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Bruce, Caroline

Blind People Are Intelligent Too

I belong to a support mailing list for a braille translation program I
use. On that list, someone raised the question: When producing a braille
menu and the dollar signs are not present in print, should they be
inserted? A bunch of people wrote in and said, yes, absolutely. This way
of thinking really, really bothers me for whatever reason. To me, it
says that blind people aren't smart enough to figure out that the number
after an item with the decimal point is a price, and that, given the
locale of the restaurant, that price is going to be in dollars. Sighted
people don't need that additional information to reach these
conclusions, why should we? I guess it falls into the broader category
of entitlement, of blind people wanting things handed to them. My way or
the highway. And then you can broaden it still further to any minority
group, be it racial, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender,
whatever, who decide that equality is no longer enough, that they want
more than the other person, effectively replacing one form of inequality
with another: it's awful when we're not treated as equals, but it is
acceptable for us to treat the other person as non-equals.


Back in December, Bruce and I went into a restaurant in Winnipeg. We asked for, and received braille menus. After we'd ordered, the manager of the place came up to us and asked for our opinions on the menus. He said that although they don't get a lot of requests for them, he wanted to make sure that they were useful for us. We were both able to give him some feedback. That to me is amazing service, and I really appreciated that this manager took the time to see how the braille was working out for us. I don't know how often print menus are updated, but I'm sure cost is most definitely a factor in the lack of braille updates. It is definitely nice though when an intrest is taken by the staff though.
You know. I have been considering brailling some for restaurants who do not have braille menus. I am a certified transcriber, so I could do it relatively easily as long as managers didn't mind me taking their menus to work from.