On my journey to learn Braille I have been trying as many avenues as I can to practice. I grope every sign I can that has Braille on it, I’ve been practicing on a Perkins Brailler and (thanks to a coworker) I have access to a BrailleNote. Things are moving along nicely, I’m slowly acquiring some of the whole-word and partial-word contractions. Grade II Braille was a learning curveball (that I wrote about in a previous blog), but my coworker introduced me to something that was an even bigger curveball than Grade II Braille: the slate and stylus.
This seemed like a great idea, you just attach the slate to the paper and poke out the Braille cell with the stylus. Backwards. Apparently some folks are really great with this and can take notes quickly, my mind nearly bent in half trying to write my name. It didn’t help that a coworker was telling me that I needed to write left to right (which didn’t make sense to me and was WRONG). I had a lot of mental static trying to use this device, I was envisioning the cell and then making it backwards and then writing right to left so it would come out properly when I tried to read it. There was also the problem of getting the cells punched out, the cells are very small and I was having issues finding the right row and section to punch out.
I think that the slate and stylus and myself are going to have to part ways before things tun ugly. My other tools may be noisier, but they get the job done. The slate and stylus, in my case anyway, is retired as a learning tool.