Braille Fail!

Well, I’m feeling like just the slightest bit of a failure. When given the choice between making something and buying it, I went the lazy way and bought it. Damn it all.

Ok, so here’s the story. The Guelph Barrier-Free committees are going to have a booth at an event called the Teddy Bear Picnic. It’s on August 19 at McCrae House in Guelph from 1 to 4. Organizations come out and put on kid-friendly activities to do with their organization, and do something involving teddy bears! So we thought we could come, bring colouring books, and a few other things. I never knew there was a bear with a white cane out there, but there is one. One thing I thought I’d do was bring braille alphabet cards, and braille kids’ names. Then, they’d have a little detective game to play to match the letters on their tag with the alphabet.

For some reason I can’t comprehend, the CNIB doesn’t make braille alphabet cards anymore. So I thought, no biggy, I’ll just make ’em myself! I was kinda looking forward to it. I would be bringing a whole wack of homemade cards, cards that I sat down to make myself, just for them. I would feel good about it. Plus, I had a heap of index cards that I bought for just this purpose when I volunteered somewhere, but never got to use them. They would finally be put to good use.

Until I started to make the cards. First, the brailler’s margin doesn’t go quite narrow enough to fit the page, so when you get that warning bell that’s supposed to mean you only have 5 spaces left, you actually have maybe 2.

And, if you don’t put the card in just so, you end up gorking the last letter of your line. g’s started looking like b’s or h’s.

There’s nothing worse than going a b c d e f…fuck! and having to throw away a card. I managed to make about 10 good ones, and then break 5.

Steve was watching me, and said “Does Future Aids sell these suckers already done?” He went and looked, and there they were.

At first, I did not want to cave. I was going to make them myself. This was what I was going to do for the committee. But…after I broke a couple more cards, I caved. I caved, and I bought them. A pack of 100 cards will arrive in the mail. They’ll all be uniform with no cut off letters. I figure accuracy is better than my own silly pride.

And at least I will be bringing a braille book and I will sit and braille everybody’s name, and I’ll have my big ol’ black fuzzball to use to talk about guide dogs, so I’m adding that little touch. But damn it all, these alphabet cards were going to be my big contribution to the event. Now I’ve wussed out and bought pre-made ones.

Oh well, at least now I’ve let a few more people know about the existence of alphabet cards from Future Aids. Maybe that’s better.

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