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Jump back July 8th, 2008 Go forward

A company called Serotek is starting a program to provide their Screen Access Mobile software on thumb drives to blind children in grades K-12 free of charge.

The drive is compatible with XP and later Microsoft operating systems (not sure about Mac compatibility). To enroll in the program, the child's parent would need to complete the application and eligibility form. This includes providing proof of the child's vision impairment.

The software works as soon as the thumb drive is plugged in and returns the computer to its normal functioning once the drive is removed. A child can plug it into any computer running XP or later OS and not need to bring their own computer with them everywhere.

The software is available for adults at $499.

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A US silver dollar featuring the face of Louis Braille on one side and an illustration with Braille dots spelling out the word 'Braille' in contracted Braille--'Brl'--will be released in 2009, according to a CNN news story. It was publicly displayed at this year's National Federation of the Blind (NFB) convention.

Am I wrong for wanting to grouse that there's all this hoopla about a Braille coin that has no really useful Brailled information on it--like the coin's denomination, maybe?

Though very cool, it smacks of being a political correctness stunt, to me.

The story also mentions that only a small percentage of children are being taught Braille, nowadays? I'm wondering why that is? Every employed blind person I have talked to or whom I currently work with says Braille is indispensable for maintaining employment, that you can't record everything. So why aren't more children being taught it?

I was bugged off an on throughout my childhood to learn Braille. I never did because I could see well enough to read without it. But good Lord, if I couldn't see to read without it, I'd sure as heck brush up on what I've taught myself of it. Literacy is a desirable thing.

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Jump back July 8th, 2008 Go forward