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

Don Y dgy at DakotaCom.Net
Tue Jul 4 16:47:29 CDT 2006

der Mouse wrote:
>>> 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.
>> If you watch carefully, chances are she wasn't using both hands
>> (fingers?) across the line.
> Well, I can't be sure her fingers were touching the page, but it sure
> looked as though they were.

They undoubtedly were.  But, unless you asked her (and she might
not even be conscious of her own "technique"), you wouldn't
know the roles each finger was playing -- "reading", guiding,
exploring, etc.

>> 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.
> Not consistent with what I saw, both because she appeared to be using
> multiple fingers per hand (moving together) and because her hands were
> nearly stationary with respect to one another.  (I noticed that
> particularly because it seemed so odd to me.)

There isn't a single "set" way to read Braille.  Though you will
find that *two* hands (my initial assertion) are invariably used.
There have been some studies done to try to qantify just what
aspects contribute to higher speeds/efficiencies (for
obvious reasons).  But, many studies have been flawed in one
way or another (e.g., they might watch the hands from above but
fail to notice *which* fingers are riding on the text and
WHERE they are riding on the text -- i.e. are they reading
adjacent cells or are they just exploring the page to
determine where the adjacent cells are located, etc.)

Likewise, to determine which fingers work best (apparently, you
can use *any* finger but speed -- maybe not sensitivity -- seems
to be tied to the use of index fingers).

>> It is a VERY humbling experience to try this on your own!
> I've touched Braille characters on enough occasions - and have
> discovered they all feel far too much the same to me - that I've never
> really tried to read it tactilely; I know it'd take a lot of learning
> before I could do it at all, never mind do it at any sort of speed.

It is very disturbing to realize how (apparently?) inadequate
this "I/O mechanism" is.  And, to consider how those who face
blindness later in life (diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration,
industrial accidents, etc.) have this *huge* learning experience
to face -- or, give up reading!  <BIG frown>  It makes discussions
about keeping/discarding books seem really petty.

As a blind-from-birth friend once answered my (incredibly
naive!) question:  "What do you see (when you are blind)?"
(hey, I was young at the time -- I would rephrase it
differently, now)  His reply:  "Tell me what it's like
to SEE and I'll tell you what *I* see".

Every time I hear the "Sure! it tastes like MILK" commercial,
I recall this  :>  :(

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