[rescue] Is it kosher to post Craigslist links here?

Don Y dgy at DakotaCom.Net
Tue Jul 4 14:37:50 CDT 2006

der Mouse wrote:
>> (you typically use two hands when reading Braille -- one to scan the
>> cells on the line and the other to mark the margin where you started
>> to facilitate returning to it to find the next line).
> Interesting.  The one time I saw an (apparently) blind person reading
> Braille by touch, she was holding both hands approximately stationary
> with respect to one another, both moving along the line together.
> She'd also tap them on the page, rather like tapping your fingers but
> with all eight fingers (thumbs not involved) moving together.
> Of course, she may have been atypical. :)

If you watch carefully, chances are she wasn't using both hands
(fingers?) across the line.  often, the left index finger starts
"reading" the line and the right index finger joins it partway
into the line.  Then, the right finger continues on to read the
right half of the line while the left finger seeks the start of
the line to drop down to the start of the NEXT line.  So, when the
right finger reaches the right margin, the left finger can get
started (i.e. the "carriage return" doesn't cost any time) on
the next line -- and act as a target for the right finger to
seek (as above).

Having the left finger at the left margin also helps because
braille "words" are freely broken at line endings -- the goal
is to get as many cells as possible on a line -- so this
allows the left finger to sort out the end of the last word
on the previous line.  Anything to get a little performance
enhancement (braille readers typical read at ~100WPM -- while
print readers easily average ~250WPM).

The type of material also plays a role.  Stock Braille paper
is quite wide so it is very easy to lose track of the start
of the line after having moved 10+ inches away on an "invisible"
line of raised dots.  OTOH, when reading notes on a pocket slate
(perhaps 6 inches wide?), the lines are shorter and there are
fewer of them (so the chances of mislocating the start of
the next line are smaller).  And thermoformed braille "paper"
tends to drag on your fingers which affects how you carry
them.  I wouldn't be surprised if studies of reading patterns
revealed very different styles depending on the medium.
(as well as interpersonal variations)

It is a VERY humbling experience to try this on your own!
And, gives you a healthy respect for the effort involved
in overcoming this "handicap".

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