Ohio trip

Hi everyone,
I’m most delighted to be back with another podcast. In this podcast, I visit Hope.
Thank you once again to Hope and her family for all of their hospitality.
Thank you, as always for listening!

Web-braille

While this is not related directly to my podcast, I thought I'd blog about this, because I feel it is of great importance, and could have an impact on those of us who use web-braille and other such services.
As those of you who read this may know, I’ve always been a bookworm. Before I could read Braille, my parents would read to me constantly, and when I learned
how to read, I never stopped. Reading, like writing, is a vital part of who I am. There’s something purely magical about words that will never cease to
take my breath away. As a blind person, I’ve not had the luxury of running to my local book emporium, and browsing the isles for the perfect book. When
I was small, and a new Braille book came from NLS, I jumped up and down with excitement. As I’ve said, reading is a really huge part of my life, and one
of my favorite hobbies. Another thing which I adore equally as much as reading is technology. For me, reading and technology blended together when I was
a sophomore in high school, and heard about web-Braille. I had recently acquired a BrailleNote, and with that marvelous device, I could simply go on to
web-Braille, and actually browse for a book that I wanted. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so liberated as the first time I downloaded a web-Braille book.
That might sound a bit dramatic, but actually, its true. Having access to so many books through web-Braille and other services has changed me, really.
Over the past few days, web-Braille has been shut down. Just imagine, you drive to your local library, you walk up the steps, you try to open the door,
and you spot a notice saying that the library is shut down for an undisclosed amount of time. Yes, I have bookshare, and audible, but what about people
who do not have those services. Web-Braille marked a huge change for me. Around the time of web-Braille, I was really starting to use and love technology.
Technology, and the use of it, I must say, have shaped who I am today. Ten years ago, I couldn’t decide I wanted a book, and have instant access to it.
I either had to wait for it to come on tape, or be produced in Braille, or even more frustratingly had to have someone read it to me. With the invention
of such services as web-Braille, I could do all of this independently, I could decide what information I wanted, I could choose my own book, I could have
it in seconds. Now, web-Braille is shut down. While I sincerely hope this will be temporary, I am concerned. What does this mean for other services that
we’ve come to love and rely on? I feel as though something more significant than a few thousand books has just been taken away from me. We-Braille was
a milestone of independence in my life, and that has been taken away, as has the right to access millions of priceless words.
Maybe I’m being too dramatic, but when something’s taken away that has had a great impact on you, you do feel it. I must apologize for the lack of coherence
in this entry; I’m rather chilly, and am typing exceedingly quickly. I just had to let it all out, and the LJ seemed like the proper medium for this rant.
I just feel this whole thing is wrong. Why weren’t we at least notified that this was going to occur? We could have at least hurriedly downloaded any and
every book that sparked our interest. Who knows when it’ll be back up. With bureaucracy, temporary could be a years, or months, not a week or two. Alright,
the dog needs to go out now, so I guess that’s my cue to stop making any of you who read this suffer through my ranting any longer.
  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed