[nabs-l] questions about reading braille

Matt McCubbin mgoalball at gmail.com
Thu Aug 12 02:32:48 UTC 2010

The Iowa canes cost about $25, and you do not need to be a resident of 
Iowa to purchase them. Please call the Iowa Department for the Blind at
515-281-1333, and you will be able to order one.
As for comparing them to the NFB cane, you won't find anything more 
sturdy and solid. It is a little bit heavier than your fiberglass or 
carbon Fiber straight cane, but the extra weight is worth the increased 
durability of the cane.
Hope this helps, and please feel free to write if you have further 
Best regards,

On 8/11/2010 2:24 PM, Kerri Kosten wrote:
> Hi Heather and All!
> Thanks so much for this!
> When I received the hard-copy braille books from the library, I had
> them sent to me randomly so I didn't call the library or anything.
> When I signed up for Web Braille, and then in 2008 got my victor
> stream, a lady named Terry Methony helped me both times. I do have her
> email address...would she be my "reading advisor?"
> Also what are the differences between the Iowa canes and the straight
> fiberglass NFB canes? I'm trying to figure out what to get as a
> backup...I have and love my straight NFB cane now...but I've been told
> the Iowa ones are a lot sturdier and don't break nearly as easily or
> often!
> Thanks,
> Kerri
> On 8/11/10, H. Field<missheather at comcast.net>  wrote:
>> 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
>> available.
>> 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:
>> www.loc.gov/nls
>> 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.
>> Thanks,
>> Kerri
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