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Is Braille Useful on the Job?

This podcast is produced by the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network, part of State Services for the Blind, and it is recorded for people who are blind or have reading disabilities. You can register as a customer of State Services for the Blind to access many other services that they offer by going to www.mnssb.org. Complete programming of the Radio Talking Book is available at www.mnssb.org/rtb and the password is rtb. I’m Stuart Holland.

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Is Braille Useful on the Job?

Posted on 1/12/2017 - AFB

by Shannon Carollo

The year is 2017… and wow, our third-grade selves would be shocked to see those digits. Speaking of digits, it seems the world has gone digital. Text messaging is preferred over post-it notes. LinkedIn is the networking tool of choice. Auto draft is the way to bill-pay. Fly to San Francisco for a job interview? Not necessary. There’s a video conference call for that. You get the picture.

So, in this information and technology age, is print outdated and irrelevant? No way! I still jot notes, read books and magazines, create labels, use maps, and more. Same goes for the usefulness of braille.

And just how can braille be used in a job setting? Check out these examples!

Using Braille on the Job

  • The meeting is still going on? Wish you could check the time unobtrusively? Two words—braille watch.
  • Taking notes in the meeting? You’ll probably want to use a NoteTaker or laptop with a refreshable braille display.
  • Need to read a book or document and you need/want a little space from technology? Hard-copy braille is your friend.
  • If you want to read a book, pamphlet, or document, braille (whether a hard copy or refreshable braille display) can be read more quickly than speech can be listened to. Choose braille.
  • It’s the office fridge and it holds a selection of your frozen meals (or if you’re like me, a variety of frozen burritos). Label the packages with, of course, braille.
  • Whether you like to keep a tidy office and have a few cleaning products on hand or your job entails cleaning, do yourself a favor and braille-label the chemicals.
  • Jotting a quick note or phone number? There’s a slate and stylus for that.
  • Have an upcoming speech or presentation? Lucky you; you can follow along with your notes using your hands, meanwhile looking up toward the audience.
  • Your job requires filing, filing, and (sorry) more filing, the braille-labeler is your BFF.
  • Heading to Red Lobster for a work lunch? First, I’m jealous. Second, braille menus. [Hey, remember that time Red Lobster’s CEO gave us advice on leadership and career success? That was cool.]
  • Traveling for work? You’ll be thankful for braille in elevators, on bathroom doors, on ATMs, on hotel floors, and at public transportation ticket machines.
  • Sure, you can listen to an audio calendar, but sometimes it’s just plain nice to have a braille calendar on the wall or at the desk to help you gather your wits.
  • Need to review a tactile map? You’ll want braille for that.

Yes, it’s 2017 and braille is still relevant.

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