Braille Monitor                                     January 2017

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Independence Market Corner

Shown here are a slate and stylus and a Braille label maker, two low-tech items that significantly contribute to the independence of the blind.The National Federation of the Blind Independence Market is the conduit through which our organization distributes our empowering literature to our members, friends, and the general public. As a service we also operate a blindness products store, which sells mostly low-tech items, designed to enhance the everyday independence of blind individuals. We plan to publish regular updates about what the Independence Market has to offer.

This month we focus on Braille since January 4th is Louis Braille's birthday, and Braille is such an important tool for blind people to function independently at home, in school, and on the job. We sell various types of Braille paper and notebooks as well as a large selection of slates and styluses for writing Braille. The newest slate we just started carrying is the thirty-two cell Write and Read Slate, which allows the user to write from left to right with a special stylus which pushes paper over the pins in the Braille cell. This means that one forms Braille characters the same way one reads them. And, if one advances the paper with the roller, one can read what one just wrote. Those who have struggled to master a traditional slate may wish to try this writing tool.

We also carry a variety of Braille labeling supplies so one can stay organized. Our transparent labeling tape and labeling sheets with a self-adhesive backing make it easy to label many things around the house and at work from spice containers to file folders. Our magnetic labeling tape for cans and our Brailleable food labels, which attach to cans and packages with an elastic and work well on frozen items, are truly useful in the kitchen. We also offer different sets of metal Braille clothing labels, which are sewn or pinned into garments.

Of course, Braille is also fun and makes many games accessible. We sell various card games which have been labeled in Braille from a regular poker deck to Uno, Phase 10, Pinochle, Quiddler, Rook, and Skip-Bo. We also have some Brailled board games such as a Sudoku Board which enables one to solve Sudoku puzzles using magnetic Brailled tiles, and Megaword, a word game similar to Scrabble. Many of these games come with Brailled instructions.

And if someone would like to learn Braille, we can help there as well. We carry The McDuffy Reader: A Braille Primer for Adults by Sharon Monthei, which was the first Unified English Braille curriculum for adults available in the US. If one wants to learn to write with a slate and stylus or simply wishes to sharpen one’s skills, The Slate Book by Jennifer Dunnam contains many helpful tips and ideas for writing practice.

For more information about the products discussed here or to request a catalog in Braille or in print, visit us online at https://nfb.org/independence-market. You may also contact the Independence Market using email to independencemarket@nfb.org or by phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2216, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time. Our staff will be glad to assist.

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