Future Reflections Fall 1992, Vol. 11 No. 4



This item is reprinted from the Freestate News, a publication of the National Federation of the Blind of Kansas.

James Canaday is a graduate student in psychology at the University of Kansas. While doing his thesis research, he discovered yet another reason for learning Braille. Here is what he has to say:

While doing research in some related topics, I discovered something new about Braille reading which further supports the necessity of Braille competence for anyone who is legally blind.

Braille is typically written and read on paper pages, much like print writing. The shape and flow of a Braille page almost totally mirror those of the printed page. Braille pages also contain margins, a clearly marked chain for reading order, and indentations for paragraphs.

In 1975, a study entitled "Visual memory for place on the page" was published demonstrating that sighted readers typically show a strong ability to remember text locations on the page, or "within page." This recollection of print location has very strong ties to recollection of the text meaning, according to earlier work by Rothkopf ("Incidental memory for location of information in text," 1971). This means reading of pages can give spatial or mechanical cues to help remember what was discussed on those pages. What is true for these sighted readers of printed pages should also apply to Braille readers.

Many other more significant reasons make Braille reading skill vital, as explained in Fred Schroeder's article in the January, 1990, Braille Monitor, "Literacy: the Key to Opportunity." However, this page-reading benefit appears to be a new one.

Free Braille Calenders
One of the many services the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults provides is free Braille calendars. To order a calendar, write to: American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, 18440 Oxnard Street, Tarzanza, California 91356.

We have been asked to make the following announcement:
Since 1983, National Braille Press has been publishing books on computer access technology. Soon to be released is NBP's fifth book in the series entitled Solutions: Access Technologies for People Who are Blind.

Written by Olga Espinola, an experienced access technology user and staff manager at New England Telephone, and Diane Croft, NBP's marketing Director and author of several books in the field, Solutions does more than simply offer information on access technology: It goes deeper into the issues that affect whether or not a computer work station can be adapted successfully—issues like why one type of operating system is more accessible than another, why one piece of software "talks" and another doesn't, why Braille is more accessible than speech, or vice versa, depending on the application and the user's preferences.

Solutions covers every type of adaptive device, from speech synthesizers to Braille printers, from scanners to electronic reading services—all in nontechnical terms, just right for the beginner or the more experienced adaptive technology user. Solutions contains interviews with savvy users who talk about the realities of using this technology, as well as their dreams for future devices. There is a "Trainers'Forum" where you can evesdrop on what adaptive-technology trainers think about today's training methods and their hopes for helping more people learn about access technology. There are resources aplenty: blindness-related bulletin boards, electronic reading services for the blind, CD-ROM information, technically-minded publications, financial aid for adaptive technology, and more.

Best of all, Solutions is available in Braille (4 volumes), cassette (2, 4-track tapes), IBM disk (please specify 3.5" or 5.25"), or in print (224 pages), for the same low price of $21.95. To order, send a check (prepayment is required) for $21.95 to National Braille Press, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115. (Add an additional $3.50 for postage for print copies or if you prefer UPS shipping instead of "Free Matter.") Please specify preferred medium (including disk size). For Canadian orders, send U.S. currency or $25.95 in Canadian funds. Better yet, call us at (617) 266-6160 and charge it on a Visa or MasterCard.

Tactile Note Cards, Flashcards
We have been asked to print the following announcement:
Attractive, field-tested CAL-tac tactile illustrated note cards are now available through Creative Adaptations for Learning. Perfect to send to your clients, friends, or family. The cards may be decorated by using crayons, colored markers, or glued-on textures. Caltec illustrations are embossed on firm white plastic. White card stock is used for backing, which may be separated to fit into a Brailler, typewriter, or single feed printer. White envelopes are included. Currently available: flowers in a pot; butterfly; and moonlight sailing. Set of 10 Note Cards, $18.00. Individual note card and envelope, $2.00. Discount available on order of 50 or more. Allow 8-10 weeks for delivery.

Also available from CALtac: Haptic Flashcards. These cards reinforce shape identification, spatial relationships, shape and texture discrimination, and pattern sequencing, all of which are components used to aid perceptual development. The six basic shapes used are: circle, square, rectangle, wavy line, oval, and triangle. The set of 25 CALtac Haptic Flashcards includes an activity guide. For information about the note cards and the Haptic Flashcards, write to: Creative Adaptations for Learning, 38 Beverly Road, Great Neck, New York 11021; (516) 466-9143.

Children Learn What They Live
Karen Mayry, President of the NFB of South Dakota, found this in a publication and sent it in:
If children live with criticism,
they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
they learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance,
they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement,
they learn confidence.
If children live with praise,
they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness,
they learn justice.
If children live with security,
they learn to have faith.
If children live with approval,
they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance,
they learn to find love in the world.