[nfbwatlk] Perkins Braillers

Kaye Kipp kkipp123 at msn.com
Wed Sep 15 17:44:08 CDT 2010


I don't know what I'd do without my slate and stylus.  They're always in my 
purse.

Kaye
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mary Ellen" <gabias at telus.net>
To: "'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'" <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:45 PM
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] Perkins Braillers


> Thanks to all who have taken the time to respond, either privately or on
> list, to my question concerning the Perkins Brailler. Ben, your article
> about the use of the slate and stylus was part of the inspiration for my
> query. Just as educators and experts abandoned the slate and stylus and 
> the
> Federation has had to fight for its recognition as a valuable tool, I fear
> the unique place of the Perkins Brailler is also not fully understood by
> those making decisions about which technology to recommend or purchase. I
> think we won't have as much trouble explaining the need for the Perkins as
> we continue to have with the slate because it's easy for those not fluent 
> in
> Braille to understand the mechanics of the Perkins. We won't have to 
> listen
> to a lot of silly talk about reversals and how difficult it is to learn.
> I've received enough comments to begin a short article on the topic, but 
> if
> anyone hasn't commented and would like to, please feel free
>  --  particularly if you have what you believe is a specialized or unique
> use for your Brailler.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf Of Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR)
> Sent: September 15, 2010 2:22 PM
> To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
> Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] Perkins Braillers
>
>
> Hi Listers,
>
> If anybody cares, I too have at least two perkins Braillers.  I even 
> bought
> a new generation Perkins from APH.  (By the way, I'm not impressed with 
> it,
> and would as soon just keep using the older generation).  I use one at the
> Office and mostly Braille notes on it.  I use 5 by 7 cards, and have a 
> whole
> pile, (I'd like to say organized) with case numbers, telephone numbers,
> passwords, etc on them.  I also use 8 and a half by 11 braille paper on 
> the
> newer perkins at the Ofice to write l onger notes that need my attention.
>
> I do of course use my computer and Braille embosser for long documents I
> either draft or review.  At home, I use the Perkins for labeling as also
> mentioned by  Chris, I use it to write notes on important documentnts, and
> even use it for phone numbers, etc.  I wouldn't do without my Perkins.  I
> also refer to an article I once wrote called, "Technology is not the 
> answer"
> to more generally argue that hand written Braille, with either the slate 
> and
> stylus and the Perkins is very important when the technology fails us.
> Besides, sighted folks have never completely given up the pen and pencil.
> So, while an "Underwood" may not generally be in use, old style tools
> haven't been completely abandoned.
>
> Mary Ellen, I took this route to respond, rather than writing to the 
> address
> you gave. Hope this is enough. /s/ Bennett Prows
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf Of Mike Freeman
> Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:00 PM
> To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
> Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] Perkins Braillers
>
> Mary Ellen:
>
> I have a Braille Sense Plus and a computer. I also have two Perkins
> Braillers, both of which need repairs. I do not own a Braille embosser.
>
> I don't use the Perkins much as I find a refreshable Braille display quite
> satisfactory under most circumstances. However, were I still doing a great
> many math calculations (algebra, calculus, differential equations, 
> page-long
> physics equations and the like), I would accept nothing else except a
> Perkins. Spatial display of math elements (or poetry, for that matter) 
> just
> doesn't work with a refreshable Braille display and blind college students
> are handicapping themselves mightily if they try to do math or other 
> natural
> sciences without use of a Perkins Brailler.
>
> Mike
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mary Ellen" <gabias at telus.net>
> To: unknown <gabias at telus.net>
> Date: Monday, Sep 13, 2010 10:23:04
> Subject: [nfbwatlk] Perkins Braillers
>
>>
>>
>> I'm writing to ask what may seem to be an absurd question.
>>
>> Is the Perkins Brailler still a useful piece of equipment?
>>
>> The Perkins is obviously used by blind people who don't have access to
>> advanced Braille technology, but I'm particularly interested in the
>> opinions of those who use computer assisted Braille.
>>
>> Though I have a Braille Lite and an embosser, I wouldn't want to give
>> up my Perkins. Its role has changed for me over the years, but I still
>> find it useful.
>>
>> The question has arisen because of an accommodation assessment I just
>> read. The person doing the assessment described the Perkins as "akin
>> to a 1950's Underwood." He clearly meant to indicate contempt for such
>> an antiquated piece of machinery.
>>
>> Perhaps I'm merely demonstrating my advanced age and Luddite
>> tendencies, but I cringe at the "If it don't have a computer chip, it
>> ain't no good," mentality.
>>
>> I would like to compile a list of ways in which tech savvy blind
>> people still use the Perkins, as well as reasons why people have
>> stopped using it.
>>
>> We're all familiar with "experts" who denigrate the slate and stylus.
>> We've done a very good job of countering their arguments, though the
>> "experts" still aren't listening very well. I believe it may be time
>> for us to pull together information and information on best practice
>> once again. If I'm right in believing the Perkins is still a useful
>> tool, technology consultants need to know it in detail. If I'm wrong,
>> then it's time for me to change my Luddite ways and "get with the
>> program." Please e-mail me at gabias at telus.net with your views.
>>
>> Mary Ellen Gabias _______________________________________________
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