Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yay, my Jot-a-Dot arrived! That was quick!

Look for me to be jotting dots and practicing my tail off. It's been a while since I've brailled anything.

It comes with a tablet of notepaper that's 4.5"x5.5". To my surprise, not only does it take regular paper, rather than (very thick) braille paper, but it's intended to use ONLY regular paper. Then again, in the developing countries where it was originally designed to be used, it will be much easier for the user base to get hold of regular paper than to special-order braille paper from goodness-knows-where. Not every place is like Philly, where you can just jump on SEPTA and go a store at 9th and Walnut that sells items designed for people with vision loss. When I worked in Center City, I thought nothing of taking a bus or walking to Sense-Sations on my lunch hour and buying whatever I needed -- a slate and stylus, braille paper, a full-page magnifier, you name it. (I still have that magnifier. You should have seen the miniscule font my erstwhile employer made us use on computer printouts... it literally made the phone book look like large print. Read THAT stuff for eight hours a day, and you'll soon be on SEPTA heading out to buy a magnifier, too.)

Anyway, the only limitation on the page size for the Jot-a-Dot is the width. It can't be wider than 5.51 inches. So I think I'll look around to see what other sizes of paper I can get my hands on besides the 4.5x5.5 inch paper that the device came with. I'd like something with a dimension larger than 4.5 inches, if possible. We shall see.

Dang, I'm rusty at this. While I'm happy to say that I remembered the whole braille alphabet, I've also forgotten all the braille equivalents for the punctuation marks except the period. Thank goodness for the internet, so I can look things like that up right away. What in heck did we do before google existed?

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