Your Weekly Update from the Braillists Foundation
This Tuesday (20 April): Which Braille Display Is Best?
Registration link: https://is.gd/RUH5vc
Following the overwhelming success of our recent series of Masterclasses, we are delighted to announce that we are launching a second series this coming Tuesday (20 April) at 7:30 PM. The format will be the same as our last series except that we will only be running two Masterclasses per month, on the first and third Tuesday. Our Braille Clinic (renamed the Braille Bar) will run on weeks where there is no Masterclass.
To launch this new series, we are delighted to be joined by renowned braille display expert Jackie Brown. Jackie is a freelance writer, regular reviewer of braille technology, and author of “Braille ON Display” (published by Mosen Consulting), a comprehensive comparison of braile displays and guide to choosing the right one.
On Tuesday, Jackie will talk us through the process of choosing a braille display. She will outline which factors to consider and why, and the key features of the braille displays which are currently on the market. If you’ve ever wondered “Which braille display is the best one?” you are sure to have the answer at the end of this session.
Please note: as this is the start of a new series of Masterclasses, our registration link has changed. If you wish to attend live, you will need to register, even if you were previously registered for our Masterclasses.
If you are not able to attend live, we will as ever make a recording available via our Media page and our Braillecast podcast.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!
To register to attend live, please use this link: https://is.gd/RUH5vc
An Announcement About our Friday Open Forum
As many readers will be aware, in response to the UK’s national lockdown in March 2020, we launched our Stay Safe: Stay Connected campaign “to minimize the impact of social isolation on blind and partially sighted people and work out what practical support we’ll be able to offer our community”. The response was overwhelmingly positive, at a time when nothing was certain and many other organisations were forced to suspend their services, and we are humbled by all the feedback and encouragement we have received.
The mainstay of this campaign was our community call at 6:00 PM every Friday, which has continued virtually uninterrupted since its inception. However, as the UK’s Coronavirus vaccination programme continues to gain momentum and the Governments have announced plans to gradually, but permanently, re-open the country, we anticipate that more social contact will occur within our community and local face-to-face support services will begin to re-open. We have also seen the steady emergence of other telephone and internet-based activities for blind and partially sighted people, some of which are likely to continue beyond the pandemic.
We have therefore taken the decision to bring our Friday Open Forum to an end over the next few weeks, with the final session taking place on Friday 14 May 2021. This is in-line with the anticipated move to step three of the four-step roadmap for England, which permits groups of up to six people from multiple households to meet indoors and indoor hospitality to re-open.
We will, however, continue to offer our very successful braille Masterclasses, our Book Club will carry on as normal, and our newly formed Braille Clinics will provide a safe space for people to ask their braille questions. Our Braillecast podcast, which has grown in popularity in recent months, will continue to be produced, and we will be looking to introduce some face-to-face Braillists events in the coming months. Braillists are also welcome to stay connected via our email discussion forum and social media channels.
We appreciate that this decision will come as a disappointment to some and, as such, we will collect information about alternative social events in the coming weeks and make this information available via our website. If you know of any events which you think should be included in this list, please get in touch. We also welcome enquiries from individuals/organizations who would like to explore the possibility of taking ownership of these sessions moving forwards.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many guests and volunteers who made our Stay Safe: Stay Connected calls possible, and also to thank everyone in the community who participated and made the sessions so worthwhile. We are enormously proud of the positive impact of our calls on the lives of blind and partially sighted people, and hope you will continue to join us as we enter into a new chapter of promoting braille usage.
Updates to our Website
As is becoming customary of late, we have taken the opportunity to continue to refine our website over the Easter holidays. Here are the highlights:
- We have significantly streamlined the design of our Projects page, corrected errors and added new content.
- Our Groups page has been similarly redesigned, so the overall structure of the website is much less complex and menus should be easier to navigate.
- Our Partners and Sponsors page now reflects our grant from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, alongside a number of other small changes.
- There is no longer a technical error on our Forum page.
In addition, a few months ago, we quietly added a search facility to the website which a few users have been testing for us. It seems to be working well on the whole, so we would like to take this opportunity to formally announce it.
Finally, we are making significant changes to our content database and hosting infrastructure behind the scenes which will make search results even more relevant, allow pages to load faster, and pave the way for exciting upgrades to our website in the not too distant future. Watch this space for more announcements soon!
In the meantime, although we don’t expect our changes under the hood to have an adverse impact on visitors, things do inevitably go wrong from time to time. If you do experience any problems, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can put them right.
We hope you enjoy browsing our website and look forward to hearing your feedback.
Lots of Free Equipment Still Available!
We still have a large quantity of free braille equipment to give away. This was previously only available to people who were interested in joining our Masterclasses, but we're now extending the offfer to anyone living in the UK or Ireland. All we ask is that, if we send you some equipment and you decide you no longer want it, you agree to give it away rather than selling it.
Here is what we can offer you:
- A4 braille frame.
- Samples of A4 braille paper.
- 8-cell braille word forming block (for learners).
- Tactile abacus.
For introductions to using this kit, please see recordings of our previous Masterclasses, available at braillists.org/media or via the Braillecast podcast.
To request any or all of the items above, please email Stephanie on email@example.com or call her on 020 3893 3392. Please be sure to include your postal address when you write to her, otherwise she won't know where to send it!
if you'd really like some of this equipment, but have hesitated to request it because you think someone else might benefit more than you, hesitate no longer! We have plenty for everyone!
N.B. logistics are being handled by our partner, Vision Through Sound CIC. Your data will therefore be held by them in addition to the Braillists Foundation. However, please be assured that they will only use your data in order to dispatch Braillists Foundation products and will not use it for their own marketting purposes.
If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can ask on the Braillists' email forum for advice on similar resources in your country.
Links and Meeting IDs for our Regular Events
Braille Clinic, Second and Fourth Tuesday of the Month at 7:30 PM
Join Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88035088878?pwd=NHdkR2s1aDZsV1RCUmpQNWh3YWNaQT09
Meeting ID: 880 3508 8878
Book Club, every Thursday at 6:00 PM
Join Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89353220947
Meeting ID: 893 5322 0947
Open Forum, every Friday at 6:00 PM
Join Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84894050254
Meeting ID: 848 9405 0254
For more information, visit braillists.org/events. To join by phone, refer to the instructions at braillists.org/events/instructions. Our events are carefully moderated in line with our policy at braillists.org/events/moderation. Note that all events take place in the UK and are listed in UK time.
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