Braille and Imagination

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Imagine beings that cannot communicate with words or conventional images whose sensory perception is so astute they perceive your presence by the difference of airflow around a room. They feel vibrations so subtle many of us are rarely aware of their existence. Some may hear as you do and some may not. Those who do will have a heightened sense of sound, multilayered processing of the sound, and an astute sense of smell distinguishing things we can only imagine as seeing and hearing individuals.

You may imagine I am recounting some exotic race from Star Trek where in fact there were such citizens of the universe. Those beings were filled with sparkly plasma as I recall. But no, I am talking about the blind and or blind and deaf individuals we encounter, teach and live with every day.

These highly developed sensory individuals have a language of their own. It’s called Braille. It is imperative that Braille proliferate.

President Obama has mandated this to be true in the “Presidential Proclamation -- Blind Americans Equality Day, 2013”

To create a more level playing field and ensure students with disabilities have access to the general education curriculum, the Department of Education issued new guidance in June for the use of Braille as a literacy tool under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This guidance reaffirms my Administration's commitment to using Braille to open doors for students who are blind or visually impaired, so every student has a chance to succeed in the classroom and graduate from high school prepared for college and careers.

While it is fact that a blind or visually impaired individual has little chance of above minimum wage employment without Braille, this blog deals with the aesthetic.

One of the things we lose with non-Braille technology is to imagine the world that is opening up in the text. We hear the words and then the reader puts them into context rather than having the vehicle decide the character, sound and feel of the text. Braille allows the reader to allow his mind to create his own perceptions of characters, concepts and settings. It is an infinitely more interesting world when imagination is added to the mix, and more likely to create blind writers and readers for pleasure as well as instruction or to provoke thought.

Among seeing and visually impaired people alike I am of the opinion that nothing is more satisfying or devastating (Oh…no it can’t be over!) than the last pages of a terrific book. Every individual deserves to be able to experience this.

Imagine a Braille graphic of a large round apple with velvety green leaves still attached. I can try to explain this all day without success, but with Braille graphics on paper in the hands of a blind student, the apple and its variable shades in depths of Braille impressions can make the mouth water. An even better scenario is when the Braille printer has words and translations of the Braille text for the non-Braille writing teacher to discuss with the student. With the ViewPlus Tiger Software Suite for Windows that comes with every embosser the teacher can write in conventional language and the printer can translate to Braille with a mouse click. Both text Braille and color graphics can be added to the page to bridge the communication and creativity gap between teachers, students and peers.

Of course a real apple would also suffice. But how do you convey the internal organs of the human body? A map of our solar system? The words of a poem bursting from the heart of a blind child?

You bridge the gap between the language of the blind and the seeing world with a Braille, color graphics and ink ViewPlus embosser. Visit to learn more call or email me at 1-866-836-2184 X 213 [email protected].

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