Programs & Services
Newsletter - September 2019
In This Issue
- Message from the President (Natalie Martiniello, BLC President)
- September 28, 2019 Workshop: Formatting Documents Using Refreshable Braille Displays
- Brailler Bounce Walkathon in Vancouver - November 2, 2019
- Save the Date: May 6-8, 2020 for the Canadian Vision Teachers' Conference "collaborate | innovate | inspire"
- Cars and Condiments (Jen Goulden, BLC Past President)
Message from the President
By Natalie Martiniello, BLC President
Dear members and friends,
For both teachers and students, fall signifies the start of a new year. It is a season of new beginnings and change, and often a time of both excitement and activity, as we plan for the months ahead. This is certainly the case for your BLC board! We are excited to share with you the details of our ongoing projects - as well as new ones - as they unfold in weeks and months to come. Here's a sneak peak:
- On September 14th, BLC held a fun and successful "6 KM for 6 Dots!" Walk-a-Thon in Victoria in support of the BLC Brailler Bounce program. Money raised from this initiative will help to repair unused Perkins braillers and ship them for free to braille learners and readers across Canada who need them! Donations are still rolling in and we look forward to sharing the totals in the coming days - Thank you to our fearless Vice-President Daphne Hitchcock for working her usual magic and making this happen!
- Looking for another chance to walk? We've got you covered! Keep reading this newsletter to learn all about the Vancouver Brailler Bounce Walk-A-Thon taking place on November 2nd!
- BLC will be participating in the McMillan LLP employee awareness day on October 10th. Taking place in their offices in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, this event will provide BLC with an opportunity to raise awareness about braille and blindness to McMillan LLP employees - Thank you to McMillan for the invite! (Note that this is an internal event for employees, but we will give you a recap afterwards!)
- This coming weekend, BLC will have a table at Word Vancouver, "Western Canada's largest celebration of literacy and reading." We'll have bookmarks, and visitors will have the opportunity to have their very own name written in braille! This is a great opportunity for BLC and braille to have visibility in the general public, including with families and children, and we thank Jen Jesso for representing us once again at this excellent annual event.
- Things are always better done together, don't you think? BLC is thrilled to be celebrating our 30th year anniversary in 2020 in conjunction with the Canadian Vision Teachers' Conference. In this newsletter, you will find a "Save the Date" for the CVTC conference, and in the coming weeks, you will learn about the BLC AGM and reception that will be held during the conference. Thank you to CVTC for this exciting collaboration!
- BLC will be well represented at the upcoming Toronto CNIB Braille Conference in October - Will you be there? If so, you may come across some fellow board members - Try and spot us!
- The BLC Braille Promotions Committee continues to offer exciting braille related workshops to our members. Check out this issue for info on the upcoming workshop to be held on Sept. 28th on Formatting Documents with Screen-readers and Braille Displays. Haven't registered yet? You still have time if you act quickly!
- The BLC French Braille committee is working hard on a new initiative to expand the availability of French print-braille books to Canadian children! Learn more about this much-needed project in the coming weeks. Interested in joining our French braille committee? We are always eager to invite new members with an interest in French braille. Contact us for more info!
- 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of BLC! What could be a better time to celebrate not only BLC, but braille in Canada? We have great ideas up our sleeves, and you'll be hearing more about this in the weeks to come. For now, here's a hint: We'll have something for braille readers of all ages to be happy about!
- Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn... Did you catch the social media bug (braille bug?) too? BLC is exploring ways to increase our social media presence! As part of this, we are establishing a Social Media committee. Contact us if you're interested to learn more!
- Remember you can always reach us by visiting www.brailleliteracycanada.ca or writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of our entire board, I wish you the very happiest Fall season, and thank you again for making BLC everything that it continues to be.
President, Braille Literacy Canada
September 28, 2019 Workshop: Formatting Documents Using Refreshable Braille Displays
Document formatting is essential! Whether it's a school report or culminating thesis, a resume or other professional document, or a letter advocating for a cause important to you, formatting is important. For those who are blind or have low vision, a braille display can provide greater access to formatting information and make fine-tuning document formatting easier. This teleconference will focus on how to format a document, from the basics to the advanced. More specifically, we will discuss how a braille display can help with this task.
The teleconference will cover topics such as:
- Braille display functions and settings;
- Various ways to select and format text;
- Text style, headings, font, and paragraph formatting;
- Checking spelling and grammar to correct errors; and
- Verifying and checking that formatting is correct.
If you're new to formatting documents with a screen reader and are wondering how a braille display can make this task easier, this teleconference is for you. If you're a teacher of students with visual impairments or an assistive technology instructor, this teleconference will provide you with excellent tools and tips to help your students compete with their sighted peers.
An outline of the teleconference, as well as a list of keyboard commands and additional resources, will be distributed to attendees.
We hope you will join us - and we invite you to share this announcement with others!
Date: Saturday, September 28th, 2019
Time: 1 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern time (10-11:30am Pacific, 11am-12:30pm Mountain/Saskatchewan, 12pm-1:30pm Central, 2pm-3:30pm Atlantic)
Cost: The teleconference is free for BLC members as well as those who are members of organizations that are corporate members of BLC. Cost for non-members is $20.
To register: Send an email to email@example.com by Friday, September 27th
Brailler Bounce Walkathon in Vancouver - November 2, 2019
Spread the word! Whether you walk with us or support a fellow walker with your pledge, you can help support braille literacy too!
Braille Literacy Canada will be hosting a "Walkathon" in Vancouver, British Columbia to raise funds for the Brailler Bounce Initiative on November 2nd, 2019. BLC is aiming to raise $1500 during the coming months to help defray costs associated with the refurbishing and delivery of braillewriters. 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. Even if students may be provided with one brailler at school, they often may not have access to one at home to continue practising their braille reading and writing skills.
The roughly six kilometer walk will take us from a central meeting location near Broadway and Cambie through the heart of the Fairview neighbourhood, along West 10th Avenue.
We will meet at 9:30am at Starbucks at the corner of Cambie and West 8th Avenue (2370 Cambie Street) at 9:30am, with the aim of heading out by 10:00am.
To donate online to the cause or sponsor someone who is walking on November 2nd, visit https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/42917
Check out the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/553166472092674/
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register or call Betty at 604-417-8370 for more information.
Save the Date: May 6-8, 2020 for the Canadian Vision Teachers' Conference "collaborate | innovate | inspire"
Save the date for the 16th Biennial CVTC - a conference welcoming all Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Orientation and Mobility Instructors, Deafblind Intervenors, Alternative Format Specialists, Students, Parents, Researchers, Health Care Practitioners, Adults, Early Childhood Educators & Community Partners and Agencies across Canada and beyond interested in the education, empowerment and advocacy of individuals with visual impairments.
Location: Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre, 801 Dixon Rd, Toronto Ontario, M9W 1J5 Canada, 1-416-675-6100
Web site launching in October 2019!
Cars and Condiments
By Jen Goulden, BLC Past President
Editor's Note: I'd like to thank members of the BLC UEB list for their contributions to the discussion that led to this article.
It was just a simple question. Why is the "must" contraction used in mustard but not in mustang? Put another way, what is the difference between mustard and mustang - besides the obvious, that is? As I said, it was a simple question and ought to have had a simple answer.
The best place to start is, of course, the Rules of Unified English Braille Second Edition 2013. Appendix 1 contains the Shortforms List, along with a set of rules that determines whether or not a word can be added to this list. Mustard is on the Shortforms List, but mustang is included with other examples in rule 2 that do not meet the requirements. And why is that, you ask?
Rule 2 states: When a shortform is part of a longer word, add the longer word to the Shortforms List provided that:
(a) The longer word retains an original meaning and the original spelling of the shortform; and (b) use of the shortform is not prohibited by rules 3-5 which follow.
Rules 3 to 5 are not relevant to this issue, which leaves us with rule 2(a). So ... how is "mustard" different from "mustang"?
Phyllis Landon, Chair of the ICEB Code Maintenance Committee, provided the following explanation to our UEB listserv:
This decision was made when the list was originally drawn up. When you examine the dictionary entry for "mustard", the derivation says that the word comes from "must". One definition of "must" is the juice pressed from grapes before it has fermented and this juice is an ingredient in mustard. "Mustang", on the other hand, is derived from Spanish and has no relation to any meaning of "must". The things we learn from studying braille!
Don't miss out on this helpful information and all of the fascinating discussions! Send an email to email@example.com to subscribe.