[blindkid] RFB&D fundraising

Andy & Sally Thomas andysally at comcast.net
Thu Feb 19 02:54:02 UTC 2009

Thanks for the clarification, Heather.  That was a good recap of the issue.

Sally Thomas
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "H. Field" <missheather at comcast.net>
To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)" 
<blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 7:24 PM
Subject: Re: [blindkid] RFB&D fundraising

> Friends,
> The statement was made in the fund-raising request:
> "because braille is difficult and slow." Exception was taken to that
> statement because that statement is untrue. The fact that reading
> braille may have been slow for a particular child during a particular
> period in his life was not made. It simply said that reading braille
> was difficult and slow. Therefore, the criticism of the inclusion of
> such a statement, without  further qualifications or explanation, is
> totally valid. The objectionable statement  was misleading and is,
> therefore, harmful to the cause of promoting a positive view of
> braille. Everything else, by way of argument, is not relevant. It
> doesn't matter who likes or needs audio books. How useful audio books
> can be to college students or to blind grade-schoolers without good
> inaginative skills, or even how they helped a child learn his braille
> contractions is simply not the issue. There's no point in getting all
> emotional about how valuable audio books have been, are or will
> continue to be. This objection isn'at about audio books. It's about
> someone sending out letters asking for money to produce audio books
> for blind people because braille is difficult and slow.
> As braille is not difficult or slow means that an untrue statement has
> been put in print and circulated to the public.
> Those who object to such statements objected and, continue to object.
> It is my hope that this discussion will aid those who write future
> fund-raising letters to choose their words and their examples more
> carefully.
> Cordially,
> Heather Field
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Michele Chauvin" <michelechauvin at yahoo.com>
> To: "nopbc blindkid" <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
> Cc: "Mary Alexander" <alexander5 at ntin.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:20 AM
> Subject: [blindkid] RFB&D fundraising
> Below is an email from Mary Alexander, Cooper's mom. She also works
> with RFB&D. Sounds like she is willing to address any concernsÂ
> others have regarding thier services and how they compliment rather
> than compete with Braille.
> As a sighted person, I often use auditory formats for learning: audio
> books, TV, movies, etc. If all I saw were videos of everything
> without any audio, I would learn very little about anything. Reading
> with my eyes is not the only way I gather information.
> Likewise, my daughter, who is blind due prematurity, also learns in
> various ways. She is learning to read and write Braille at her own
> pace, and I will never let up on that goal. However, she also enjoys
> listening to audio books. Not anything RFB&D, yet, but things like
> Dr. Seuss stories or fairytales on CD. I believe it enhances her
> experience and understanding of stories, as she does not have the
> luxury (at this point) of a vivid imagination. One has to have real
> life experiences to create such a thing. One also has to have the
> capacity for this creativity. I believe it's important to remember
> that blind individuals come in all kinds of packages, just like
> sighted folks.  Sighted folks are as varied in interests and
> abilities as snowflakes, or so they say. So are blind folks.
> Â Michele Chauvin
> ----- Forwarded Message ----
> From: Leslie and Mary Alexander <alexander5 at ntin.net>
> To: Michele Chauvin <michelechauvin at yahoo.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:08:21 AM
> Subject: RE: RFB&D
> Michele:
> Â
> Cooper is a very strong Braille reader and learned his contractions in
> record time by listening to a book and reading the contracted Braille
> book at the same time.Â
> Â
> Anyone who knows Cooper realizes that he is an extremely bright young
> man, but he has fine motor issues. Â When he was younger, Braille
> would really tax him to the point of exhaustion. The audio texts and
> novels helped him not fall behind his classmates. Â RFB&D is one of
> many tools, not the only one. As is Braille not the only tool in his
> toolbox! It is his most important one, but not the only one. He is
> using a Braille keyboard now with the computer, and having great
> success, but he also uses the regular keyboard, does the regular
> keyboard â?odetractâ? from his Braille?
> Â
> Feel free to share my comments with anyone you choose. There are
> always those that would criticize what they are not familiar with or
> donâ?Tt understand. RFB&D is available to students with vision
> impairments that read Braille if they choose that route. Once those
> students enter college, getting your college texts in Braille and
> keeping up with the vast amount of reading will become harder, and
> RFB&D is valuable in that regard. Thru conferences across the country
> I have met many professionals who are blind; they have all used RFB&D
> at some point, and are complimentary of our services. Please post my
> email address:Â malexander at rfbd.org for anyone who would like to ask
> questions about RFB&D. Thank you for your help in clearing up any
> misunderstanding.
> Â
> Mary Alexander
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