Programs & Services
Newsletter - March 2019
In This Issue
- Message From the President (Natalie Martiniello, BLC President)
- Are You A Member? Join or Renew Today!
- Notice of the BLC Annual General Meeting: Save the Date!
- Brailling BLC (Jen Goulden, BLC Past President)
- Big Brailler Bounce Initiative
- 2019 Edie Mourre Scholarship
- Accessible Reading: An Interview with Natalie Martiniello
- A Parent's Perspective (Anne Goulden)
- Braille In Action (Kim Kilpatrick, BLC Secretary)
- Celebrating Braille 2019 World Braille Day (Daphne Hitchcock, BLC Vice-President)
- Corporate Corner: Presenting Tactile Vision Graphics (Rebecca Blaevoet, Director)
- Introducing GoodReads: An Accessible App for Avid Readers! (Natalie Martiniello, BLC President)
- Social Media Updates
Message From the President
By Natalie Martiniello, BLC President
Dear BLC friends,
Powerful books -- the books that help shape us, that we remember most, that become intertwined with the stories of our childhood -- are more than just words. Our favourite characters travel with us long after we close the pages of a book.
This is the crux of literacy. More than just phonetics and grammar; more than the physical act of reading -- it's really about the feelings, the consciousness, the imagination that arises as a consequence. Reading a beloved book grants us the power to visit far away places, to meet fantastical people, and to discover impossible, limitless worlds that come alive between the spaces of each of the words we encounter. through the act of reading, we don't just learn more about other people and places -- we learn more about ourselves.
Even ten years ago, many of us could not enjoy the level of access to information we have today. When I was in college, I had to wait -- sometimes long after a course started -- to get the books I needed in an accessible format. Leisure reading was sometimes restricted to the books I could find, rather than the books I wished I could read. Now, I can purchase almost any book I'd like on the day it's released, and I have the choice to read it in braille, with or without audio in combination. Though we of course still have further to travel, we also have much progress to celebrate.
We hope you join us (whether in person or virtually) for the 2019 BLC AGM, to learn about all the projects we've worked on over the past year, and the exciting new initiatives we have planned for the year ahead! In this issue, you'll find several important updates -- including the Notice of the upcoming BLC AGM, information on how to renew your membership, and reminders about the Edie Mourre and Brailler Bounce initiatives that are in full swing.
But wait - Listen closely! Do you hear those brailler dings from coast to coast? On behalf of the entire BLC board, we thank each and every single one of you for the recent outpouring of support for the Brailler Bounce Initiative. After circulating a call for braillers just two weeks ago, we've already received over a dozen donations! Thanks to your generosity, we will be able to gift braillers to the many deserving recipients who are waiting -- keep those braillers coming, and on behalf of us all, thank you!
What an honour it is to be part of such a fantastic community. And now to end with some words from my favourite literary character:
"Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world." (Anne of Green Gables)
President, Braille Literacy Canada
Are You A Member? Join or Renew Today!
Plan to vote (either in person or by proxy) at the upcoming BLC AGM? As a member of BLC, you have the opportunity to share your voice (and votes) on braille issues and decision-making, both within Canada and (through BLC's membership within ICEB) internationally as well. Membership within BLC runs with the calendar year, from January 1st until December 31st. Other member benefits include:
- attend our bimonthly braille teleconferences free of charge;
- receive the quarterly BLC newsletter directly in your inbox;
- join any of the BLC committees and working-groups;
... And more -- check out www.brailleliteracycanada.ca to learn more about Membership benefits and categories (annual, family, lifetime or corporate) or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To renew your membership online, simply visit: http://www.brailleliteracycanada.ca/en/about-us/get-involved/become-a-member
After you complete the membership application form, you will be taken to a second page which includes a link to pay your membership fees via PayPal.
If you prefer to pay by cheque, you can write to email@example.com and we will send you a membership form that you can print and mail to BLC with your payment.
If you would like to renew over the phone using your VISA or MasterCard, you can call us at 1-877-861-4576 and leave a message. We will get in touch with you to gather your credit card information.
Thank you for your continued support of Braille Literacy Canada!
Notice of the BLC Annual General Meeting: Save the Date!
Le français suit
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the annual general meeting of the members of Braille Literacy Canada / Littératie braille Canada (the 'Corporation') will take place on May 4, 2019 in Toronto from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Novotel Toronto North York Hotel
3 Park Home Avenue,
Toronto, ON, M2N 6L3
This meeting will be held for the purposes of:
- Receiving the financial statements of the Corporation;
- Approving the minutes of the 2018 Annual General Meeting of members; and
- Electing the board of directors.
If you are unable to attend but would still like to vote on the issues listed above, please complete the electronic ballot and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also exploring options for live streaming the AGM.
Note that you must renew your membership in order to be eligible to vote.
Please click on the following link to renew your membership: http://www.brailleliteracycanada.ca/en/about-us/get-involved/become-a-member.
All relevant documents (including the electronic ballot and proxy form) will be sent to you by the 12th of April.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at email@example.com.
Secretary, Braille Literacy Canada
The English precedes
AVIS EST PAR LES PRÉSENTES DONNÉ que l'assemblée générale annuelle des membres de Littératie braille Canada/Braille Literacy Canada/ (l'« Organisation ») aura lieu le 4 mai 2019 à Toronto de 14 h à 15 h 30, heure du l'Est.
Novotel Toronto North York Hotel
3 Park Home Avenue
Toronto, ON, M2N 6L3
Cette assemblée sera tenue dans le but de :
- Recevoir les états financiers de l'Organisation;
- Approuver le compte rendu de l'assemblée générale annuelle des membres de 2018; et
- Élire le conseil d'administration.
S'il vous est impossible d'assister à cette assemblée, mais que vous désirez exprimer votre droit de vote relativement aux points indiqués ci-dessus, nous vous invitons à remplir le bulletin de vote électronique et à le transmettre à l'adresse suivante : firstname.lastname@example.org. Nous sommes à la recherche des possibilités par rapport à la diffusion en continu en direct.
Veuillez prendre note que pour avoir le droit de voter, vous devez avoir renouvelé votre adhésion.
Veuillez cliquer sur le lien suivant afin de renouveler votre adhésion : http://www.blc-lbc.ca/fr/à-propos-de-nous/joignez-vous-à-lbc/devenez-membre
Tous les documents pertinents (y compris le bulletin de vote électronique ainsi que le formulaire de vote par procuration) vous seront envoyés d'ici le 12 avril.
Si vous avez des questions ou des préoccupations, n'hésitez pas à communiquer avec nous en écrivant à : email@example.com.
Secrétaire de Littératie braille Canada
By Jen Goulden, BLC Past President
Ironically, the name Braille Literacy Canada raises not just one but two transcription quandries!
First, what do we do about our web site? Is it brailleliteracycanada.ca or brlliteracycanada.ca?
According to Section 10.9.3(a) of The Rules of Unified English Braille Second Edition 2013 (RUEB), the brl shortform can be used wherever it occurs - provided that the 'standing alone' rule is met. What, you ask, is the 'standing alone' rule? Section 2.6 of RUEB explains this concept in detail and lists the symbols and punctuation that can precede or follow a word without affecting its 'standing alone' status. Alas for our web site, an internal period or full stop is not on this list. So, www.brailleliteracycanada.ca it is!
Now if we look at our acronym, BLC, we have another issue. Those of you who have read the BRF or hard copy version of this newsletter available through CELA may have noticed that BLC is preceded by a grade 1 indicator. Why would we do this? Will anybody really think we're trying to write the word 'blindc'? Do we really need this indicator for letter combinations such as BLC, LLC, LLP or BLVD?
Yes, indeed we do! RUEB 10.9.3(c) states that the shortform for 'blind' can be used in a longer word unless it is followed by a vowel. Since Canada begins with a consonant, 'bl' for 'blind' could technically be used in BLC. Because of this, the grade 1 indicator is required. Even though it's obvious to us, braille transcription software will often backtranslate this as BLINDC. So we really are smarter than our computers ... for now!
Big Brailler Bounce Initiative
The Big Brailler Bounce Initiative aims to ensure that any unused Perkins Braillewriters find their way into the hands of a blind child, adult, or senior who can benefit from the ability to write in braille! Since 2015, Braille Literacy Canada has been collecting unused Perkins Braillewriters, refurbishing them, and re-distributing them to those in need at no cost to any of the recipients. Since this initiative began, more than 50 braillers have found themselves new, appreciative homes!
Why is it important to re-home Perkins braillewriters?
Braille Literacy Canada believes strongly that all those who can benefit from braille, should have access to it. For blind children, braille literacy provides them with an understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammatical nuances that would be difficult to attain through audio alone. For adults, braille literacy can enable those experiencing sight loss to continue their enjoyment of leisure reading and increase their independence. Braille can be used to read and write, among other things, phone numbers, household labels and lists.
The Perkins braillewriter is the equivalent of a typewriter for the sighted, and an indispensable tool for both the novice and avid braille user. Unfortunately, braillers are expensive, costing upwards of $1,000 each, and many people do not have access to government or other funding to purchase these tools. Students may be provided with one brailler at school, but then do not have access to one at home.
Have a brailler to donate?
If you have an extra Perkins brailler sitting around that you no longer need, consider donating it to the Big Brailler Bounce Initiative! Even if it isn't in perfect working order, we'll see if it can be fixed and find it a new home. Write to us for instructions on where and how to send the brailler.
Need a brailler?
If you are a blind or low vision braille reader in Canada (whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran), and having a Perkins braillewriter would be helpful to you, write to us to learn more about how you could receive a brailler through this program!
Call 1-877-861-4576 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2019 Edie Mourre Scholarship
Braille Literacy Canada is thrilled to announce the 2019 Edie Mourre scholarship! The application period will remain open until March 31st, 2019. This scholarship provides funding to those pursuing training to become a braille transcriber, proofreader or educator in Canada.
Those pursuing braille courses in either English or French to learn or update their braille code skills are encouraged to apply. The eligibility criteria as well as the application form can be found by visiting our website at http://www.brailleliteracycanada.ca/en/professional-development/edie-mourre-scholarship.
We are also happy to share that thanks to the generous contributions of many, BLC has established a permanent endowment, and will be able to grant a scholarship to one deserving recipient each year!
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
We encourage you to share this with others!
Very best wishes, and good luck!
Accessible Reading: An Interview with Natalie Martiniello
Editor's Note: Our very own Natalie Martiniello was asked to participate in a written interview for the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA). The resulting blog was posted on January 17th and we're including it here for your reading pleasure.
January doesn't just mark the start of the New Year -- it's also Braille Literacy Month, commemorating the birth month of French educator Louis Braille, who first published his tactile system of reading and writing in 1829, 17 years after losing his own vision. In recognition of Braille Literacy Month, we reached out to Natalie Martiniello, President of Braille Literacy Canada (BLC), to learn more about the medium as well as the organization's efforts to bring together and advocate on behalf of braille users, transcribers and producers.
How did you get involved with Braille Literacy Canada?
NM: I joined the board of BLC in 2013, first serving as Secretary, and now as President since May 2018. Although I had some sight when I was young, it was expected that it would decrease over time and so my parents ensured that I learned braille early on. Thank goodness they did! I can still remember running my fingers over that very first braille book. Braille has given me so much freedom, independence and opportunity in my personal and professional life. Supporting BLC just feels so natural to me.
Plus, I get to work alongside others who are equally passionate about braille literacy and the equality it brings. Research has shown that people who are blind and who know braille achieve higher levels of education, employment and income. Literacy truly is the key that opens so many doors, and the invention of braille represents a turning point in the history of the blind for this reason.
"Braille is a writing system, not a language." Why is this an important distinction to make?
NM: One common misconception is that braille is its own language that is somehow different from, for example, English or French. In reality, braille is equivalent to print: It is a tactile system used to communicate language in writing. Braille signs exist for all letters of the alphabet, numbers and punctuation symbols. There are also special formatting symbols to tell the braille reader if a character, word or passage is italicized, underlined or bolded! Braille can therefore be used to write any language you know, just like print.
If you know how to write before sight loss, then all you need to do is learn the braille symbols for the letters, numbers and other signs you already know. It seems daunting at first because you need to develop that tactile sensitivity in your fingertips to recognize symbols by touch, but just like print: practice makes perfect!
What are some other misconceptions regarding braille that you'd like to clear up?
NM: Another common misconception is that braille is only used by people who are blind. In fact, most people with a visual impairment have some degree of usable sight. They may still have good enough vision to recognize faces or to even read print. Braille can still be a useful tool in many cases though, because it provides options and greater flexibility. There are braille playing cards and board games. You can use a braille watch to read the time -- the list goes on!
Is there anything about the braille transcription process that might surprise our readers?
NM: Braille transcribers spend much more time on formatting than on the braille code itself. Braille translation software can do most of the print-to-braille conversion automatically. The Duxbury Braille Translator is probably the most widely-used braille translation software because it can produce accurate braille in over 130 languages. However, formatting has to be adjusted manually.
Most translation programs use styles (similar to Microsoft Word), and this greatly reduces transcription time. As a result, the quality of the source file is important. Let's say there are two Word files that look identical: one that was created using styles whereas the author of the second file used tabs, spacing and font size to format the content. The file created with styles will take a fraction of the time to transcribe.
How do braille systems differ in other languages, and how do those differences affect their respective transcription processes?
NM: For languages that use the Roman alphabet, the braille symbols for each letter are the same as those used in English. However, punctuation and abbreviations vary between languages, so a symbol that represents one thing in English is likely to represent something completely different in another language. For example, dots 1-2-3-5 can represent 'rather' in English and 'rien' in French.
How have braille systems changed over time?
NM: Braille, like print, evolves with the times. With the advent of computers, the Internet and social media, braille needed symbols to represent things like the 'at' sign and the hashtag, which were not commonly seen before that. Similarly, braille readers needed symbols to distinguish between different fonts and type forms -- this would not have been an issue in Louis Braille's day. Like print, the basic structure of braille has stayed the same, but the way it is written and read certainly differs as compared to 200 years ago.
How common are braille transcriptions in today's publishing industry?
NM: Estimates indicate that approximately 5% of information available to readers of conventional print is available in alternate formats. Having said that, the advent of refreshable braille technology means that much more content is now available to braille readers in its original format. If a braille reader pairs a braille display with an iPhone, they can have access to eBooks from mainstream apps such as iBooks and Kindle. In other words, the quantity of actual braille produced does not necessarily reflect the quantity of braille being read.
What are some of the challenges faced by braille producers?
NM: One of the biggest challenges for braille producers is that many source files are simply not well designed. Putting information in a table when it isn't tabular data (for example, to divide a page into multiple columns) is probably the most common instance of this. Similarly, scanned PDFs are difficult to transcribe because even after doing an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) there are usually so many errors that the content has to be entered manually.
How have audiobooks and e-books affected the public perception of braille texts?
NM: While it is true that audiobooks and screen reading technology have increased access to information for people who are blind, these solutions do not replace the need for braille -- just as audio could never fully replace the need for print. Here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Not all people are auditory learners. Braille, like print, may be a more active form of reading than listening to text.
- Not all forms of text can be understood in the same way if they are only read aloud. For example, the spacing and line breaks in poetry might impact the interpretation of what you are reading. Technical content like math and music would also be more difficult to learn without braille.
- Braille allows children to gain a better understanding of spelling, grammatical nuances and punctuation that they may otherwise lack if using audio alone.
Ironically, the reality is that thanks to technological advancements, many of us enjoy more access to braille than ever before. A braille reader can find just about any book published on the day it is released if they have access to a refreshable braille display, a device which can connect to a computer or smartphone and instantly present text in braille. Braille readers with access to braille displays often don't need to wait months for their favourite book -- a reality that was not the case even just ten years ago. These devices have traditionally been expensive and still are out of reach for many, but we're already starting to see the introduction of lower cost displays (around $500 CAD ).
What does Braille Literacy Canada have planned in 2019?
NM: We started 2019 by commemorating World Braille Day -- the birth of Louis Braille on January 4th -- which was, for the first time this year, officially recognized as an international day to be celebrated each year by the United Nations! Throughout the month of January, the Bruce Hutchison Branch of the Victoria Public Library in Victoria, British Columbia has a display that we put together to commemorate World Braille Day.
We're soon launching the Edie Mourre Scholarship to provide financial support to those interested in becoming braille transcribers or proofreaders.
Every two months or so we hold a teleconference workshop on braille-related topics. Our next workshop is on January 26th, and will focus on braille on the international stage.
We're currently launching a project to support the production of print-braille books in French. These books would allow both sighted and blind family members to read together --an important aspect of early literacy development -- and are especially needed since far fewer accessible materials are available in French.
We continue to offer our Big Brailler Bounce program, where we repair and rehome used braillers (manual braille writing machines) to braille readers who request them. A brailler is such a liberating tool, allowing people to quickly take down information that they can then carry with them (like phone numbers and grocery lists).
This is just a taste of what's to come. If you're interested to learn more about braille or BLC, we welcome you to contact us!
A Parent's Perspective
By Anne Goulden
Editor's Note: Anne Goulden is the fabulous Mom of BLC Past President, Jen Goulden.
Our family has always had a welcoming relationship with W Ross Macdonald School in Brantford during Jen's preschool years. The teaching staff was always available as my learning support system, anticipating that Jen would be attending there for her elementary school education. (This did not happen but that's a story for another day.) Since I knew very little about teaching Jen anything related to braille reading and writing, I relied on their expertise.
One piece of advice I did receive from W Ross Macdonald staff when Jen was about age 4 was 'Please do not teach Jen how to read braille. The reason is that you will teach her one way and we will teach her another way because of the contractions and short forms. For example, for the word theatre - you may teach her to braille it with the th contraction, then the ea contraction, then the letters t-r-e. We will teach her to braille it using the contraction the, then the letters a-t-r-e.'
At the time, I agreed to their direction. However, after giving it some thought and experiencing a 'gut reaction' to the suggestion, I decided to try teaching Jen just the braille alphabet, without the contractions and short forms, which I felt was a fair compromise.
In hindsight, my 'respectful disobedience' became a blessing in disguise for me because at the same time I was teaching Jen, I too was learning the braille alphabet. To this day, this manoeuvre has helped me when sending packages to Jen or when sending Christmas and birthday cards to her. Sure, I make mistakes when brailling her cards, but it is worth it when I hear her say: 'I appreciate that you made the effort.'
Braille In Action
By Kim Kilpatrick, BLC Secretary
Braille Literacy Canada is looking for pictures of braille in action to use on our web site and in other publicity materials. These can be anything braille related (using a braille display or note taker, reading a braille sign, writing with a Perkins brailler or a slate and stylus, reading braille in an elevator, touching braille labeled appliances or packaging while cooking!). Take those pictures and send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrating Braille 2019 World Braille Day
By Daphne Hitchcock, BLC Vice-President
During the month of January, 'Celebrating Braille', was set up in the display case at the Bruce Hutchison Branch Library, in Victoria, BC. This display included equipment and braille related information. There were lots of fun facts about braille, a brief description of Louis Braille's life, tools used to create braille (including brailler, slate and stylus, braille eraser), and many open braille books, as well as books from the library on Louis Braille. Other materials included were a braille watch, braille postage stamp, several examples of the braille alphabet in simbraille, tactile pictures, wooden braille blocks and magnetic braille letters. BLC was acknowledged for creating the display, along with our contact information. On the exterior of the display cabinet was an example of braille, inviting those interested to 'touch braille'. Our bookmarks were left with the librarian to give out to interested patrons. The librarians indicated that there was a lot of interest in the presentation and all the bookmarks were distributed. We received 2 follow up emails from library patrons requesting more information on the sourcing of some of the display items. We are looking forward to creating a similar display in 2020 at a different public library branch.
Corporate Corner: Presenting Tactile Vision Graphics
By Rebecca Blaevoet, Director
When TACTILE VISION GRAPHICS INC. was incorporated in September of 2013, Emmanuel and Rebecca BLAEVOET knew they could take the company in any direction they chose. They were inheriting a customer base and some tactile designs from the previous owners, but the sky was the limit in terms of adding products, location, hiring, and company ethos.
In terms of adding products, we've expanded our offerings considerably, in English and French. We now carry over 130 greeting cards, 60 maps, 40 children's books, science and math aids including a full-colour, braille and tactile Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, and a few (very low-tech) tech aids such as the tactile calipers with refreshable braille. The other big product news is our recently-negotiated contract with the Walt Disney Corporation to produce learning activity books in braille. We're in the revising stage now, with their editorial team.
Hiring: One thing we decided very early was that whatever else we did, we would always hire with an eye to giving someone a chance to build job skills and confidence. Whether that person was from a defined minority group or not, we said we would hire based on the knowledge that some segments of society are overlooked by employers and it was a conscious choice for us not to do that. All our hired staff to date have therefore included people with a vision impairment, physical disabilities, hidden and undeclared disabilities which nonetheless can manifest when conditions are not optimal, newcomers to Canada, and of course, women. Some may call that social entrepreneurship -- but we have never used that designation, social entrepreneurship, to show ourselves in a particular light, or to gain an advantage in marketing, or claim any funding or government grant. We just call it the decent thing to do.
Location: We've been in Windsor, Ontario for four years and have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the community both corporately and personally. A long-held goal has been to have land in the country, so we could house the company and ourselves on a property that would permit us to return to some of our personal hobbies, namely beekeeping and raising our own chickens and other small farm animals. We will soon realize that goal as we move to another Windsor -- Windsor, New Brunswick. We anticipate about a week's partial disruption in production, but we're confident that we will still be able to fulfil product orders with very little delay.
Company Ethos: We are often asked when we're hiring more people; whether we intend to attract investors; how long before we can stop doing the actual work and move to supervisory roles. It's a tempting idea, but we are fairly sure that no one would care about our company the way we do. Having a few people working with us, helping with printing or marketing, gives us the chance to stay involved with the day to day operations, quality control, messaging, and project management. It also means we'll probably be perpetually tired and will likely work long hours until retirement. But when we look at business models around us, the one that suits our character and company ethos best is the one where the company owner is at the helm: the same person that shovels the snow, puts salt down in the winter, (just enough so that the guide dogs can still walk comfortably), who does the bookkeeping and takes inventory, who is involved with the day to day production and operation of the business, and, out-of-hours, who hosts community group events, shows up at City Hall to advocate for local issues and knows that the little things matter.
Sign up for announcements and updates: www.tactilevisiongraphics.com
Tel: (226) 221-8849
Toll-free: (866) 465-0755
Introducing GoodReads: An Accessible App for Avid Readers!
By Natalie Martiniello, BLC President
GoodReads is a platform for avid readers like me -- and probably many of you, too. When I began more actively using it about two years ago, I quickly discovered that it is also extremely accessible using VoiceOver and also when using a braille display. It's now probably in my top three most used apps, and I thought that many of you would like to know about this truly fabulous app that all book enthusiasts will love.
With GoodReads, you can:
- Search through an endless database of just about any book that's ever been published for books you'd like to read.
- Read synopses, ratings and reviews for books.
- Add books to your bookshelves: by default all users have three bookshelves (currently reading, already read, want to read) and you can make others too if you like.
- Follow authors so that you always know about future books that are released.
- Set an optional reading goal for the year and keep track of your progress. I'm at 38 books read so far! How about you?
- Update your status with where you are in a current read (percentage or page number) and with your rating or review once you're done.
- Add friends so that you can see what they're reading, what they plan to read and how they rate their books. This is a great way to discover many new titles!
- Receive title recommendations based on your subscribed favourite genres.
There are many other features too -- but this will give you a sense of what GoodReads is all about. While I'm not entirely sure whether accessibility was consciously incorporated within the iOS app, my hunch is that it was, because there are very handy and well-thought out gestures that could be used to perform pretty much any task. For example, you can flick up or down on a title, or anything on the home screen to access all the different options.
As access to accessible material continues to increase, GoodReads is a great platform to share your love of reading with others and to revel in the world of books!
Interested to know more about how to use GoodReads with VoiceOver or a braille display? Write to us at email@example.com to let us know, and we could always feature this as a topic during a future teleconference.
Social Media Updates
Here are just a few gems posted to our Facebook and Twitter pages since the last issue. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more updates!
Comparing the Braille Me and Orbit Braille Reader: Two Low-Cost Braille Display Options: http://www.perkinselearning.org/technology/blog/braille-me-and-orbit-reader-braille-display-comparison?fbclid=IwAR1qfizMqe2J2o8dU5HE2W2BAF5ZQgNCRri-lERlDMEDq3V-DT6QLRl7QGY
Development of a device to help blind children comprehend images: https://www.theoptimistcitizen.com/touchvision-3m-innovations-award-winner/?fbclid=IwAR04nPIEbr1SDdyDiMyGdKNm3Yec5-XEGnHW886R73kjyHg7pb2IW1rAdyU
Please touch the artwork: https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/2019/03/11/woodson-art-museum-wausau-tactile-exhibit-visually-impaired-blind/3102998002/?fbclid=IwAR2okheuYHpvl5hfHEMhU6PFmZxa2BbzPMQ4CHrV-kZUz558z_AuVp1SHGc
U.S. joins Marrakesh treaty -- Meaning more access to accessible books in Canada! https://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2019/article_0002.html?fbclid=IwAR3pQ4ZfKmpFzgfbFrJL0tC4M6ah8vYiSzihxkcjFxjX7wtpXZRQwkdfJLg
Before braille, how did blind people read? https://www.capeandislands.org/post/nantucket-historical-association-acquires-thank-you-gift-1840s?fbclid=IwAR3Q1id3rqsj_pVXPNtx4fwl74yjvZP17AbkbDu3I6VfLVpa6ETldi4rCdw
From across the pond, the EBU / European Blind Union shares information about best practices for promoting braille teaching and literacy, as well as Accessible Pharmaceutical labelling: http://www.euroblind.org/campaigns-and-activities/current-activities/braille-promotion?fbclid=IwAR19XOi7v3UGoLOjVqwS0QLgxxFDhbMPnrfRhaUOHKXo3LbQhlfVZSj4dH4
Students develop tech that converts text to braille in real-time: https://coolblindtech.com/students-develop-device-that-converts-text-to-braille-in-real-time/?fbclid=IwAR3F_wBm933_0sJ-5oJi37b1ebLF1CgsFA-BrMkoopwJVLAydA9aKXkOpaw
Ten things you probably don't know about braille! https://www.perkins.org/stories/10-things-you-probably-dont-know-about-braille?fbclid=IwAR1-W3OyNe6rxAjTwcpWdsO6U-xAkutgi8Rg8Pv08wk12boqwEUto9Ja9M4
"My kindergarten student really enjoyed reading & writing - I see it as a learning tool which goes beyond Pre-K. Have you met BrailleBuzz? This kid-friendly bumblebee shaped keyboard helps promote early braille literacy and is a lot of fun! http://www.fredshead.info/2018/12/introducing-braillebuzz.html?fbclid=IwAR39etfI07H2OOqe1zsMSnf4i4p2hRZjRNDC04clie74Bdjg3LIUnXeZdlg
Braille is the answer to large unemployment rate, says advocate: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/braille-is-the-answer-to-large-unemployment-numbers-in-blind-community-says-advocate-1.4967404?fbclid=IwAR3C9I8ioUQMRTCMj62z6ZOnfZAdiWxIYy5vkwf4izXB3VMFHuqxYK6lPJ