Listen to show promos:
Promo 1 | Promo 2 | Promo 3
As advances in technology speed up, more and more people in the blind and vision-restricted community are asking: To Braille or not to Braille? In other words, is Braille still relevant in the age of computer screen readers and other assistive devices?
On Saturday, December 8, at 2 and 8 p.m., VoicePrint broadcast the premiere of The Future of Braille, an hour-long, original audio documentary.
If you missed Saturday's broadcasts, you can listen to it right now -- or at a convenient time for you -- by clicking on the links at bottom of this page.
In partnership with the CNIB, this special program focuses on the reading system that Louis Braille invented 185 years ago. Consisting of intricate arrangements of one to six raised dots on a page, Braille has been a vital tool in enhancing independence for people with vision restrictions.
But no longer is it the only tool.
In late October 2007, VoicePrint attended the CNIB’s 2007 Braille Conference: "Technology – A Bridge to Braille Literacy" at Toronto. While there VoicePrint recorded the opening presentations.
Among the highlights of VoicePrint's The Future of Braille:
- Excerpts form keynote speaker Peter Osborne’s opening-session frank (and delightfully cheeky) speech: "Braille Is Dead, Long Live Technology: The New and Better Way to Access Information" (Osborne -- shown below left -- is Chief Braille Officer for the UK’s Royal National Institute of Blind People). To listen to an unedited version of Peter’s speech, please see below
- Interviews with several experts in the field
- Updates on new inventions and innovations
- Poetry readings by -- and interviews with -- this year’s winners of the Annual Braille Creative Writing and Accuracy Competition for kids (Second picture below right: first-prize winner -- for "I love you mom" -- in Grade 7, 8, 9 Poetry, Tamara Cable with father Gary. Bottom picture: first-prize winner – for "A Cat's Life" -- in Grade 4, 5, 6 Poetry, Rhianna Martin and proud father Robert.)
>> Information about the CNIB Library Braille Writing Contest 2008
"We’re proud to offer special programming that speaks to issues that are of interest to blind, vision-impaired and other print-restricted Canadians," says VoicePrint Operations Director, Arlene Patterson. "The longevity of Braille is an important topic in the blind community and we wanted to share insights from the CNIB and other presenters at the conference."
Listen to The Future of Braille (Part 1)
Listen to The Future of Braille (Part 2)
Listen to The Future of Braille (Part 3)
Listen to The Future of Braille (Part 4)
Hear Peter Osborne’s opening-session speech: Braille Is Dead, Long Live Technology: The New and Better Way to Access Information.
Mr. Osborne is the Head of Production and Transcription Services, and Chief Braille Officer for RNIB; and for all of the Annual Braille Creative Writing and Accuracy Competition winning entries, visit the CNIB website.