[nabs-l] questions about reading braille

H. Field missheather at comcast.net
Wed Aug 11 16:09:38 UTC 2010

Dear Kerri,
I too am an avid braille reader since childhood, and I am  proficient 
with a braille display but there is no feeling like the stillness and 
silence of a hard-copy braille book. So, I encourage you to keep 
borrowing braille books. Here's how I do it and it works well for me 
as I don't like bothering with the time it takes to call in my 
requests and try to call at a time when my reader adviser is 

Every reader adviser in the Library Service has an e-mail address. I 
suggest you get the e-mail address of your reader adviser. Next, you 
can, indeed, go on to the website of the National Library Service for 
the Blind and Physically handicapped and search for the books you want 
by numerous search criteria. For example, author, title, subject.
Make a list of the books you want in an e-mail, being sure to include 
the catalogue number, and then simply e-mail your requests to your 
reader adviser.

It is important for braille readers to remember that if everyone stops 
borrowing braille books the government might decide that there is no 
longer a need for hard-copy braille books and dismantle the service. 
Reading braille on a book, as opposed to a braille display, is much 
faster and it is important to keep reading speed up. One doesn't have 
to take braille books on the bus or the plane on a flight, but reading 
a book at home is a good idea for the reasons which I've mentioned.
The website for the National Library Service is:
Warmest regards,

Heather Field
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kerri Kosten" <kerrik2006 at gmail.com>
To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list" 
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 8:24 PM
Subject: [nabs-l] questions about reading braille, labeling, and canes

Hi All!!

I have a couple of questions.

First, for braille readers out there, do you find you read more on
your note-taker and braille displays and get your books from Bookshare
and Web Braille or do you still call your library and order hard-copy
books? Also, can you order hard-copy braille books either online or
through email?

I have been blind from birth and am a very very fast braille reader. I
used to get books from the library and loved reading hard-copy
braille, but then in 2007 when I got my notetaker which had a braille
display on it I stopped having them send me hard-copy books. But, I
find I miss reading hard-copy braille, and though reading on the
braille display is nice it's kind of cumbersome.
I am trying to figure out whether I should do the easy thing and just
download my books from Bookshare and Web Braille and reading them on
my display or go through the hassle that is calling the library,
picking categories of books, and ordering them hard-copy.
I really wish NLS had an online system where you could just go online,
fill out a form, enter in the book title/author, submit it
electronically, then just wait for the book to come through the mail.
Even on the Web-braille website, it is very hard to browse...they
don't have it set up so you can browse by category...I know you can
type in keywords but for whatever reason every time I try this I don't
get any relevant results.
So I thought I'd ask what you all do!

My next question has to do with labeling canned foods. A blind friend
told me to use dymo tape, then get a hole puncher and some rubber
bands, punch a hole in the tape, and somehow thread the rubber band
through the hole? She explained to me how to do this...but I'm not
getting it...the rubber band is round...I don't understand how you put
the round rubber band through the hole in the label?

I saw that you could order these pre-made labels with rubber bands
already on them...so all you have to do is write what you want the
label to say...then stick it on the can.
Which way do you prefer/use? I'm very confused by the dymo tape way...

My final question has to do with canes. I need to get a backup. I got
a free white cane in January and really like it. However, I've been
told that the Iowa Canes (the canes you get from the Iowa Center) are
much sturdier and can last pretty much forever. What should I get as a
backup...one extra nfb cane and then one Iowa one? I've never used an
Iowa cane...but my friend has had hers for over three years and it
hasn't broken yet...and my NFB one though I like it a lot because how
light it is is already chipping.
What do you prefer? What are the pros/cons of the Iowa canes? What are
the differences between the Iowa canes and the fiberglass NFB canes?
Also...does anyone know how much the Iowa canes cost if you order them
and are out-of-state? I'm not from Iowa.


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