I posted my first "real" post on my blog. It's not about diabetes, but some might find it interesting anyway!
Note: This post is about braille and one aspect of the braille literacy issue (some would say "crisis") which currently exists. I think virtually the same post could have been written about insulin. I think insulin is shrouded in as much misunderstanding and negativity for many in the diabetes community as braille is for many in the blindness community.
I sit on the bus during my commute home reading a novel on my BrailleNote to pass the time. As I read, my fingers skimming lightly over the raised pins of the refreshable braille display, a child sitting nearby turns to her mother and asks what I am doing. “She's blind," the mother answers, "so she has to read in braille."
I pause in my reading and briefly ponder the nuances of language which have just taken place. I realize that whenever people speak of braille, it is usually proceeded with "has to use" or "has to learn." I wonder why this subtly-negative "has to" often proceeds the mention of braille. I think of the role braille plays in my own life, of how it has made my hobbies, my studies, and my employment so much easier and, indeed, possible. I think of how braille was not something I had to learn and use but something I chose to learn and use; and, as someone with low vision, it's a choice I am thankful to have made. I am thankful to be proficient in a skill that, regrettably, the majority of blind and visually impaired people do not possess. Braille is a powerful tool, an incredibly flexible means of communication, and an elegant form of reading for those who choose to become proficient—but it is also very misunderstood, not only by the sighted public but by many blind and visually impaired individuals themselves. Read the full post ...