Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Braille Story

This story was told on one of the lists I am on. I cannot express how much Braille has added to the richness of my life, in both large and small ways, so wanted to share the below.

What I wanted to share was what I was able to do with Braille over the weekend. That was, read nursery stories to my grandkids while interacting with them at the same time. Here are some details. I’ve always been visually impaired my whole life. I’ve got enough vision to read print, but the price I pay is sticking the book an inch from my face. That doesn’t allow much opportunity for interaction with others while you’re reading, and I wanted to be able to read to my grandkids when they came along so I could see their reactions and really interact with them as I did so. When I started learning Braille, I realized that Braille would allow me to do two things at once. That is, read, and still look around while I was doing it. I immediately understood that I could read a story to them out loud while looking at them, interacting with them. I realized that for me, Braille was the only way to go for doing this with them, and it was the most normal way of reading to them for me. This weekend I went to see my son and his wife and their kids. They’re 3 and 4, so they need coaxing when it’s time to go to sleep or take a nap. When they were getting tired I quickly volunteered to read them a story. I had downloaded the Random House book of Nursery Stories from the BARD site onto my iPhone, and with my Focus 40 Blue Braille display, it was a cinch to connect to the iPhone and read the story on my Braille Display. Not only were they curious about Grandpa reading Braille, but they loved the stories, especially “The Gingerbread Man”. It didn’t take them long to pick up on the line … “Run Run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!!” It didn’t take long for them to just forget about the Braille aspect of things. They knew Grandpa could read the Gingerbread Man to them, and they requested it once I had done it the first time. I must say learning the Braille, practicing, spending the $2700 for the display … was all worth it. I’ve, of course, been able to read other things with my Braille Display and iPhone, and doing that too makes the cash outlay for the Display worth it. But being able to be with my Grandkids like that … it’s exactly what I wanted to do, and Mr. Braille made it possible.

So there’s a reason why every visually impaired person should at least try Braille. It’s tough when you have to start over and begin at ABC, but once you get through it all, here’s an example of the payoff that makes It all worthwhile.

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