[nfb-talk] For What It's Worth: Sound Solutions Audio Series from the Braille Institute in Los Angeles, California

Tina Hansen th404 at comcast.net
Wed Oct 14 05:37:10 UTC 2009

Recently, I came across a series of audio clips produced by the Braille Institute in Los Angeles, California: The Sound Solutions Audio Series. The site describes it as:
A first-of-its kind audio series that presents practical information, resources and encouragement for you or a loved one who are experiencing sight loss.

I've been reviewing this series, and from what I can gather, this series offers tips on topics such as home management, cooking, using your other senses to understand the world, and more.

The audio programs are fairly creative, and the information is packaged using a variety of presentation styles. The program on using your senses to understand the world is based on A Christmas Carol, while a show on home management is modeled after This Old House. Another, Know the Right Stuff, discusses rights, resources, and responsibilities as a blind person, and it uses a format similar to a scenic train tour. Still another focusing on daily living skills is based on Aladdin and the genie.

We live in an age where it seems people just want to be entertained, and it seems that you need to be creative in order to find new ways to communicate your message. On that basis alone, this series is impressive.

I know that some years ago, one of our student divisions produced a couple of plays that presented our message in an entertaining way. This series reminded me that maybe it's time to think of creative ways to communicate our message to the public. This, therefore, is one of the strengths of this series.

Yet, I think there could be improvements made to the series. For instance, the Know the Right Stuff program doesn't mension the NFB at all, and the Home Management program is a mixed bag for me. While some of the home arrangement ideas are good, I think there was a bit of a bias toward those who are partially blind.

I also wonder about some of the language. The programs tend not to mension the word "blind" that much, which for me, is a bit of a red flag. I think that it's right to acknowledge when someone is going blind that something is wrong, but I also think that people need to understand that even though they're going blind, their life isn't over.

I do like the positive messages that say in so many words that your life doesn't have to end just because you're going blind.
Yet the mension of the NFB is absent. Our training centers are not highlighted, which doesn't surprise me that much, since this is coming from Los Angeles, and the Braille Institute is going to be featured.

Probably because of the bias toward partial blindness, Braille is not emphasized as much as it could be. It's there, but it can sometimes get barried.

In my book, this is one of these series that does have some useful information, but you can probably just as well throw some of it out the window. Thus, my initial rating of this series is 3 stars.

If you wish to judge for yourself whether this series is valuable, you can go to the following address:


The series is up there in mp3 format, along with a seminar on macular degeneration, and a few other things. Thanks.

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