2019-09-03 01:27:00

I've always seen Braille capitalized, and I assumed it was because it's because it was named after its creator, not necessarily because it's a language. Either way, though, since languages are capitalized, and Braille qualifies as one, to a degree, I'll continue to capitalize it.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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2019-09-03 01:43:15

Speaking as a person who's had to use braille since the early stages of life, my overall opinion is that it can either be very useful for the person who has their mind set on using braille and specialist equipment throughout the rest of their lives, or ridiculously dear and hard to obtain for the average user.
My braille reading abilities where overestimated during my time at school, when the staff forced me to read and write in braille despite my efforts of telling them that I work faster with a normal computer and doing my work with the likes of windows, as although I can read and write in braille, my abilities in that area are not that great.
As for the likes of braille compatible equipment, my honest opinion is that they are ridiculously expensive for what you get.
Spending 5000GBP on a braillenote won't give you half the features a computer a quarter of that price can give.
While I'm not dismissing the fact that you have a computer of some sorts which has braille functionality, I will again state that the price is ridiculous to the point of extremity, especially when you could get a decent laptop for around 1000GBP, put NVDA on it, and have your own synth of choice.
I could go on ranting about my feuds against braille equipment, but if you've taken the time to read to the end of this post, I think you get the idea by now :d

Though our eyes may fail, our ears prevail!
Don't forget to thumb up my posts :)

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2019-09-03 01:44:13

It's weird. I've never considered Braille a language. It is more like a cipher or a code to translate languages into a readable format. it is no more a language than written Spanish is an independent language from spoken Spanish.
That being said, I generally capitalize it (though sometimes I forget) because it's named after its creator.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-09-03 01:50:11

I guess it really has a lot to do with your background, and any forced overuse. I had to use a manual Braille writer for pretty much the entire school day, with few, if any breaks, and no shorthand. I'm surprised I don't have problems with my hands because of that.

2019-09-03 02:09:26

I did some searching and found some information from the Braille Athority of North America. They say the following:

BANA recommends that the word “braille,” when referring to the code developed by Louis Braille, be written with an initial lowercase letter. When referring to the proper name of Louis Braille, the inventor of the reading system, the initial letter should be capitalized.

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2019-09-03 02:36:02

I used a manual brailler for most of my high school career, and my hands and wrists are fine. So far, at least. lol
Also, typing is often murderous on the hands and wrists because people are infamous for putting keyboards in really weird places and at really weird heights and angles to suit their momentary comforts. This can quickly lead to RSI in the hands and wrists, so yeah, it's not just a braille thing.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-09-03 03:52:47

No, it definitely isn't, especially since most people have crappy habits when it comes to their posture when sitting in front of a computer. Also, that's interesting that some people consider Braille as a language and others don't. I never gave it much thought, to be honest, but considering that Braille can be written in every spoken language that I know of, it does seem a bit silly to classify it as a language of its own.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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2019-09-03 04:59:42

I view braille as essential for someone who is blind. This is for several reasons, but the most important is access, especially in STEM or language arts. Trying to comprehend and work math concepts and equations without braille is sheer hell. Last year, I had several issues with my BrailleNote Touch (that's a story for another day) which forced me to do math verbally. The person working with me would have to read out the equation, I'd have to memorize it, then try to do the math. It just about drove me nuts, and there was a noticeable drop in my math grades as well (I'm a high honors student in math). I simply can not grasp the concept unless I have braille in front of me. When reading literature I can get away with not reading braille, instead listening to the content; however when when working on grammar, especially when learning or drilling more advanced concepts,  braille becomes invaluable. Also, braille is very helpful when learning spelling, which is key in a sighted world.

As an aside, my braille fluency is not what I'd like it to be, mainly because  I don't read or write it nearly enough. I've gotten so used to reading with a speech synthesizer and writing with a QWERTY keyboard that I've hardly used it over the summer and have noticed a  drop in my reading and writing speed. It's a shame really. As with many skills,  you either use it or lose it. Time for me to get back on the ball.

P.S. Well-deserved Thumbs up to post 7.

The Beast adopted new raiment and studied the ways of Time and Space and Light and the Flow of energy through the Universe. From its studies, the Beast fashioned new structures from oxidised metal and proclaimed their glories. And the Beast’s followers rejoiced, finding renewed purpose in these teachings.
from The Book of Mozilla, 11:14

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2019-09-03 05:04:24

@33, I'm just the opposite on math. I can read very little braille math because I wasn't taught more than the numbers until I was a senior in high school. I do better when I don't have to look at something,, and can just focus on the problem. I'm not even good at explaining what's going on in my head out loud, so writing it would really be out of the question.

2019-09-03 05:52:34

Just some commentary on Braille - the main reason why there is so much emphasis on Braille is because Braille is symbolic of blind people. Interestingly, blindness socially has distanced itself significantly from the function of being blind, and instead has built a sort of social "archetype" based around things that symbolize blind people - braille, canes, seeing eye dogs, ect.

So the obsession with braille from the outside comes from a sort of "form" that was created by society to try to classify blind people. This has a lot of interesting consequences, for example, a lot of marketing focused around blindness heavily emphasizes Braille even in situations where a text-to-speech solution would be a lot more viable in most situations. To most people, that symbolism allows people to engage in moral consumerism, where they gravitate towards these symbols of blindness, despite being based essentially in nothing.

Obviously I can't speak personally for Braille's usefulness but it seems like one of the many tools in the toolbox and has specialized uses but in many cases has been taken over for most blind people by text-to-speech because it's just easier to change and implement. Of course Braille is useful, it's just been transformed into a symbol that makes it seem like it's much more useful to people who don't know much about blindness.

Demo of colors here (PC) (Gamejolt link): https://gamejolt.com/games/ColorsChromatics/248621
Braillemon last release(stable): https://www.dropbox.com/s/v4n08tale65w8 … 0.zip?dl=1
maxseer, blind accessibility automation kit for developers: https://forum.audiogames.net/topic/3052 … ase-demo//

2019-09-03 08:05:22 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2019-09-03 08:09:02)

thanks for the thumbs up, but my friend deserves them more than me. haha.
Its very interesting to hear or rather, read, from some of you that literacy has a different perspective. But, braille is still becoming way more essential in other languages besides English, which is about 68 percent phonetic (and i hope I do not have to explain that to any of you literates, hehe)
For instance, Spanish has several words which can sound the same, yet you normally get their spelling awfully wrong, and this is a language which is about 98 percent phonetic. Unless you live in Spain that is not really a problem, but for the rest of us its just... very difficult. B versus v, c, s, and z are pronounced mostly the same nowadays, they sound almost the same and then you have the letter h, which can go at the beginning or in the middle of words, and it is never pronounced unless you use words borrowed from foreign languages like hacker, harakiri and so on. Unfortunately, I have come across atrociously written social network posts from many blind folk asking things and so on. Some of them actually have written terribly spelled praises about braille, missing even the most elementary words you memorized as a kid! its truly embarrassing.
And then we move into french , which is a very very hard language to hear and differentiate, this due to the fact that just one slight vowel change in a bigger sentence can tell you whether its past or present, and so on. Plus, many words are pronounced alike, and French normally will omit many sounds at the end of words and even in between.

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2019-09-03 08:44:42

Hi.

i just don't feel the spark as others do when they see written Braille on paper in books, or writing on paper with a Brailler. If people enjoy and love this, ok, good for them, I personally  don't see why I would care about paper really. We have laptops, Braille displays which makes everything easier and a lot less bulky, if you carried around Braille school books for different lessons in school you remember what I mean.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2019-09-03 14:36:16

simba wrote:

if you carried around Braille school books for different lessons in school you remember what I mean.

and how is this even related? I, just like others, had to lug around a brailler, and math volumes were a pain along with all of the other school subject books I had to read and I still enjoy the physical, intimate, unique aspect of braille be it on paper or electronically.

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2019-09-03 15:17:33

Well, that's the case for you. for me at leased that hole lugging around although easier solutions like notetakers were available was and still is a point why I prefer reading electronic Braille over written paper, also ue to portability.

Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2019-09-03 17:27:08

Braille is more of a code than a language in my opinion. I think of it as similar to Morse code.
I think we get caught up in definitions a little too much. Language, literacy, and other keywords on this thread don't have one, finite, and  single denotation. As far as I'm concerned, I can agree with every post's disposition.

2019-09-03 18:59:02

Okay, so...
I'm not quite sure about the issues mentioned regarding French and Spanish.
I will agree that French has a lot of words that sound very similar, and you have to know how they're spelled and which accents they have on them.
But Spanish? That language is one I studied for three years in high school and one year in university. As far as I can see it, if you know the language's pronunciation rules, it's easy to spell virtually anything. A few words will trip you up (words that start with h, maybe), but other than that, I...don't get it.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-09-03 19:29:09 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2019-09-03 19:35:50)

Jayde wrote:

Okay, so...
if you know the language's pronunciation rules, it's easy to spell virtually anything. A few words will trip you up (words that start with h, maybe), but other than that, I...don't get it.

Words that contain a b or an v normally have some rules laid out, (such as p and b always go after and m as in the word important) but when starting out, many of them start with either one.
Words that contain v are trickier, and there are many exceptions to some rules. Same is true for words containing or starting with c, s, or z (z is not that common, but still)

Some accented words also exist, which have no pronunciation difference but have some gramatical connotations but they are mostly pronouns and that way of accenting them is loosing strength and popularity nowadays, but there is plenty of literature that has them. Grade two is just a nice thing to have in every language, too. Grade 3 in English is there and I remember learning some of it, but then that is a way more personal tool. By contrast in Spanish, grade two is the personal one. In French, I think grade two is the common everyday norm just as in English but I have to get to grips with the language first and that will take a long while. SO all of this being said I would prefer to just memorize things from reading them over and over again. This probably has to do with the way music is learned and retained as well.

simba wrote:

Well, that's the case for you. for me at leased that hole lugging around although easier solutions like notetakers were available was and still is a point why I prefer reading electronic Braille over written paper, also ue to portability.
.

Uh oh, writing pretty fast there. Anyway, I am not arguing with any of that. In your previous post you made it seem as if carrying heavy stuff and bulky things made you just quit braille altogether and dislike it completely. I also really like reading electronic braille, because the advantages are many and obvious. Many books in one place, bookmarking is way easier, portability, and so on. Quality is normally their achilles' heel.
Though this brings up a point: Some embossers are just terrible, others I really like, for example the everest from index. Their produced braille quality makes you want to touch the dots. Something that comes also really close to that wonderful feel is the orbit, which I have and read and write things on all the time. Still, obvious environmental and other concerns aside, well embossed paper is still the superior way to read provided of course you have the means, space, and so on. In fact, braille produced manually using the slate is probably the one with the most firmness and clarity out of all of them.

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2019-09-03 19:40:57

The way I see it is that braille is a good way to gain foundational reading/writing skills. I would also be interested to hear and read text produced by those who used speech as a way to gain some language fundamentals. I feel like braille has played a big role in my life and I am always going to be an advocate of it. However I also understand every blind person is different and different preferences exist. And I agree with people who say that braille and speech should be used according to how each individual wants to use it.
I also find the conversation about literacy had in this post to be quite intriguing. Literacy can take on one of two definitions, at least from what I saw from a couple of dictionaries online:
1. "the ability to read and write."
2. "competence or knowledge in a specified area."
As we all know, language can be quite ambiguous. What does it mean to read? What does it mean to write? Basic questions like these can always be open to interpretation. Full disclosure, as I'm writing this, I'm doing a simple Google search with the text "define read". This is what I get:
"look at and comprehend the meaning of (written or printed matter) by mentally interpreting the characters or symbols of which it is composed."
I admit, "look at" is very visual language. To us, "look at" can mean either listen or read tactily through braille. But this is how I think about it, if you consider the whole definition as a whole of "read", and you consider that each character has to be mentally interpreted individually (interpretation requiring some effort), then you could say that if something is taking the effort out of identifying a character for you (such as a screen reader or an audio book narrator), then you can't really say that you're reading.
So, as I think someone pointed out, listening to an Audio book or listening to speech would technically not be classified as reading because no print or written information is being traversed and perceived (looked at) directly. One could argue that it is being done indirectly through the narrator or screen reader, but honestly, that's a stretch. I know some of you might get mad or start tackling my argument to the ground, but we technically never really interact with the text directly when using a screen reader, and thus, not reading.
One argument I might get is that if you scan word by word, character by character, sentence by sentence, that these interactions could be interpreted as direct contact with the text, and as such, reading. Well, if you think about it, my explanation above still holds true because the screen reader is still taking the effort out of identifying a piece of language for the user, and thus, no mental interpretation required. Yes, some understanding of language is required, but once you have it, mental effort is nearly nonexistent. Think of a child (3 or 4) listening to a good speech syntesizer on a computer reading some arbitrary text. They technically might be able to understand words and characters, but they still haven't learned how to read or write.
All this being said, I can still think of a million arguments that someone could make for why using a screen reader or listening to an audio book could be considered reading. And quite frankly, I think they would all be valid. And this argument could go on infinitely. So, semantics aside, at the end of the day, if you do better reading and writing with just a screen reader, then more power to you. Same goes for people who rely solely on braille.
And interestingly, yet again, when I Google "define write", this is what I get -- well, I get a few definitions, but mainly this one:
"have the ability to mark down coherent letters or words."
And this one too:
"mark (letters, words, or other symbols) on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement."
So I think this enforces the idea that braille is indeed a method of written text, not that there was any doubt. And so, there shouldn't really be a question as to whether reading braille is considered reading.
This conversation could potentially extend to linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, etc. But I'll stop before I start getting too theoretical. And I don't know why I took some time to write this. lol Not sure anybody really cares!
Anyway, I just want to point out that I got through all my university career, and even my current job, primarily by using a screen reader. Admittedly, I used braille for reading really technical stuff because I felt it helped me understand material with a decent amount of efficiency. This is stuff having more to do with Electrical Engineering. Interestingly, Math and Computer Science was managed all through screen readers and tech. And I received some high grades. So, yes, many people use braille for technical subjects, but some people can do it with a screen reader. It just depends on what you're comfortable using.

2019-09-03 19:59:13 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2019-09-09 12:11:37)

kaigoku wrote:

but we technically never really interact with the text directly when using a screen reader, and thus, not reading.
One argument I might get is that if you scan word by word, character by character, sentence by sentence, that these interactions could be interpreted as direct contact with the text, and as such, reading.

well, I have another perspective for consideration. When I read books such as novels or some other literature in braille, I can go at my own pace. I can cringe and read very slowly, to build up suspense. I can pause and read a word over and over, contemplate it, its like personally connecting in some way. I can imagine the characters talking, using a voice that I also imagine according to the physical description of the person given. Dramatized audio books sometimes come close, but its never exact, because its a really personal thing.
Now, into the technical stuff that was my career in music: were it not for braille, I would not be able to:
1. Put together coherent melodic phrases, rhythmic groups, know the grammar of the western system as it is by practicing lots of solfege and reading, thus
2. Transcribe very complex solos and do all kinds of music arranging including composition (even though i now do them mostly in computer nowadays since they are mostly for individuals or groups comprised of sighted people anyway) but the foundational aspect was there thanks to braille.
Yes, out of curiosity I had a staff and the notes all raised, I know how that visually is like because I have to produce sheet music for people who can see, but despite its shortcomings for many things sounding at once and the complexity that can have in braille, is probably still the best use case for truly understanding how music works. No screen reader or audio recording will have you mentally interpreting and then singing or tapping a dotted eight then a sixteenth then a rest and another sixteenth. You would always have to hear it and repeat, which is actually not bad (audiation has its rightful place in music learning)
However, I think were it not for the understanding music in a way deeper level that braille gave me, I would probably not have a job that does not involve playing (and that can really save you in the long run) I would have been right now musically illiterate because I would have no idea when my colleagues say that there is a pick up, an off beat, it starts on the and of three, it is a fifth interval from what you just did, it moves down a major third, and so on.
plus, reading and keeping a tempo and being able to decipher fast what is going on and being able to sing it is just too rewarding and gives some kind of adrenaline similar to the one found in physical exercise, assuming music is your thing.

Also, some food for thought. Why is it that sighted people do not complain about reading print? Very few people I know have said and admitted that they prefer the movie version of a book or to have it narrated to them.

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2019-09-03 20:27:26

Yeah, you mostly hear about sighted people listening to audio books only when driving, or performing another task where they need to concentrate on something else. However, the dramatic rise in popularity of podcasts has put more focus on different types of purely audio media in general, which I think is a good thing.

I definitely agree about imagining what characters sound like. This is the main reason why, in 99% of cases, the book is better than the movie. Once I hear how actors portray a character, it ruins the whole experience for me, because a lot of times it's completely different from the way I'd built them up to sound in my head. Sometimes, it all aligns, and that makes me happy, but for the most part, I only watch movies that were based on books grudgingly, if at all. Then again, I don't watch a lot of movies in the first place.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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2019-09-03 23:46:25

Regarding Spanish pronunciation:

B and v are different. They're very similar, but different enough that you should be able to figure them out by listening. I never had any issue with this.
I have never seen a Spanish word begin with the letter c that gets pronounced like an s or a z. When the letter c is in the middle of a word and gets pronounced like an s, there are rules governing how and where and why. I'm not sure if they're utterly ironclad, but again...never had an issue with this.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-09-04 01:54:47

Jayde wrote:

I have never seen a Spanish word begin with the letter c that gets pronounced like an s or a z. When the letter c is in the middle of a word and gets pronounced like an s, there are rules governing how and where and why. I'm not sure if they're utterly ironclad, but again...never had an issue with this.

there are many. Centro, ciudad, celular, ETC

and in latin american countries many people do not make the real distinction between b and v pronunciation.

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2019-09-04 02:38:05

You know what? On the c thing, I stand corrected. You are absolutely right. It has been awhile.

And the Spanish I learned was more...well, formal, I guess, so a native Spanish speaker would probably think I sounded prissy or overly detailed when it was just the way I was taught.

My apologies.

Check out my Manamon text walkthrough at the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1

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2019-09-09 11:57:05 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2019-09-09 12:12:48)

other thoughts on the uses of braille that come to mind now that I live alone:
reading some things such as phone numbers, recipes, money amounts is certainly way easier and applies to daily braille use. I can also play games such as uno, poker, and so on  with all of my college friends instantly, and in exactly the same way. Labeling and organizing stuff  is nice, especially when you are in a hurry. So, what are some daily braille uses you have?

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2019-09-09 12:35:02

@35: I swear you remind me of somebody who gave me a sociology and history class in five minutes while drunk yesterday....and it was amazing! tongue

You do raise an interesting point actually about moral consumerism, and ethics as well about marketing but that may be outside the scope of this topic. My stance on it is, is it right to focus on symbols of blindness, when they are constructed by society to classify blind or disabled people? Also, a wheelchair is just as much a symbol of its respective disability however, as a seeing eye dog or a cane or Braille is.

On the subject of Braille being capitalized, Bob Dylan capitalized it in Subterranean Homesick Blues, so there's your useful music fact of the day as well. And on the note of typing, I'll just point out how godawful laptop keyboards are for hands and wrists. Something I haven't seen brought up, and it may just be a generational thing, is that at least when I was in school, the NTAs would read out the braille writing or text in class, and, worryingly, in exams as well despite obvious flaws. It was more a hushed whisper, but.....honor system much? I don't know if that's still a thing, but.....

Also on the subject of forced Braille use (Yes I'm gonna capitalize it, come at me!), I disagree. I think everyone should have the choice of what they use, be it braille, computers, hammering bits of wood with a mallet to form letters, smoke signals and so forth. Point is, I don't agree with the 'you are blind, you /must/ use Braille' argument, because again, that is linked back to symbols of blindness. Actually on that note, I was discussing this with a blind friend who raised a lot of good points, he said Braille itself isn't the problem, it's how it is used, and how people assume blind people can't use a computer or phone. Additionally, said friend (mid 30s), brought up the symbols argument in a very interesting way, he said in school, you stick out because you're using a Brailler or Braille display, you're a prime target for bullies to pick on.

I'll dive into my societal argument, and bear with me here...

Okay, @35 brought up symbols of blindness. I'm gonna link this all the wayback to a discussion I had yesterday on a MU* (of all places) about Victorian ideals and child rearing. It'll all make sense, trust me. It'll all make sense...

So, how's this all link together? Victorian ideals. The ideal that you are stuck in a rigid social structure. You are a child and you are a pure, free of sin pretty little snowflake who is incapable of sin. Society still views children as precious (rightly or wrongly), which led to the churches using blindness and disability as proof you are not 'pure'. Masturbating will cause blindness. You're not devout enough? God will punish you by smiting you with blindness, et cetera. Given how much sway religion held in the 18th Centruy, it's not a shock to think society wanted to keep the 'sinners' away from the 'pure, good religious types. An additional factor wasn't just religion but the idea disabled people were not fit to work and thus not needed in a society such as Victorian England, where they were locked away and pretending they didn't exist to make the society look and feel better about itself, the 'out of sight, out of mind' standard, lock the disabled away and society doesn't have to look at them.

An additional factor in religion is this as well. Society has a heavy base in religion, and in Christianity, Jesus (at least going by how the Bible's written) heals the disabled to show how amazing he is. That leads society and religion to view blind people as in need of healing or help even when they aren't.


So, looping all this back to Louis Braille (yeah see, I capitalized it correctly), and symbols of blindness in 2019....

There is still the push by companies to identify disabled people and Braille is one way of doing that. There is a school of thought that instead of putting Braille on things and identifying it as 'for the blind', maybe a new system should be thought up. Instead of, for example, a door having a Braille sign a QR code would be on the door, you'd scan it and it'd send the Braille to your display or phone for example. People are still not treating disabled as the same class of citizen, and you can push laws through, but in the end it needs a shitload more to change people's opinions.

If in doubt, chocolate and coffee. Enough said.

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