Day In The Life Of a Blind Person with BrailleGerald Nordstrom
Meet Sarah. She is a blind woman who has been using braille to navigate her world since she was a child. Despite the challenges she faces, she leads an active life and is a valued member of her community.
On a typical day, Sarah wakes up at 6 am and starts her morning routine. She brushes her teeth, gets dressed, and prepares breakfast using her tactile kitchen tools. As she sips her coffee, she listens to the radio news to keep up with the latest developments.
At 8 am, Sarah leaves her apartment and heads to work. She uses her cane to navigate the sidewalks, and braille signs in the subway station to find her way to the platform. Once on the train, she listens for announcements of upcoming stops and feels the vibrations of the train to know when to get off.
At her job, Sarah works as a customer service representative. She uses a braille computer and a special device called a refreshable braille display to read and respond to emails from customers. She also uses braille notes to keep track of her tasks and schedule.
After work, Sarah heads to the grocery store to buy some groceries. She uses her cane to navigate the aisles and finds the products she needs by touch. She reads the braille labels on the items to confirm their contents and prices.
On her way back home, Sarah stops at the public library. She loves reading and uses the library’s collection of braille books to access a wide range of literature. She also enjoys exploring the tactile graphics that accompany some of the books, which bring the stories to life in a unique way.
At the end of the day, Sarah heads back home, tired but content. She spends some time listening to music or talking to friends on the phone. Before going to bed, she reads a few chapters of a braille book, and then turns off the light, ready for a new day tomorrow.
Although Sarah’s life may seem challenging to some, she has developed a rich set of skills that allow her to navigate her world with ease. She is an inspiration to others and shows that with determination and hard work, anyone can overcome their obstacles and lead a fulfilling life.
If there were no braille books, braille signs, braille labels and tactile graphics, Sarah’s life would be significantly more challenging. She would struggle to access information, navigate her surroundings, and participate fully in society. Reading books and other written materials would be nearly impossible, making it challenging to stay informed and educated. She would need to rely on others to use common machines, read signs and menus for her, making her feel dependent on others for her most basic needs. Without tactile graphics, she would not be able to experience the visual world, and it would be difficult to understand concepts such as maps or charts. In essence, Sarah’s independence, freedom, and access to information would be severely limited without these critical tools.
- Nearly 8% of all Americans have a visual impairment significant enough to need assistance. (source: Georgetown University)
- 70% of blind and visually impaired people are unemployed – yet they COULD be employed. (source: World Services for the blind)
- The economic cost of major vision problems is estimated to increase to $373 billion by 2050. (source: The CDC)
If you’re curious about what role braille and tactile graphics play, do a little experiment yourself. Pay close attention to your surroundings today and think what it would be like to be blind or a visually impaired person. How many seemingly small things you take for granted would be an issue where you’d need somebody else help? Notice how many simple things in life are not labeled with braille for the blind to use. Now think about your school, classroom, business or even public spaces – how could you help change these places for the better to make them more accessible to the blind and VI community? Simple, kind actions through you can make a world of difference to blind and visually impaired people seeking independent and productive living.