 26 character alphabet, but it also uses a different sense--that of the sense of touch to extract the ideas from the materials.

In a very strict sense of the syntactical world and using at least in part, your own rigid interpretation of 'reading' actually is, then you as a Braille reader really aren't reading in the classic sense of the word either.

That's why I believe that words serve only a function of communicating basic ideas and that there must be flexibility, discourse, investigation and relatively speaking a scientific type analysis of each and every issue for true knowledge to be obtained.

Once again, if the importance of what is known as reading is that we communicate ideas, then the mechanics as to what is defined as reading should be secondary to how the ideas are being transferred.

On 3/6/2020 9:06 PM, Evan Reese wrote:
Well, I would say that listening to an audio book is not the same as reading it, either in braille or print.
To illustrate, if I tell you a story, would you say that you had read it? No. Now, what if I write down the story and read it to you, either in person or on the phone. Would you say that you had read it? I don’t think so.
Now, suppose I make a recording of me reading the story and send it to you. Would you say that you had read it? The only difference is that, instead of reading it to you live, I’m reading it on tape, as we used to say.
So no, listening to someone read a book is not the same thing as reading it oneself. You may still get the information, but you didn’t read it if you listened to someone else read it.
I don’t think a synthetic voice makes any difference. True, it doesn’t know what it’s saying, but you still have an intermediary between yourself and the actual text, you’re still listening to (in this case), a computer translate the actual text into words. So, even though it doesn’t comprehend what it is translating, it is still reading to you in the strictest sense. You are not reading when using a synthetic voice.
But language changes, definitions change over time. It may happen soon that people will say that they are actually reading when they are listening to a voice, any voice, whether human or synthetic, read to them. Many people already say that, so I think we’re on the way. I don’t care all that much. I’ve done it myself, said that I read a book when I actually listened to someone else read it. I don’t make a big deal out of it. But you asked for thoughts, and that’s what I actually believe, even if I speak off-handedly about reading audio books.
Evan
 
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
 

I'd like to address this topic of literacy when talking about whether or not a person is able or not able to read Braille. I wrote a blog post about this a while ago as these were questions which I was considering and I'd like to share this post with you if you have an interest in reading it. I'm afraid that it really doesn't answer these questions and, in fact, may raise a few additional ones that some of us might not have considered. Here is the post.

 

Consuming Books: Reading Vs. Listening

This morning I was browsing my Facebook timeline and stumbled on a post from one of my friends who posed a very interesting question. The question has to do with the wording we use to convey how we consume audio books. My friend pointed out that she’s noticing a trend, both with blind and sighted readers, where they will use the verb “listen” instead of “read”, as in “I just finished listening to that book” as opposed to “I just finished reading that book”, as if consuming a book via audio isn’t quite the same as reading it.

First, I’ll provide a bit of background into my own life as an avid reader. I learned how to read Braille when I was around four and how to write it not much later than that. I’ve always found reading Braille to be very easy and I’ve been reading books using Braille for about as long as I can remember. I remember the enjoyment I always felt going to my school library, browsing the many shelves of Braille books and being able to check out one or two books a week, which I always read quickly. Of course, there were many books, known as talking books, which were recorded on cassettes’ as well as on phonograph records. Talking books have been available for blind and visually impaired consumers to borrow since the 1930s, way before audio books became popular with sighted consumers. While I never hesitated to borrow a book on tape from my library, Braille was always my preferred medium and, when given a choice between Braille and audio, Braille was always what I chose.

As I’ve embraced new technologies the way I consume books has also changed. Nearly all of the books which I consume are done so audibly and not in Braille. There are several reasons for this and they don’t apply to all readers who are blind. First, most of the books which I want to read are just not available in Braille. While the National Library Service produces many Braille books there are simply more titles available in an audio format. Even then the amount of books produced by NLS, while I greatly appreciate the work that they do, is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of titles available from other suppliers. Bookshare, another specialized library for people with print disabilities, offers over half a million books and that number continues to increase. Learning Ally is another specialized library which I’ve used for over 35 years, offers around 80,000 human-narrated titles. Of course, mainstream book suppliers such as the Kindle store offer millions of books, with more constantly being added. These specialized and mainstream suppliers offer a much greater selection of books than what I am able to borrow from my local NLS affiliate.

Some readers will no doubt want to remind me of the fact that we do have Braille display technology, which will work both with my computer as well as with my phone. This is certainly true and a Braille display would certainly allow me to read books from any of these suppliers using the same Braille code that I enjoyed using with books printed on paper. However, there are reasons which, for me, make this an impractical solution.

First, Braille display technology, while readily available for many devices, is often costly. As an example, Freedom Scientific’s most inexpensive Braille display, the Focus 14 Blue, costs $1295.00. At this time spending over a thousand dollars for a Braille display is just not something which I could easily do, considering it’s a device that I don’t truly need. However, even if a Braille display magically dropped onto my desk the fact is that I do a lot of reading either on the train or lying in bed. Reading with a Braille display on a moving train, no matter how portable, is just too awkward. When I’m lying in bed and wanted to read a book it’s just so much easier to do this with a small phone and would prove to be a bit less convenient if I added even a 14-cell display.

Anyway, back to the topic. My friend was pointing out that she has noticed that many people say they’ve listened to a book as opposed to reading it if the book was consumed in an audio medium, such as an audio CD or listening to it with synthetic speech using the Kindle app. However, this also makes me think of how we often use the word “read” when we actually have listened to the book.

This raises some interesting questions. When it comes to books, is it fair to consider it reading regardless of how it’s consumed? There are probably some sighted people who feel that the only way to truly read a book is to do so by processing the printed material visually. Of course, as blind people we know this is certainly not the case. All of us would agree that processing the information with our fingers would just as validly be considered reading as processing the information with our eyes and, in that instance, there is no controversy. However, the wording sometimes changes when we shift from print on a page to either a human narrator or a synthetic voice coming from a pair of speakers or from our portable phones and tablets. If I consumed a book by listening to it with an app such as Voice Dream Reader, am I wrong to say that I’ve read the book? Most blind people would say that I’m not and I would tend to agree with them.

However, let’s say we have an individual who is blind who never learned how to read Braille. There are some valid reasons for why they might not have been taught how to read and write in Braille, such as having neuropathy in their fingers which would prevent them from being able to distinguish the dot patterns. In such a case, this blind individual would only be able to consume books in an audible format. Considering this, would we look at that blind person who didn’t know Braille and conclude, if only to ourselves, that this person was illiterate. We might not say that to their face in the course of normal conversation but do we consider a blind person who doesn’t know Braille to be illiterate? If the answer to that question is yes then can we say that this blind person, not knowing Braille, has “read” a book when it was consumed by listening. If we say no, then why is it acceptable for me to say that I’ve read a book and my hypothetical blind person could not say that, just because I can read Braille and he cannot.

Let’s take this a step further and consider a fully sighted person who, for one reason or another, never learned how to read print. There’s no doubt that we would conclude that this person would be considered illiterate. Saying so is not meant as an insult but, in this case, is indisputable; someone who can’t read is illiterate. My hypothetical blind person might not have the ability to learn Braille and the sighted person could, with proper training, learn how to read print but, until that individual chooses to take classes in how to read, we would all agree that he’s illiterate. Given that fact, would we tend to disagree with the illiterate sighted person if he told us that he “read” a particular book by consuming it in an audible medium? Wouldn’t we think, “No, you didn’t really read that book, you listened to it.” If this is the case, then why is it OK for me, as a blind person who knows Braille, to tell people that I may have read the same book by consuming it in the exact same way but yet fewer people would think of challenging my word choices.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most important topic which should concern us. I don’t think about it all that much and it certainly doesn’t keep me up at night. However, I think these issues are important as it has really forced me to think about what we mean when we speak of what it means to be literate.

 

As an aside, the person who brought up this topic is one of the proprietors of Speeddots, which sells various tactile screen protectors for your Apple iDevice. They also sell various Bluetooth accessories as well as rugged lightning cables with a life-time warranty.

So, how do you feel about this? For you, does listening to an audio book qualify as reading it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

WWW.DavidGoldfield.org
On 3/6/2020 6:21 PM, Ron Canazzi wrote:
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 reply.

<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 myself.)

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 thought.)

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 On Behalf Of Victor
Sent: March 6, 2020 12:42 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
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 difficult.

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 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
considered.


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!"


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Gene
 

That's an interesting story and it shows how wrong you can be if you assume one person's experience represents everyone to the point where it is assumed to be fact.
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 11:22 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business

Hi Gene,

I have had an experience that is probably much different than many other blind people.  For background, it is important to state that I was born a partial (partially sighted) but a very high functional partial.  I could ride a bicycle, play football and baseball with fully sighted people, swim by myself, walk to and from school by myself without sighted help and so on.  Just before the age of twelve, I lost my vision rather quickly--inn about two months.

Here I was totally blind at the age of twelve.  So I wanted to learn Braille very quickly.  I had been an avid reader and I had a good knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar--for a twelve-year-old.  Since for more than a year, I concentrated on learning Braille, I put some of the other stuff aside and probably fell behind my grade level for basics such as spelling, punctuation and grammar.  In addition, as Braille readers know, braille is full of contractions, one letter word representations and so on.  I learned to read Braille fluently fairly quickly.  In doing so, I was able to continue to read more and more advanced books.  But my spelling, punctuation and grammar skills were--in a manner of speaking--left behind.  As time went on and I read more and more complex books, my comprehension improved, but due to the issues of transitioning from sighted print reader to blind Braille reader, my spelling, punctuation and to a degree even grammar skills stayed a lower levels.

Enter the digital, computer/Kindle/whatever age in the 1990's.  I began using a computer and all the other modern advances for the blind and by using spell checkers, grammar checkers and the like, my spelling, punctuation and grammar rapidly improved to college level capabilities.

So you see, I had the exact opposite experience that some others had--being blinded quickly, trying to compensate for that quickly, falling behind and then using the modern, non Braille methodologies to catch up to speed.

It just goes to show that people are people and that blind people are people first--each with individual needs, strengths and weaknesses--and blind secondarily.


On 3/6/2020 9:03 PM, Gene wrote:
You can't assume that what you are relating as your experience is true in general and I very much doubt it.  I don't know if or why it is true for you.  I learned xpelling and punctuation from reading Braille.  I may have learned other things about how to write by reading Braille that I am unaware of.  But my literary skill in writing and in listening hasn't gone down as I've read Braille less.  I learned these skills.  When I listen, I employ the same skilss as when I read Braille.  When I write, I use the same skills I learned as I learned to write.  None of them are lessened by how little or how much I read Braille. 
 
When I was in school, I comprehended and interpreted what I read as well whether I got the information from Braille or print.  In my later life, I lost none of my abilities to comprehend and interpret as I read Braille less.  There was a time when I read a lot of Braille.  I very seldom read much in Braille now.  But, as I said, my skills in comprehension, interpretation, and writing have not gone down at all.
 
Thinking a little about history shows more inaccuracies in your argument.  People listened long before they read.  the Illiad and the Oddesey were in oral form long before they were written down.  Old myths and legends were in oral form long before they were written. 
 
You may prefer reading.  You may concentrate better.  I concentrate and interpret what I read or what I listen to with equal ability.  And there is simply no loss of my skills as I've read Braille less over the years.
 
Again, you are generalizing with no supporting evidence but your own experience and that is just your experience.  You cannot build convincing arguments based on geneeralizing in these areas just from you to the whole. 
 
I am not saying that my experience is representative of most people, but I think it is.  But without studies of people to see what we can determine, I don't claim what I'm saying as fact.  You have generalized throughout this discussion as though your single personal experience is fact for all.  It isn't, as I have explained by relating my experience in this message. 
 
Also, consider that the recorded book is now very popular among sighted people.  We are born listeners.  Regardless of the merits of reading, it came long after listening. 
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----
From: brian
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business

    If you get the writter magazine they will tell that if you want to
be a good writter than you have to read alot.  They are published
writters who make their living from their writting.  For the record I
have never claimed that my writting skills are any better than any one
elses I did say that are not as they should be.  This is because I don't
read like I did in school.  I am only blind I am not deaf blind.  I am
sure that I am not the only blind person whos writting skills are not as
they should be.  It is all because we don't access to paper braille as
we should to keep our writting skills as they should be.  wWhen blind
people don't read their reading will suffer as I said that mine does. 
When people say that we don't braille because we have audio and screen
readers they are not telling the truth.  If you never read how words are
spelled then you will sound try to guess how they are spelled by
sounding them out.  As we all know not all words are spelled like they
sound.  This is a very big problem if you only listen.  For example if
you never read the word laugh in braille you might spell it laf because
thats the way that it sounds.  Why would have any reason to think that
was wrong?  You would think that that word must be spelled because thats
they it sounds.  You may say why don't you just use spell check.  If you
don't read then you would have no way of knowing that was the wrong way
to spell the word.  Another example is people say words not the way that
should be said.  All of my life I have always heard the word wash
pronounced as worsh so I would write it that way because I had no reason
to question it.  Once I read the word then I knew that it was spelled
wash and not worsh.  The way that people talk is very confusing to
blindpeople if you can't read for yourself.  You may never know that not
all words are spelled as they sound.  If you did learn proper spelling
back in school and you don't read you will forget how many words are
spelled after many years of not reading.  When I was in school my
teachers did not tell me that my writting skills were very bad they
could be better and thats we are in school to learn and get our skills
as they should be.  If you don't use them then you will loose them. I do
think that when I was in school my reading and writting was better than
it is now because I had to do it every day.  Now I don't have to.  I
have no problem with somone telling that I spelled a word wrong and even
sighted people spell words wrong so it's not a blindness thing. No one
is going to rember how every word is spelled any one can be wrong.

Brian Sackrider

On 3/6/2020 4:45 PM, Ann Parsons wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I believe that Brian writes as well as he is able.  Not sure what his
> difficulties may be e.g. learning differences, DeafBlindness,
> whatever. Criticizing someone who is doing their best to communicate
> is not productive.  Pointing out errors, yes, privately, but calling
> someone out for commenting on mistakes made by others when he,
> himself, has made mistakes may feel good, but is, in my view,
> unproductive.  That's what I was referring to, Gene.
>
> Sorry, I keep forgetting to quote stuff.  This mailer doesn't quote
> automatically.
>
> Ann P.
>



-- 
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!"


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Ron Canazzi
 

Hi Evan,

Well this analysis while tightly argued, is like a biblical literalist that represents a false dialectic by only examining terminologies and factoids that support their own belief structure.

One falsehood of your argument is in semantics Since the perception of reading has been from time immemorial the use of one's eyes and printed material to intake facts derived by, thought of and/or written down by others. If so, then how is it that Braille can be thought of as the exact equivalent of print when it in fact is not.  Not only is it not the same as a standard 26 character alphabet, but it also uses a different sense--that of the sense of touch to extract the ideas from the materials.

In a very strict sense of the syntactical world and using at least in part, your own rigid interpretation of 'reading' actually is, then you as a Braille reader really aren't reading in the classic sense of the word either.

That's why I believe that words serve only a function of communicating basic ideas and that there must be flexibility, discourse, investigation and relatively speaking a scientific type analysis of each and every issue for true knowledge to be obtained.

Once again, if the importance of what is known as reading is that we communicate ideas, then the mechanics as to what is defined as reading should be secondary to how the ideas are being transferred.

On 3/6/2020 9:06 PM, Evan Reese wrote:
Well, I would say that listening to an audio book is not the same as reading it, either in braille or print.
To illustrate, if I tell you a story, would you say that you had read it? No. Now, what if I write down the story and read it to you, either in person or on the phone. Would you say that you had read it? I don’t think so.
Now, suppose I make a recording of me reading the story and send it to you. Would you say that you had read it? The only difference is that, instead of reading it to you live, I’m reading it on tape, as we used to say.
So no, listening to someone read a book is not the same thing as reading it oneself. You may still get the information, but you didn’t read it if you listened to someone else read it.
I don’t think a synthetic voice makes any difference. True, it doesn’t know what it’s saying, but you still have an intermediary between yourself and the actual text, you’re still listening to (in this case), a computer translate the actual text into words. So, even though it doesn’t comprehend what it is translating, it is still reading to you in the strictest sense. You are not reading when using a synthetic voice.
But language changes, definitions change over time. It may happen soon that people will say that they are actually reading when they are listening to a voice, any voice, whether human or synthetic, read to them. Many people already say that, so I think we’re on the way. I don’t care all that much. I’ve done it myself, said that I read a book when I actually listened to someone else read it. I don’t make a big deal out of it. But you asked for thoughts, and that’s what I actually believe, even if I speak off-handedly about reading audio books.
Evan
 
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
 

I'd like to address this topic of literacy when talking about whether or not a person is able or not able to read Braille. I wrote a blog post about this a while ago as these were questions which I was considering and I'd like to share this post with you if you have an interest in reading it. I'm afraid that it really doesn't answer these questions and, in fact, may raise a few additional ones that some of us might not have considered. Here is the post.

 

Consuming Books: Reading Vs. Listening

This morning I was browsing my Facebook timeline and stumbled on a post from one of my friends who posed a very interesting question. The question has to do with the wording we use to convey how we consume audio books. My friend pointed out that she’s noticing a trend, both with blind and sighted readers, where they will use the verb “listen” instead of “read”, as in “I just finished listening to that book” as opposed to “I just finished reading that book”, as if consuming a book via audio isn’t quite the same as reading it.

First, I’ll provide a bit of background into my own life as an avid reader. I learned how to read Braille when I was around four and how to write it not much later than that. I’ve always found reading Braille to be very easy and I’ve been reading books using Braille for about as long as I can remember. I remember the enjoyment I always felt going to my school library, browsing the many shelves of Braille books and being able to check out one or two books a week, which I always read quickly. Of course, there were many books, known as talking books, which were recorded on cassettes’ as well as on phonograph records. Talking books have been available for blind and visually impaired consumers to borrow since the 1930s, way before audio books became popular with sighted consumers. While I never hesitated to borrow a book on tape from my library, Braille was always my preferred medium and, when given a choice between Braille and audio, Braille was always what I chose.

As I’ve embraced new technologies the way I consume books has also changed. Nearly all of the books which I consume are done so audibly and not in Braille. There are several reasons for this and they don’t apply to all readers who are blind. First, most of the books which I want to read are just not available in Braille. While the National Library Service produces many Braille books there are simply more titles available in an audio format. Even then the amount of books produced by NLS, while I greatly appreciate the work that they do, is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of titles available from other suppliers. Bookshare, another specialized library for people with print disabilities, offers over half a million books and that number continues to increase. Learning Ally is another specialized library which I’ve used for over 35 years, offers around 80,000 human-narrated titles. Of course, mainstream book suppliers such as the Kindle store offer millions of books, with more constantly being added. These specialized and mainstream suppliers offer a much greater selection of books than what I am able to borrow from my local NLS affiliate.

Some readers will no doubt want to remind me of the fact that we do have Braille display technology, which will work both with my computer as well as with my phone. This is certainly true and a Braille display would certainly allow me to read books from any of these suppliers using the same Braille code that I enjoyed using with books printed on paper. However, there are reasons which, for me, make this an impractical solution.

First, Braille display technology, while readily available for many devices, is often costly. As an example, Freedom Scientific’s most inexpensive Braille display, the Focus 14 Blue, costs $1295.00. At this time spending over a thousand dollars for a Braille display is just not something which I could easily do, considering it’s a device that I don’t truly need. However, even if a Braille display magically dropped onto my desk the fact is that I do a lot of reading either on the train or lying in bed. Reading with a Braille display on a moving train, no matter how portable, is just too awkward. When I’m lying in bed and wanted to read a book it’s just so much easier to do this with a small phone and would prove to be a bit less convenient if I added even a 14-cell display.

Anyway, back to the topic. My friend was pointing out that she has noticed that many people say they’ve listened to a book as opposed to reading it if the book was consumed in an audio medium, such as an audio CD or listening to it with synthetic speech using the Kindle app. However, this also makes me think of how we often use the word “read” when we actually have listened to the book.

This raises some interesting questions. When it comes to books, is it fair to consider it reading regardless of how it’s consumed? There are probably some sighted people who feel that the only way to truly read a book is to do so by processing the printed material visually. Of course, as blind people we know this is certainly not the case. All of us would agree that processing the information with our fingers would just as validly be considered reading as processing the information with our eyes and, in that instance, there is no controversy. However, the wording sometimes changes when we shift from print on a page to either a human narrator or a synthetic voice coming from a pair of speakers or from our portable phones and tablets. If I consumed a book by listening to it with an app such as Voice Dream Reader, am I wrong to say that I’ve read the book? Most blind people would say that I’m not and I would tend to agree with them.

However, let’s say we have an individual who is blind who never learned how to read Braille. There are some valid reasons for why they might not have been taught how to read and write in Braille, such as having neuropathy in their fingers which would prevent them from being able to distinguish the dot patterns. In such a case, this blind individual would only be able to consume books in an audible format. Considering this, would we look at that blind person who didn’t know Braille and conclude, if only to ourselves, that this person was illiterate. We might not say that to their face in the course of normal conversation but do we consider a blind person who doesn’t know Braille to be illiterate? If the answer to that question is yes then can we say that this blind person, not knowing Braille, has “read” a book when it was consumed by listening. If we say no, then why is it acceptable for me to say that I’ve read a book and my hypothetical blind person could not say that, just because I can read Braille and he cannot.

Let’s take this a step further and consider a fully sighted person who, for one reason or another, never learned how to read print. There’s no doubt that we would conclude that this person would be considered illiterate. Saying so is not meant as an insult but, in this case, is indisputable; someone who can’t read is illiterate. My hypothetical blind person might not have the ability to learn Braille and the sighted person could, with proper training, learn how to read print but, until that individual chooses to take classes in how to read, we would all agree that he’s illiterate. Given that fact, would we tend to disagree with the illiterate sighted person if he told us that he “read” a particular book by consuming it in an audible medium? Wouldn’t we think, “No, you didn’t really read that book, you listened to it.” If this is the case, then why is it OK for me, as a blind person who knows Braille, to tell people that I may have read the same book by consuming it in the exact same way but yet fewer people would think of challenging my word choices.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most important topic which should concern us. I don’t think about it all that much and it certainly doesn’t keep me up at night. However, I think these issues are important as it has really forced me to think about what we mean when we speak of what it means to be literate.

 

As an aside, the person who brought up this topic is one of the proprietors of Speeddots, which sells various tactile screen protectors for your Apple iDevice. They also sell various Bluetooth accessories as well as rugged lightning cables with a life-time warranty.

So, how do you feel about this? For you, does listening to an audio book qualify as reading it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

WWW.DavidGoldfield.org
On 3/6/2020 6:21 PM, Ron Canazzi wrote:
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 reply.

<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 myself.)

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 thought.)

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 On Behalf Of Victor
Sent: March 6, 2020 12:42 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
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 difficult.

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 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
considered.


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!"


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Ron Canazzi
 

Hi Gene,

I have had an experience that is probably much different than many other blind people.  For background, it is important to state that I was born a partial (partially sighted) but a very high functional partial.  I could ride a bicycle, play football and baseball with fully sighted people, swim by myself, walk to and from school by myself without sighted help and so on.  Just before the age of twelve, I lost my vision rather quickly--inn about two months.

Here I was totally blind at the age of twelve.  So I wanted to learn Braille very quickly.  I had been an avid reader and I had a good knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar--for a twelve-year-old.  Since for more than a year, I concentrated on learning Braille, I put some of the other stuff aside and probably fell behind my grade level for basics such as spelling, punctuation and grammar.  In addition, as Braille readers know, braille is full of contractions, one letter word representations and so on.  I learned to read Braille fluently fairly quickly.  In doing so, I was able to continue to read more and more advanced books.  But my spelling, punctuation and grammar skills were--in a manner of speaking--left behind.  As time went on and I read more and more complex books, my comprehension improved, but due to the issues of transitioning from sighted print reader to blind Braille reader, my spelling, punctuation and to a degree even grammar skills stayed a lower levels.

Enter the digital, computer/Kindle/whatever age in the 1990's.  I began using a computer and all the other modern advances for the blind and by using spell checkers, grammar checkers and the like, my spelling, punctuation and grammar rapidly improved to college level capabilities.

So you see, I had the exact opposite experience that some others had--being blinded quickly, trying to compensate for that quickly, falling behind and then using the modern, non Braille methodologies to catch up to speed.

It just goes to show that people are people and that blind people are people first--each with individual needs, strengths and weaknesses--and blind secondarily.


On 3/6/2020 9:03 PM, Gene wrote:
You can't assume that what you are relating as your experience is true in general and I very much doubt it.  I don't know if or why it is true for you.  I learned xpelling and punctuation from reading Braille.  I may have learned other things about how to write by reading Braille that I am unaware of.  But my literary skill in writing and in listening hasn't gone down as I've read Braille less.  I learned these skills.  When I listen, I employ the same skilss as when I read Braille.  When I write, I use the same skills I learned as I learned to write.  None of them are lessened by how little or how much I read Braille. 
 
When I was in school, I comprehended and interpreted what I read as well whether I got the information from Braille or print.  In my later life, I lost none of my abilities to comprehend and interpret as I read Braille less.  There was a time when I read a lot of Braille.  I very seldom read much in Braille now.  But, as I said, my skills in comprehension, interpretation, and writing have not gone down at all.
 
Thinking a little about history shows more inaccuracies in your argument.  People listened long before they read.  the Illiad and the Oddesey were in oral form long before they were written down.  Old myths and legends were in oral form long before they were written. 
 
You may prefer reading.  You may concentrate better.  I concentrate and interpret what I read or what I listen to with equal ability.  And there is simply no loss of my skills as I've read Braille less over the years.
 
Again, you are generalizing with no supporting evidence but your own experience and that is just your experience.  You cannot build convincing arguments based on geneeralizing in these areas just from you to the whole. 
 
I am not saying that my experience is representative of most people, but I think it is.  But without studies of people to see what we can determine, I don't claim what I'm saying as fact.  You have generalized throughout this discussion as though your single personal experience is fact for all.  It isn't, as I have explained by relating my experience in this message. 
 
Also, consider that the recorded book is now very popular among sighted people.  We are born listeners.  Regardless of the merits of reading, it came long after listening. 
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----
From: brian
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business

    If you get the writter magazine they will tell that if you want to
be a good writter than you have to read alot.  They are published
writters who make their living from their writting.  For the record I
have never claimed that my writting skills are any better than any one
elses I did say that are not as they should be.  This is because I don't
read like I did in school.  I am only blind I am not deaf blind.  I am
sure that I am not the only blind person whos writting skills are not as
they should be.  It is all because we don't access to paper braille as
we should to keep our writting skills as they should be.  wWhen blind
people don't read their reading will suffer as I said that mine does. 
When people say that we don't braille because we have audio and screen
readers they are not telling the truth.  If you never read how words are
spelled then you will sound try to guess how they are spelled by
sounding them out.  As we all know not all words are spelled like they
sound.  This is a very big problem if you only listen.  For example if
you never read the word laugh in braille you might spell it laf because
thats the way that it sounds.  Why would have any reason to think that
was wrong?  You would think that that word must be spelled because thats
they it sounds.  You may say why don't you just use spell check.  If you
don't read then you would have no way of knowing that was the wrong way
to spell the word.  Another example is people say words not the way that
should be said.  All of my life I have always heard the word wash
pronounced as worsh so I would write it that way because I had no reason
to question it.  Once I read the word then I knew that it was spelled
wash and not worsh.  The way that people talk is very confusing to
blindpeople if you can't read for yourself.  You may never know that not
all words are spelled as they sound.  If you did learn proper spelling
back in school and you don't read you will forget how many words are
spelled after many years of not reading.  When I was in school my
teachers did not tell me that my writting skills were very bad they
could be better and thats we are in school to learn and get our skills
as they should be.  If you don't use them then you will loose them. I do
think that when I was in school my reading and writting was better than
it is now because I had to do it every day.  Now I don't have to.  I
have no problem with somone telling that I spelled a word wrong and even
sighted people spell words wrong so it's not a blindness thing. No one
is going to rember how every word is spelled any one can be wrong.

Brian Sackrider

On 3/6/2020 4:45 PM, Ann Parsons wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I believe that Brian writes as well as he is able.  Not sure what his
> difficulties may be e.g. learning differences, DeafBlindness,
> whatever. Criticizing someone who is doing their best to communicate
> is not productive.  Pointing out errors, yes, privately, but calling
> someone out for commenting on mistakes made by others when he,
> himself, has made mistakes may feel good, but is, in my view,
> unproductive.  That's what I was referring to, Gene.
>
> Sorry, I keep forgetting to quote stuff.  This mailer doesn't quote
> automatically.
>
> Ann P.
>



-- 
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!"


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Gene
 

We don't see with our other senses.  That's just a way sighted people use to misunderstand blindness and to make themselves feel more comfortable that we can't see.  at least we see with our other senses. 
 
If someone says listened to or read a book when they have listened to it, I don't care, but words mean something.  Even if people say read when they listened,  they should not think incorrectly and inaccurately.  they should know for themselves what they do.  reading is something you do, whether with Braille or print or in some other way.  Listening to speech is a completely different activity.
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
From: Victor
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business

Hi David:

Thank you for your great blog post. It was thought-provoking.

Are usually tell people that I have read an audiobook even though I have listened to it. It’s the same as telling people that I have seen a TV show or watched it even though I have listened to it. Over the years, many sighted people have asked me how I can watch TV without eyesight. I tell them that I use that terminology because that’s what the sided world uses. Many sighted people have said that we blind people see with our other senses. I guess that’s how we can justify saying that we have read an audiobook. We see with our other senses. Therefore, we read the material with our ears. Unless you speak Latin which is a dead language, one has to get used to the fact that language changes all the time. Therefore, using all of these words and terms interchangeably is not such a big deal. At least not when it comes to this subject. Rush Limbaugh once said that we are losing our language. He’s probably right.

In a perfect world, all blind people would know how to read braille and they would benefit from it. However, that is not the case. All of the reasons for learning and using braille mentioned in this thread are valid. But the reasons for not doing so that have been mentioned here makes sense as well. So much of it is just about personal preference and the circumstances of one’s life. You do what you have to do, and you do what you want to do. In any case, this whole discussion may be mute since the educational system is not really teaching braille to blind people anyway. If that’s the case, braille advocates will always fight an uphill battle. Again, the one thing that braille advocates have in their favor is the emergence of low cost Braille displays.


JMO,

Victor

On Mar 6, 2020, at 6:06 PM, Evan Reese <mentat1@...> wrote:


Well, I would say that listening to an audio book is not the same as reading it, either in braille or print.
To illustrate, if I tell you a story, would you say that you had read it? No. Now, what if I write down the story and read it to you, either in person or on the phone. Would you say that you had read it? I don’t think so.
Now, suppose I make a recording of me reading the story and send it to you. Would you say that you had read it? The only difference is that, instead of reading it to you live, I’m reading it on tape, as we used to say.
So no, listening to someone read a book is not the same thing as reading it oneself. You may still get the information, but you didn’t read it if you listened to someone else read it.
I don’t think a synthetic voice makes any difference. True, it doesn’t know what it’s saying, but you still have an intermediary between yourself and the actual text, you’re still listening to (in this case), a computer translate the actual text into words. So, even though it doesn’t comprehend what it is translating, it is still reading to you in the strictest sense. You are not reading when using a synthetic voice.
But language changes, definitions change over time. It may happen soon that people will say that they are actually reading when they are listening to a voice, any voice, whether human or synthetic, read to them. Many people already say that, so I think we’re on the way. I don’t care all that much. I’ve done it myself, said that I read a book when I actually listened to someone else read it. I don’t make a big deal out of it. But you asked for thoughts, and that’s what I actually believe, even if I speak off-handedly about reading audio books.
Evan
 
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
 

I'd like to address this topic of literacy when talking about whether or not a person is able or not able to read Braille. I wrote a blog post about this a while ago as these were questions which I was considering and I'd like to share this post with you if you have an interest in reading it. I'm afraid that it really doesn't answer these questions and, in fact, may raise a few additional ones that some of us might not have considered. Here is the post.

 

Consuming Books: Reading Vs. Listening

This morning I was browsing my Facebook timeline and stumbled on a post from one of my friends who posed a very interesting question. The question has to do with the wording we use to convey how we consume audio books. My friend pointed out that she’s noticing a trend, both with blind and sighted readers, where they will use the verb “listen” instead of “read”, as in “I just finished listening to that book” as opposed to “I just finished reading that book”, as if consuming a book via audio isn’t quite the same as reading it.

First, I’ll provide a bit of background into my own life as an avid reader. I learned how to read Braille when I was around four and how to write it not much later than that. I’ve always found reading Braille to be very easy and I’ve been reading books using Braille for about as long as I can remember. I remember the enjoyment I always felt going to my school library, browsing the many shelves of Braille books and being able to check out one or two books a week, which I always read quickly. Of course, there were many books, known as talking books, which were recorded on cassettes’ as well as on phonograph records. Talking books have been available for blind and visually impaired consumers to borrow since the 1930s, way before audio books became popular with sighted consumers. While I never hesitated to borrow a book on tape from my library, Braille was always my preferred medium and, when given a choice between Braille and audio, Braille was always what I chose.

As I’ve embraced new technologies the way I consume books has also changed. Nearly all of the books which I consume are done so audibly and not in Braille. There are several reasons for this and they don’t apply to all readers who are blind. First, most of the books which I want to read are just not available in Braille. While the National Library Service produces many Braille books there are simply more titles available in an audio format. Even then the amount of books produced by NLS, while I greatly appreciate the work that they do, is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of titles available from other suppliers. Bookshare, another specialized library for people with print disabilities, offers over half a million books and that number continues to increase. Learning Ally is another specialized library which I’ve used for over 35 years, offers around 80,000 human-narrated titles. Of course, mainstream book suppliers such as the Kindle store offer millions of books, with more constantly being added. These specialized and mainstream suppliers offer a much greater selection of books than what I am able to borrow from my local NLS affiliate.

Some readers will no doubt want to remind me of the fact that we do have Braille display technology, which will work both with my computer as well as with my phone. This is certainly true and a Braille display would certainly allow me to read books from any of these suppliers using the same Braille code that I enjoyed using with books printed on paper. However, there are reasons which, for me, make this an impractical solution.

First, Braille display technology, while readily available for many devices, is often costly. As an example, Freedom Scientific’s most inexpensive Braille display, the Focus 14 Blue, costs $1295.00. At this time spending over a thousand dollars for a Braille display is just not something which I could easily do, considering it’s a device that I don’t truly need. However, even if a Braille display magically dropped onto my desk the fact is that I do a lot of reading either on the train or lying in bed. Reading with a Braille display on a moving train, no matter how portable, is just too awkward. When I’m lying in bed and wanted to read a book it’s just so much easier to do this with a small phone and would prove to be a bit less convenient if I added even a 14-cell display.

Anyway, back to the topic. My friend was pointing out that she has noticed that many people say they’ve listened to a book as opposed to reading it if the book was consumed in an audio medium, such as an audio CD or listening to it with synthetic speech using the Kindle app. However, this also makes me think of how we often use the word “read” when we actually have listened to the book.

This raises some interesting questions. When it comes to books, is it fair to consider it reading regardless of how it’s consumed? There are probably some sighted people who feel that the only way to truly read a book is to do so by processing the printed material visually. Of course, as blind people we know this is certainly not the case. All of us would agree that processing the information with our fingers would just as validly be considered reading as processing the information with our eyes and, in that instance, there is no controversy. However, the wording sometimes changes when we shift from print on a page to either a human narrator or a synthetic voice coming from a pair of speakers or from our portable phones and tablets. If I consumed a book by listening to it with an app such as Voice Dream Reader, am I wrong to say that I’ve read the book? Most blind people would say that I’m not and I would tend to agree with them.

However, let’s say we have an individual who is blind who never learned how to read Braille. There are some valid reasons for why they might not have been taught how to read and write in Braille, such as having neuropathy in their fingers which would prevent them from being able to distinguish the dot patterns. In such a case, this blind individual would only be able to consume books in an audible format. Considering this, would we look at that blind person who didn’t know Braille and conclude, if only to ourselves, that this person was illiterate. We might not say that to their face in the course of normal conversation but do we consider a blind person who doesn’t know Braille to be illiterate? If the answer to that question is yes then can we say that this blind person, not knowing Braille, has “read” a book when it was consumed by listening. If we say no, then why is it acceptable for me to say that I’ve read a book and my hypothetical blind person could not say that, just because I can read Braille and he cannot.

Let’s take this a step further and consider a fully sighted person who, for one reason or another, never learned how to read print. There’s no doubt that we would conclude that this person would be considered illiterate. Saying so is not meant as an insult but, in this case, is indisputable; someone who can’t read is illiterate. My hypothetical blind person might not have the ability to learn Braille and the sighted person could, with proper training, learn how to read print but, until that individual chooses to take classes in how to read, we would all agree that he’s illiterate. Given that fact, would we tend to disagree with the illiterate sighted person if he told us that he “read” a particular book by consuming it in an audible medium? Wouldn’t we think, “No, you didn’t really read that book, you listened to it.” If this is the case, then why is it OK for me, as a blind person who knows Braille, to tell people that I may have read the same book by consuming it in the exact same way but yet fewer people would think of challenging my word choices.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most important topic which should concern us. I don’t think about it all that much and it certainly doesn’t keep me up at night. However, I think these issues are important as it has really forced me to think about what we mean when we speak of what it means to be literate.

 

As an aside, the person who brought up this topic is one of the proprietors of Speeddots, which sells various tactile screen protectors for your Apple iDevice. They also sell various Bluetooth accessories as well as rugged lightning cables with a life-time warranty.

So, how do you feel about this? For you, does listening to an audio book qualify as reading it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

WWW.DavidGoldfield.org
On 3/6/2020 6:21 PM, Ron Canazzi wrote:
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 reply.

<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 myself.)

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 thought.)

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 On Behalf Of Victor
Sent: March 6, 2020 12:42 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
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 difficult.

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 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
considered.


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




















locked Re: warning if you doing business

jan howells <gale7978@...>
 

Those who are braille advocates will appreciate the Braille Revival League in Philadelphia. It is at 919 Walnut Street. That is Associated Services for the Blind. They keep braille alive as best they can so that it never dies. Enjoy!

Jan


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Victor
 

Hi David:

Thank you for your great blog post. It was thought-provoking.

Are usually tell people that I have read an audiobook even though I have listened to it. It’s the same as telling people that I have seen a TV show or watched it even though I have listened to it. Over the years, many sighted people have asked me how I can watch TV without eyesight. I tell them that I use that terminology because that’s what the sided world uses. Many sighted people have said that we blind people see with our other senses. I guess that’s how we can justify saying that we have read an audiobook. We see with our other senses. Therefore, we read the material with our ears. Unless you speak Latin which is a dead language, one has to get used to the fact that language changes all the time. Therefore, using all of these words and terms interchangeably is not such a big deal. At least not when it comes to this subject. Rush Limbaugh once said that we are losing our language. He’s probably right.

In a perfect world, all blind people would know how to read braille and they would benefit from it. However, that is not the case. All of the reasons for learning and using braille mentioned in this thread are valid. But the reasons for not doing so that have been mentioned here makes sense as well. So much of it is just about personal preference and the circumstances of one’s life. You do what you have to do, and you do what you want to do. In any case, this whole discussion may be mute since the educational system is not really teaching braille to blind people anyway. If that’s the case, braille advocates will always fight an uphill battle. Again, the one thing that braille advocates have in their favor is the emergence of low cost Braille displays.


JMO,

Victor

On Mar 6, 2020, at 6:06 PM, Evan Reese <mentat1@...> wrote:


Well, I would say that listening to an audio book is not the same as reading it, either in braille or print.
To illustrate, if I tell you a story, would you say that you had read it? No. Now, what if I write down the story and read it to you, either in person or on the phone. Would you say that you had read it? I don’t think so.
Now, suppose I make a recording of me reading the story and send it to you. Would you say that you had read it? The only difference is that, instead of reading it to you live, I’m reading it on tape, as we used to say.
So no, listening to someone read a book is not the same thing as reading it oneself. You may still get the information, but you didn’t read it if you listened to someone else read it.
I don’t think a synthetic voice makes any difference. True, it doesn’t know what it’s saying, but you still have an intermediary between yourself and the actual text, you’re still listening to (in this case), a computer translate the actual text into words. So, even though it doesn’t comprehend what it is translating, it is still reading to you in the strictest sense. You are not reading when using a synthetic voice.
But language changes, definitions change over time. It may happen soon that people will say that they are actually reading when they are listening to a voice, any voice, whether human or synthetic, read to them. Many people already say that, so I think we’re on the way. I don’t care all that much. I’ve done it myself, said that I read a book when I actually listened to someone else read it. I don’t make a big deal out of it. But you asked for thoughts, and that’s what I actually believe, even if I speak off-handedly about reading audio books.
Evan
 
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
 

I'd like to address this topic of literacy when talking about whether or not a person is able or not able to read Braille. I wrote a blog post about this a while ago as these were questions which I was considering and I'd like to share this post with you if you have an interest in reading it. I'm afraid that it really doesn't answer these questions and, in fact, may raise a few additional ones that some of us might not have considered. Here is the post.

 

Consuming Books: Reading Vs. Listening

This morning I was browsing my Facebook timeline and stumbled on a post from one of my friends who posed a very interesting question. The question has to do with the wording we use to convey how we consume audio books. My friend pointed out that she’s noticing a trend, both with blind and sighted readers, where they will use the verb “listen” instead of “read”, as in “I just finished listening to that book” as opposed to “I just finished reading that book”, as if consuming a book via audio isn’t quite the same as reading it.

First, I’ll provide a bit of background into my own life as an avid reader. I learned how to read Braille when I was around four and how to write it not much later than that. I’ve always found reading Braille to be very easy and I’ve been reading books using Braille for about as long as I can remember. I remember the enjoyment I always felt going to my school library, browsing the many shelves of Braille books and being able to check out one or two books a week, which I always read quickly. Of course, there were many books, known as talking books, which were recorded on cassettes’ as well as on phonograph records. Talking books have been available for blind and visually impaired consumers to borrow since the 1930s, way before audio books became popular with sighted consumers. While I never hesitated to borrow a book on tape from my library, Braille was always my preferred medium and, when given a choice between Braille and audio, Braille was always what I chose.

As I’ve embraced new technologies the way I consume books has also changed. Nearly all of the books which I consume are done so audibly and not in Braille. There are several reasons for this and they don’t apply to all readers who are blind. First, most of the books which I want to read are just not available in Braille. While the National Library Service produces many Braille books there are simply more titles available in an audio format. Even then the amount of books produced by NLS, while I greatly appreciate the work that they do, is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of titles available from other suppliers. Bookshare, another specialized library for people with print disabilities, offers over half a million books and that number continues to increase. Learning Ally is another specialized library which I’ve used for over 35 years, offers around 80,000 human-narrated titles. Of course, mainstream book suppliers such as the Kindle store offer millions of books, with more constantly being added. These specialized and mainstream suppliers offer a much greater selection of books than what I am able to borrow from my local NLS affiliate.

Some readers will no doubt want to remind me of the fact that we do have Braille display technology, which will work both with my computer as well as with my phone. This is certainly true and a Braille display would certainly allow me to read books from any of these suppliers using the same Braille code that I enjoyed using with books printed on paper. However, there are reasons which, for me, make this an impractical solution.

First, Braille display technology, while readily available for many devices, is often costly. As an example, Freedom Scientific’s most inexpensive Braille display, the Focus 14 Blue, costs $1295.00. At this time spending over a thousand dollars for a Braille display is just not something which I could easily do, considering it’s a device that I don’t truly need. However, even if a Braille display magically dropped onto my desk the fact is that I do a lot of reading either on the train or lying in bed. Reading with a Braille display on a moving train, no matter how portable, is just too awkward. When I’m lying in bed and wanted to read a book it’s just so much easier to do this with a small phone and would prove to be a bit less convenient if I added even a 14-cell display.

Anyway, back to the topic. My friend was pointing out that she has noticed that many people say they’ve listened to a book as opposed to reading it if the book was consumed in an audio medium, such as an audio CD or listening to it with synthetic speech using the Kindle app. However, this also makes me think of how we often use the word “read” when we actually have listened to the book.

This raises some interesting questions. When it comes to books, is it fair to consider it reading regardless of how it’s consumed? There are probably some sighted people who feel that the only way to truly read a book is to do so by processing the printed material visually. Of course, as blind people we know this is certainly not the case. All of us would agree that processing the information with our fingers would just as validly be considered reading as processing the information with our eyes and, in that instance, there is no controversy. However, the wording sometimes changes when we shift from print on a page to either a human narrator or a synthetic voice coming from a pair of speakers or from our portable phones and tablets. If I consumed a book by listening to it with an app such as Voice Dream Reader, am I wrong to say that I’ve read the book? Most blind people would say that I’m not and I would tend to agree with them.

However, let’s say we have an individual who is blind who never learned how to read Braille. There are some valid reasons for why they might not have been taught how to read and write in Braille, such as having neuropathy in their fingers which would prevent them from being able to distinguish the dot patterns. In such a case, this blind individual would only be able to consume books in an audible format. Considering this, would we look at that blind person who didn’t know Braille and conclude, if only to ourselves, that this person was illiterate. We might not say that to their face in the course of normal conversation but do we consider a blind person who doesn’t know Braille to be illiterate? If the answer to that question is yes then can we say that this blind person, not knowing Braille, has “read” a book when it was consumed by listening. If we say no, then why is it acceptable for me to say that I’ve read a book and my hypothetical blind person could not say that, just because I can read Braille and he cannot.

Let’s take this a step further and consider a fully sighted person who, for one reason or another, never learned how to read print. There’s no doubt that we would conclude that this person would be considered illiterate. Saying so is not meant as an insult but, in this case, is indisputable; someone who can’t read is illiterate. My hypothetical blind person might not have the ability to learn Braille and the sighted person could, with proper training, learn how to read print but, until that individual chooses to take classes in how to read, we would all agree that he’s illiterate. Given that fact, would we tend to disagree with the illiterate sighted person if he told us that he “read” a particular book by consuming it in an audible medium? Wouldn’t we think, “No, you didn’t really read that book, you listened to it.” If this is the case, then why is it OK for me, as a blind person who knows Braille, to tell people that I may have read the same book by consuming it in the exact same way but yet fewer people would think of challenging my word choices.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most important topic which should concern us. I don’t think about it all that much and it certainly doesn’t keep me up at night. However, I think these issues are important as it has really forced me to think about what we mean when we speak of what it means to be literate.

 

As an aside, the person who brought up this topic is one of the proprietors of Speeddots, which sells various tactile screen protectors for your Apple iDevice. They also sell various Bluetooth accessories as well as rugged lightning cables with a life-time warranty.

So, how do you feel about this? For you, does listening to an audio book qualify as reading it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

WWW.DavidGoldfield.org
On 3/6/2020 6:21 PM, Ron Canazzi wrote:
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 reply.

<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 myself.)

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 thought.)

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 On Behalf Of Victor
Sent: March 6, 2020 12:42 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
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 difficult.

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 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
considered.


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




















Re: alka tell V phone

Dave Mitchel
 

thank you Gene. I’m saving this and did find how to get the back off.
dave
 

From: Gene
Sent: Friday, March 6, 2020 6:36 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] alka tell V phone
 
I have the Alcatel Go Flip 3 phone.  the phone is a phone that is more or less accessible but it is not a specialized phone for blind people.  therefor, you must turn speech on. 
 
Your phone may be the same or similar to mine but I don't know that.  My phone has a very tiny slot between the back and the rest of the case on a part of the case away from the hinge.  Turn your phone so that the hinge is facing you and so that the back of the phone, the part with the tiny speaker is facing up.  there may be a very small slot at the right corner of the phone now, the right corner farthest away from you.  Your fingernail may be able to open it. 
It doesn't sound to me as though your sighted helped used the manual or used it properly.  I'm sure the manual has a section on opening the back with some sort of picture or diagram. 
 
As far as speech is concerned, you may find how to turn it on by opening settings, then right arrowing four times , up arrowing two times to accessibility, pressing enter, up arrowing seven times to readout, then turning it on.  Instead of writing every step, I'll say for now that the sighted person helpting you may well see what to do even without all these instructions,  I'll give more details if needed.  You open settings by pressing the big button in the middle of the almost round area and you up arrow five times, then press enter.  I doubt a sighted person would need all these instructions about how many times to up arrow.  I would theink that pressing the big button will show a menu on screen and that settings will be one of the items.
 
These are descriptions and information that apply to my phone.  They  may not apply or fully apply to yours.
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Mitchel
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 7:50 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: [TechTalk] alka tell V phone
 
Hello, I just received my new alka tell V phone and I can’t even figure out how to get the battery installed. does anyone know the trick to opening up the back so I can install the battery?
once installed will it come up speaking to me or do I need to figure out how to do that also?
my sighted helper could not figure out the trick to opening the back either so I don’t feel too awfully bad.
any help will be appreciated.
Dave


Re: Dear Ann, Control 8 work Great, Thanks!

Laz
 

Please stop changing the subject line of the message thread everytime
you reply to a message.

Thanks,

Laz List moderator

On 3/6/20, Alan <adicey415@...> wrote:
Dear Ann, Control 8 work Great, Thanks!

With best regards.
God Bless.
Alan
Plantation, Sunny South Florida
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ann Parsons" <akp@...>
To: <main@techtalk.groups.io>
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Dear Ann, That worked, but now it says "New Line"
How do I shut that off in my Word 2007 using JAWS 13


Hi,

Try just ctrl-8

Ann P.


Original message:
Dear Ann and friends, That worked, but now it says "New Line" How do I
shut
that off in my Word 2007 using JAWS 13
With best regards.
God Bless.
Alan
Plantation, Sunny South Florida
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ann Parsons" <akp@...>
To: <main@techtalk.groups.io>
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2020 2:14 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Dear Friends, How do I shut Paragraph Marking off

in
my Word 2007 using JAWS 13

Hi all,
Try ctrl-shift-8 to shut off the paragraph announcements.
Ann P.
--
Ann K. Parsons
Portal Tutoring
EMAIL: akp@...
Author of The Demmies: http://www.dldbooks.com/annparsons/
Portal Tutoring web site: http://www.portaltutoring.info
Skype: Putertutor
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost."




--
Ann K. Parsons
Portal Tutoring
EMAIL: akp@...
Author of The Demmies: http://www.dldbooks.com/annparsons/
Portal Tutoring web site: http://www.portaltutoring.info
Skype: Putertutor

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost."





--
Affordably priced Accessible Talking MP3 Players, Accessible phones,
Bluetooth devices, and accessories
http://www.talkingmp3players.com/
Email: laz@...
Phone: 727-498-0121
Skype: lazmesa
Personal Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/laz.mesa
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Talkingmp3players?_rdr


Re: alka tell V phone

Gene
 

I have the Alcatel Go Flip 3 phone.  the phone is a phone that is more or less accessible but it is not a specialized phone for blind people.  therefor, you must turn speech on. 
 
Your phone may be the same or similar to mine but I don't know that.  My phone has a very tiny slot between the back and the rest of the case on a part of the case away from the hinge.  Turn your phone so that the hinge is facing you and so that the back of the phone, the part with the tiny speaker is facing up.  there may be a very small slot at the right corner of the phone now, the right corner farthest away from you.  Your fingernail may be able to open it. 
It doesn't sound to me as though your sighted helped used the manual or used it properly.  I'm sure the manual has a section on opening the back with some sort of picture or diagram. 
 
As far as speech is concerned, you may find how to turn it on by opening settings, then right arrowing four times , up arrowing two times to accessibility, pressing enter, up arrowing seven times to readout, then turning it on.  Instead of writing every step, I'll say for now that the sighted person helpting you may well see what to do even without all these instructions,  I'll give more details if needed.  You open settings by pressing the big button in the middle of the almost round area and you up arrow five times, then press enter.  I doubt a sighted person would need all these instructions about how many times to up arrow.  I would theink that pressing the big button will show a menu on screen and that settings will be one of the items.
 
These are descriptions and information that apply to my phone.  They  may not apply or fully apply to yours.
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 7:50 PM
Subject: [TechTalk] alka tell V phone

Hello, I just received my new alka tell V phone and I can’t even figure out how to get the battery installed. does anyone know the trick to opening up the back so I can install the battery?
once installed will it come up speaking to me or do I need to figure out how to do that also?
my sighted helper could not figure out the trick to opening the back either so I don’t feel too awfully bad.
any help will be appreciated.
Dave


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Evan Reese
 

Well, I would say that listening to an audio book is not the same as reading it, either in braille or print.
To illustrate, if I tell you a story, would you say that you had read it? No. Now, what if I write down the story and read it to you, either in person or on the phone. Would you say that you had read it? I don’t think so.
Now, suppose I make a recording of me reading the story and send it to you. Would you say that you had read it? The only difference is that, instead of reading it to you live, I’m reading it on tape, as we used to say.
So no, listening to someone read a book is not the same thing as reading it oneself. You may still get the information, but you didn’t read it if you listened to someone else read it.
I don’t think a synthetic voice makes any difference. True, it doesn’t know what it’s saying, but you still have an intermediary between yourself and the actual text, you’re still listening to (in this case), a computer translate the actual text into words. So, even though it doesn’t comprehend what it is translating, it is still reading to you in the strictest sense. You are not reading when using a synthetic voice.
But language changes, definitions change over time. It may happen soon that people will say that they are actually reading when they are listening to a voice, any voice, whether human or synthetic, read to them. Many people already say that, so I think we’re on the way. I don’t care all that much. I’ve done it myself, said that I read a book when I actually listened to someone else read it. I don’t make a big deal out of it. But you asked for thoughts, and that’s what I actually believe, even if I speak off-handedly about reading audio books.
Evan
 

Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business
 

I'd like to address this topic of literacy when talking about whether or not a person is able or not able to read Braille. I wrote a blog post about this a while ago as these were questions which I was considering and I'd like to share this post with you if you have an interest in reading it. I'm afraid that it really doesn't answer these questions and, in fact, may raise a few additional ones that some of us might not have considered. Here is the post.

 

Consuming Books: Reading Vs. Listening

This morning I was browsing my Facebook timeline and stumbled on a post from one of my friends who posed a very interesting question. The question has to do with the wording we use to convey how we consume audio books. My friend pointed out that she’s noticing a trend, both with blind and sighted readers, where they will use the verb “listen” instead of “read”, as in “I just finished listening to that book” as opposed to “I just finished reading that book”, as if consuming a book via audio isn’t quite the same as reading it.

First, I’ll provide a bit of background into my own life as an avid reader. I learned how to read Braille when I was around four and how to write it not much later than that. I’ve always found reading Braille to be very easy and I’ve been reading books using Braille for about as long as I can remember. I remember the enjoyment I always felt going to my school library, browsing the many shelves of Braille books and being able to check out one or two books a week, which I always read quickly. Of course, there were many books, known as talking books, which were recorded on cassettes’ as well as on phonograph records. Talking books have been available for blind and visually impaired consumers to borrow since the 1930s, way before audio books became popular with sighted consumers. While I never hesitated to borrow a book on tape from my library, Braille was always my preferred medium and, when given a choice between Braille and audio, Braille was always what I chose.

As I’ve embraced new technologies the way I consume books has also changed. Nearly all of the books which I consume are done so audibly and not in Braille. There are several reasons for this and they don’t apply to all readers who are blind. First, most of the books which I want to read are just not available in Braille. While the National Library Service produces many Braille books there are simply more titles available in an audio format. Even then the amount of books produced by NLS, while I greatly appreciate the work that they do, is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of titles available from other suppliers. Bookshare, another specialized library for people with print disabilities, offers over half a million books and that number continues to increase. Learning Ally is another specialized library which I’ve used for over 35 years, offers around 80,000 human-narrated titles. Of course, mainstream book suppliers such as the Kindle store offer millions of books, with more constantly being added. These specialized and mainstream suppliers offer a much greater selection of books than what I am able to borrow from my local NLS affiliate.

Some readers will no doubt want to remind me of the fact that we do have Braille display technology, which will work both with my computer as well as with my phone. This is certainly true and a Braille display would certainly allow me to read books from any of these suppliers using the same Braille code that I enjoyed using with books printed on paper. However, there are reasons which, for me, make this an impractical solution.

First, Braille display technology, while readily available for many devices, is often costly. As an example, Freedom Scientific’s most inexpensive Braille display, the Focus 14 Blue, costs $1295.00. At this time spending over a thousand dollars for a Braille display is just not something which I could easily do, considering it’s a device that I don’t truly need. However, even if a Braille display magically dropped onto my desk the fact is that I do a lot of reading either on the train or lying in bed. Reading with a Braille display on a moving train, no matter how portable, is just too awkward. When I’m lying in bed and wanted to read a book it’s just so much easier to do this with a small phone and would prove to be a bit less convenient if I added even a 14-cell display.

Anyway, back to the topic. My friend was pointing out that she has noticed that many people say they’ve listened to a book as opposed to reading it if the book was consumed in an audio medium, such as an audio CD or listening to it with synthetic speech using the Kindle app. However, this also makes me think of how we often use the word “read” when we actually have listened to the book.

This raises some interesting questions. When it comes to books, is it fair to consider it reading regardless of how it’s consumed? There are probably some sighted people who feel that the only way to truly read a book is to do so by processing the printed material visually. Of course, as blind people we know this is certainly not the case. All of us would agree that processing the information with our fingers would just as validly be considered reading as processing the information with our eyes and, in that instance, there is no controversy. However, the wording sometimes changes when we shift from print on a page to either a human narrator or a synthetic voice coming from a pair of speakers or from our portable phones and tablets. If I consumed a book by listening to it with an app such as Voice Dream Reader, am I wrong to say that I’ve read the book? Most blind people would say that I’m not and I would tend to agree with them.

However, let’s say we have an individual who is blind who never learned how to read Braille. There are some valid reasons for why they might not have been taught how to read and write in Braille, such as having neuropathy in their fingers which would prevent them from being able to distinguish the dot patterns. In such a case, this blind individual would only be able to consume books in an audible format. Considering this, would we look at that blind person who didn’t know Braille and conclude, if only to ourselves, that this person was illiterate. We might not say that to their face in the course of normal conversation but do we consider a blind person who doesn’t know Braille to be illiterate? If the answer to that question is yes then can we say that this blind person, not knowing Braille, has “read” a book when it was consumed by listening. If we say no, then why is it acceptable for me to say that I’ve read a book and my hypothetical blind person could not say that, just because I can read Braille and he cannot.

Let’s take this a step further and consider a fully sighted person who, for one reason or another, never learned how to read print. There’s no doubt that we would conclude that this person would be considered illiterate. Saying so is not meant as an insult but, in this case, is indisputable; someone who can’t read is illiterate. My hypothetical blind person might not have the ability to learn Braille and the sighted person could, with proper training, learn how to read print but, until that individual chooses to take classes in how to read, we would all agree that he’s illiterate. Given that fact, would we tend to disagree with the illiterate sighted person if he told us that he “read” a particular book by consuming it in an audible medium? Wouldn’t we think, “No, you didn’t really read that book, you listened to it.” If this is the case, then why is it OK for me, as a blind person who knows Braille, to tell people that I may have read the same book by consuming it in the exact same way but yet fewer people would think of challenging my word choices.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most important topic which should concern us. I don’t think about it all that much and it certainly doesn’t keep me up at night. However, I think these issues are important as it has really forced me to think about what we mean when we speak of what it means to be literate.

 

As an aside, the person who brought up this topic is one of the proprietors of Speeddots, which sells various tactile screen protectors for your Apple iDevice. They also sell various Bluetooth accessories as well as rugged lightning cables with a life-time warranty.

So, how do you feel about this? For you, does listening to an audio book qualify as reading it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

WWW.DavidGoldfield.org
On 3/6/2020 6:21 PM, Ron Canazzi wrote:
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 reply.

<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 myself.)

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 thought.)

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 On Behalf Of Victor
Sent: March 6, 2020 12:42 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
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 difficult.

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 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
considered.


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




















locked Re: warning if you doing business

Gene
 

You can't assume that what you are relating as your experience is true in general and I very much doubt it.  I don't know if or why it is true for you.  I learned xpelling and punctuation from reading Braille.  I may have learned other things about how to write by reading Braille that I am unaware of.  But my literary skill in writing and in listening hasn't gone down as I've read Braille less.  I learned these skills.  When I listen, I employ the same skilss as when I read Braille.  When I write, I use the same skills I learned as I learned to write.  None of them are lessened by how little or how much I read Braille. 
 
When I was in school, I comprehended and interpreted what I read as well whether I got the information from Braille or print.  In my later life, I lost none of my abilities to comprehend and interpret as I read Braille less.  There was a time when I read a lot of Braille.  I very seldom read much in Braille now.  But, as I said, my skills in comprehension, interpretation, and writing have not gone down at all.
 
Thinking a little about history shows more inaccuracies in your argument.  People listened long before they read.  the Illiad and the Oddesey were in oral form long before they were written down.  Old myths and legends were in oral form long before they were written. 
 
You may prefer reading.  You may concentrate better.  I concentrate and interpret what I read or what I listen to with equal ability.  And there is simply no loss of my skills as I've read Braille less over the years.
 
Again, you are generalizing with no supporting evidence but your own experience and that is just your experience.  You cannot build convincing arguments based on geneeralizing in these areas just from you to the whole. 
 
I am not saying that my experience is representative of most people, but I think it is.  But without studies of people to see what we can determine, I don't claim what I'm saying as fact.  You have generalized throughout this discussion as though your single personal experience is fact for all.  It isn't, as I have explained by relating my experience in this message. 
 
Also, consider that the recorded book is now very popular among sighted people.  We are born listeners.  Regardless of the merits of reading, it came long after listening. 
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
From: brian
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2020 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] warning if you doing business

    If you get the writter magazine they will tell that if you want to
be a good writter than you have to read alot.  They are published
writters who make their living from their writting.  For the record I
have never claimed that my writting skills are any better than any one
elses I did say that are not as they should be.  This is because I don't
read like I did in school.  I am only blind I am not deaf blind.  I am
sure that I am not the only blind person whos writting skills are not as
they should be.  It is all because we don't access to paper braille as
we should to keep our writting skills as they should be.  wWhen blind
people don't read their reading will suffer as I said that mine does. 
When people say that we don't braille because we have audio and screen
readers they are not telling the truth.  If you never read how words are
spelled then you will sound try to guess how they are spelled by
sounding them out.  As we all know not all words are spelled like they
sound.  This is a very big problem if you only listen.  For example if
you never read the word laugh in braille you might spell it laf because
thats the way that it sounds.  Why would have any reason to think that
was wrong?  You would think that that word must be spelled because thats
they it sounds.  You may say why don't you just use spell check.  If you
don't read then you would have no way of knowing that was the wrong way
to spell the word.  Another example is people say words not the way that
should be said.  All of my life I have always heard the word wash
pronounced as worsh so I would write it that way because I had no reason
to question it.  Once I read the word then I knew that it was spelled
wash and not worsh.  The way that people talk is very confusing to
blindpeople if you can't read for yourself.  You may never know that not
all words are spelled as they sound.  If you did learn proper spelling
back in school and you don't read you will forget how many words are
spelled after many years of not reading.  When I was in school my
teachers did not tell me that my writting skills were very bad they
could be better and thats we are in school to learn and get our skills
as they should be.  If you don't use them then you will loose them. I do
think that when I was in school my reading and writting was better than
it is now because I had to do it every day.  Now I don't have to.  I
have no problem with somone telling that I spelled a word wrong and even
sighted people spell words wrong so it's not a blindness thing. No one
is going to rember how every word is spelled any one can be wrong.

Brian Sackrider

On 3/6/2020 4:45 PM, Ann Parsons wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I believe that Brian writes as well as he is able.  Not sure what his
> difficulties may be e.g. learning differences, DeafBlindness,
> whatever. Criticizing someone who is doing their best to communicate
> is not productive.  Pointing out errors, yes, privately, but calling
> someone out for commenting on mistakes made by others when he,
> himself, has made mistakes may feel good, but is, in my view,
> unproductive.  That's what I was referring to, Gene.
>
> Sorry, I keep forgetting to quote stuff.  This mailer doesn't quote
> automatically.
>
> Ann P.
>



alka tell V phone

Dave Mitchel
 

Hello, I just received my new alka tell V phone and I can’t even figure out how to get the battery installed. does anyone know the trick to opening up the back so I can install the battery?
once installed will it come up speaking to me or do I need to figure out how to do that also?
my sighted helper could not figure out the trick to opening the back either so I don’t feel too awfully bad.
any help will be appreciated.
Dave


locked Re: warning if you doing business

Ron Canazzi
 

Hi David,

I agree with most of what your blog post stated.  There is one thing that seems to be lost during this thread.  Just because someone can read print/Braille/special formatted audio presentations doesn't mean they are literate. From the early 20th century, people: sighted/blind/whatever have been given reading comprehension tests to see if what they are seeing/hearing/whatever is really comprehended. 

In other words, just because  a person has eyes and can read a print book or because he can read a braille book that is no guarantee that she/he understands what they are reading. 

Long story short: there's a lot more to reading then just mouthing printed words out loud, or listening to an audio book via any number of methods.  Discussing what you read with others who have also read the text--by whatever mean--would be the true indicator of whether or not someone is truly literate.



On 3/6/2020 6:58 PM, David Goldfield wrote:

I'd like to address this topic of literacy when talking about whether or not a person is able or not able to read Braille. I wrote a blog post about this a while ago as these were questions which I was considering and I'd like to share this post with you if you have an interest in reading it. I'm afraid that it really doesn't answer these questions and, in fact, may raise a few additional ones that some of us might not have considered. Here is the post.


Consuming Books: Reading Vs. Listening

This morning I was browsing my Facebook timeline and stumbled on a post from one of my friends who posed a very interesting question. The question has to do with the wording we use to convey how we consume audio books. My friend pointed out that she’s noticing a trend, both with blind and sighted readers, where they will use the verb “listen” instead of “read”, as in “I just finished listening to that book” as opposed to “I just finished reading that book”, as if consuming a book via audio isn’t quite the same as reading it.

First, I’ll provide a bit of background into my own life as an avid reader. I learned how to read Braille when I was around four and how to write it not much later than that. I’ve always found reading Braille to be very easy and I’ve been reading books using Braille for about as long as I can remember. I remember the enjoyment I always felt going to my school library, browsing the many shelves of Braille books and being able to check out one or two books a week, which I always read quickly. Of course, there were many books, known as talking books, which were recorded on cassettes’ as well as on phonograph records. Talking books have been available for blind and visually impaired consumers to borrow since the 1930s, way before audio books became popular with sighted consumers. While I never hesitated to borrow a book on tape from my library, Braille was always my preferred medium and, when given a choice between Braille and audio, Braille was always what I chose.

As I’ve embraced new technologies the way I consume books has also changed. Nearly all of the books which I consume are done so audibly and not in Braille. There are several reasons for this and they don’t apply to all readers who are blind. First, most of the books which I want to read are just not available in Braille. While the National Library Service produces many Braille books there are simply more titles available in an audio format. Even then the amount of books produced by NLS, while I greatly appreciate the work that they do, is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of titles available from other suppliers. Bookshare, another specialized library for people with print disabilities, offers over half a million books and that number continues to increase. Learning Ally is another specialized library which I’ve used for over 35 years, offers around 80,000 human-narrated titles. Of course, mainstream book suppliers such as the Kindle store offer millions of books, with more constantly being added. These specialized and mainstream suppliers offer a much greater selection of books than what I am able to borrow from my local NLS affiliate.

Some readers will no doubt want to remind me of the fact that we do have Braille display technology, which will work both with my computer as well as with my phone. This is certainly true and a Braille display would certainly allow me to read books from any of these suppliers using the same Braille code that I enjoyed using with books printed on paper. However, there are reasons which, for me, make this an impractical solution.

First, Braille display technology, while readily available for many devices, is often costly. As an example, Freedom Scientific’s most inexpensive Braille display, the Focus 14 Blue, costs $1295.00. At this time spending over a thousand dollars for a Braille display is just not something which I could easily do, considering it’s a device that I don’t truly need. However, even if a Braille display magically dropped onto my desk the fact is that I do a lot of reading either on the train or lying in bed. Reading with a Braille display on a moving train, no matter how portable, is just too awkward. When I’m lying in bed and wanted to read a book it’s just so much easier to do this with a small phone and would prove to be a bit less convenient if I added even a 14-cell display.

Anyway, back to the topic. My friend was pointing out that she has noticed that many people say they’ve listened to a book as opposed to reading it if the book was consumed in an audio medium, such as an audio CD or listening to it with synthetic speech using the Kindle app. However, this also makes me think of how we often use the word “read” when we actually have listened to the book.

This raises some interesting questions. When it comes to books, is it fair to consider it reading regardless of how it’s consumed? There are probably some sighted people who feel that the only way to truly read a book is to do so by processing the printed material visually. Of course, as blind people we know this is certainly not the case. All of us would agree that processing the information with our fingers would just as validly be considered reading as processing the information with our eyes and, in that instance, there is no controversy. However, the wording sometimes changes when we shift from print on a page to either a human narrator or a synthetic voice coming from a pair of speakers or from our portable phones and tablets. If I consumed a book by listening to it with an app such as Voice Dream Reader, am I wrong to say that I’ve read the book? Most blind people would say that I’m not and I would tend to agree with them.

However, let’s say we have an individual who is blind who never learned how to read Braille. There are some valid reasons for why they might not have been taught how to read and write in Braille, such as having neuropathy in their fingers which would prevent them from being able to distinguish the dot patterns. In such a case, this blind individual would only be able to consume books in an audible format. Considering this, would we look at that blind person who didn’t know Braille and conclude, if only to ourselves, that this person was illiterate. We might not say that to their face in the course of normal conversation but do we consider a blind person who doesn’t know Braille to be illiterate? If the answer to that question is yes then can we say that this blind person, not knowing Braille, has “read” a book when it was consumed by listening. If we say no, then why is it acceptable for me to say that I’ve read a book and my hypothetical blind person could not say that, just because I can read Braille and he cannot.

Let’s take this a step further and consider a fully sighted person who, for one reason or another, never learned how to read print. There’s no doubt that we would conclude that this person would be considered illiterate. Saying so is not meant as an insult but, in this case, is indisputable; someone who can’t read is illiterate. My hypothetical blind person might not have the ability to learn Braille and the sighted person could, with proper training, learn how to read print but, until that individual chooses to take classes in how to read, we would all agree that he’s illiterate. Given that fact, would we tend to disagree with the illiterate sighted person if he told us that he “read” a particular book by consuming it in an audible medium? Wouldn’t we think, “No, you didn’t really read that book, you listened to it.” If this is the case, then why is it OK for me, as a blind person who knows Braille, to tell people that I may have read the same book by consuming it in the exact same way but yet fewer people would think of challenging my word choices.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most important topic which should concern us. I don’t think about it all that much and it certainly doesn’t keep me up at night. However, I think these issues are important as it has really forced me to think about what we mean when we speak of what it means to be literate.

 

As an aside, the person who brought up this topic is one of the proprietors of Speeddots, which sells various tactile screen protectors for your Apple iDevice. They also sell various Bluetooth accessories as well as rugged lightning cables with a life-time warranty.

So, how do you feel about this? For you, does listening to an audio book qualify as reading it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019

WWW.DavidGoldfield.org
On 3/6/2020 6:21 PM, Ron Canazzi wrote:
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 reply.

<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 myself.)

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 thought.)

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 <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Victor
Sent: March 6, 2020 12:42 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
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 difficult.

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@...> 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
considered.


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




















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