[Nfbmo] employment, education, are you ar Braille or Print Reader

Gail Bryant gbryant at socket.net
Wed Apr 15 12:14:05 UTC 2009


As you know, I have been a braille user all my life. I learned 
Braille in kindergarten while attending the Missouri School for the 
Blind. I was not a willing student of braille and cried and  screamed 
my way through kindergarten. They held me back because I couldn't 
master Braille.

Today, I own my own business teaching Braille. I contract with school 
districts, RSB, and private individuals. Many of my former students 
are successful NFB members who are employed, happy and active. Some 
of my most challenging students have similarly thrown grandiose fits. 
That's why I like the challenge of teaching.

While teaching Braille, I realized that I needed my TVI (teacher of 
the visually impaired) certification. I will finish the requirements 
for certification in May and hope to achieve my former success.  I am 
not presently teaching in order to devote full time to finishing my 

Braille is always a part of my life. I use a braillenote MPower to 
take notes and keep track of things. I use braille for recipes, 
labeling, keeping track of appointments and phone numbers and 
anything else one would use print for.

I used a slate and stylus through a masters degree in college to take 
notes with. Now, I use my braillenote.

I am taking on-line courses through Missouri State.  I use a computer 
with a screen reader, braille embosser and software, a scanner and 
Kurzweil 1000. While on the road with clients, I use a cell phone 
containing Mobilespeak to keep track of things kids don't think I 
know. Their teachers often call me while en route.  Darn, the secret 
is out!At 10:12 PM 4/12/2009, Susan  Ford wrote:
>I think you know most of this stuff about me, but you will have it 
>for your collection.
>I am a Braille reader.  I know the print letters, bot in manuscript 
>and most of them in cursive, but I can't see them.  I have learned 
>to write them in print, and so can write a note to someone if I have 
>no computer or typewriter and need to write something.  I am, 
>however, not confident enough of writing small to be able to write 
>checks.  I sign them, but have someone else write them out for 
>me.  I have labeled my microwave in Braille for convenience.  I have 
>a Braille-labeled pillbox in which I sort my medications on a weekly 
>basis.  That is easier than carrying several pill bottles with me 
>every day.  I identify my medications by touch, and can, therefore, 
>sort them myself without assistance.  My grocery lists are written 
>in Braille, and then I go to the store with someone who can see so 
>that they can locate the items that I tell them.  That also makes 
>them available to write the check that I sign at the store.  I hire 
>a reader to assist me with bill-paying on a regular basis, 
>preferrably every two weeks. I use Braille to copy words or choir 
>music, because I sing in the church choir.  I also have a hymnal, a 
>Bible, and a collection of words to music, so that if we have every 
>sung the song before, it is done.  I have a Braille printer, and if 
>there is new music, a friend can type the words into the computer, 
>e-mail it to me, and then I can make a copy for both my son and me, 
>(he also sings in the choir.) I use Braille at work on a daily 
>basis.  I teach Braille to perhaps as many as fifteen students at a 
>time.  I label my clothing paryt of the time so that I know what 
>color garments are.  This is particularly true if I buy two blouses 
>alike except for their color---the same for slacks.  I take Braille 
>notes in many circumstances, although I take notes on the computer 
>when I am interviewing clients.  My computer has speech access, but 
>my pac-mate also has a Braille display.  This permits me to read 
>back what I have written without causing disruption during a client interview.
>I suspect I have missed many ways that I use Braille, but it is 
>sufficient to tell you that Braille is an essential tool to me.  I 
>first learned it when I was in kindergarten.  I have used it all 
>through grade school, high school, and both a bachelor's degree and 
>master's degree study.  I read about 200 words per minute 
>aloud.  This is not amazingly fast, but it is faster than many 
>Braille users read.  I think it is a reasonable expectation, if a 
>child is taught Braille at a young age and permitted to use it 
>continuously throughout his formative years.  We don't develop skill 
>in reading without doing so.  Think of how it was, parents, when you 
>learned print.  It did not come without practice.  You did not read 
>as well as you do now until you were perhaps in 7th grade, and after 
>that, your vocabulary continued to develop.  This is added to 
>explain why it is so important to encourage your children to learn 
>Braille early, and not be too eager to insist that they use a 
>computer or Braille notetaker before their Braille skills are fully developed.
>What else can I say?
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Debbie Wunder" 
><debbiewunder at earthlink.net>
>To: <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
>Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 8:21 AM
>Subject: [Nfbmo] employment, education, are you ar Braille or Print Reader
>>I would be interested in hearing from all of you , sharing what 
>>type of employment you do? How di you obtain your goals? Do you 
>>read Braille, Large Print, both or do you use another medium? If 
>>you are a Braille reader please tell at what age you learned 
>>Braille, and how it impacts your life. Do you use Braille to label 
>>your medicine, CD's, DVD's, microwavewwave? If you use another 
>>alternative technique please share that as well.
>>I am hoping to get lots of imput to share with our Parents of Blind Children.
>>Debbie Wunder
>>debbiewunder at earthlink.net
>>Nfbmo mailing list
>>Nfbmo at nfbnet.org
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Gail Bryant
Columbia Braille Teaching Services L.L.C.
1212 London Drive
Columbia, MO 65203-2012
Phone: 573 817-5993
Cell: 573 268-4962

Provides quality braille and software instructional services to blind 
gbryant at socket.net

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