Braille Bibles
June 17, 2005 7:21 AM   Subscribe

The Bumpy Yet Finger-tingling Road to God Arriving in 17 volumes, and taking up 76 inches of shelf space, who needs the mp3? These nice folk print and distribute Bibles in braille. (Please use this link for good and not evil. Abuse this service and go directly to Hell. Do not pass Purgatory. Go directly to Hell.)
posted by Sully (21 comments total)

what's the point of this post?
posted by quarsan at 7:28 AM on June 17, 2005

I guess this means Jesus isn't going to heal these people any time soon.
posted by unsupervised at 7:31 AM on June 17, 2005

Is there where we display our outrage and mock Christians for having a braille version of their book?

(And what's with the italicized part?)
posted by dios at 7:32 AM on June 17, 2005

I never really contemplated how truly large a braille bible would be before - 17 volumes! Nice charity.
posted by caddis at 7:34 AM on June 17, 2005

The irony is, there is no god.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:35 AM on June 17, 2005

What? A post about Christianity, with.... nothing to argue about?! This must be a mistake!

(Neat post. Thanks!)
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:47 AM on June 17, 2005

(And what's with the italicized part?)

I think the point is you could say you were blind and have them send you a free braille bible, so it's an odd way of saying "be cool" I think. I took off the last bold BIBLES IN BRAILLE part for readability's sake.
posted by jessamyn at 7:51 AM on June 17, 2005

Ahh. Gotcha.

As a side note, how does a blind person read a website anyhow?
posted by dios at 7:57 AM on June 17, 2005

screen-readers can verbalise text on the screen for the sight-impaired. (JAWS, Window-Eyes)

For the visually acute, they're used to narrate the lyrics of Straight Outta Compton
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:06 AM on June 17, 2005

They really are huge books. When I saw them, at first I guessed that they were some sort of encyclopedia set or some huge illuminated text.
This sort of thing as been around for a while, though.
My future grandfatherinlaw does a lot of work with the American Council of the Blind (being blind himself). They're the folks who work to get braille signage on elevators, restrooms, and ATMs, as well as getting a voiceover to accompany the Weather Channel forecasts, and a number of other things.

Although I can't find a link for it, there's a resource for blind folks who want to enjoy films. It's the audio track from the film and a voiceover description of the action. It's like a book-on-tape and a radio-play simultaneously. I think it's called either (obviously) Movies for the Blind or DescribeMovies.
posted by Jon-o at 8:42 AM on June 17, 2005

Yeah. Braille books are pretty big. You should have seen the last Harry Potter in Braille. Huge.
posted by redsparkler at 8:56 AM on June 17, 2005

Good that the service is available to those who want it.

As an aside: I think the last part of the FPP (the 'threatening' part in italics) is just asking for trouble. It would never occur to me to abuse the link - until you try to invoke some threats that I lend no credence to in order to control my behaviour. My immediate reaction is to look for a way to mess with it. I didn't, but surely I'm not the only one who had that reaction, and it's possible that not every MeFite has the same level of self-control, or same sense of decency. Perhaps it was meant to be funny? I dunno, just seems like a dumb move to me. Hope it doesn't cause problems.
posted by raedyn at 9:00 AM on June 17, 2005

Couldn't they save paper by translating the text into dot and dash tones, so the blind could simply hear the Braille?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:10 AM on June 17, 2005

Braille != morse code
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:18 AM on June 17, 2005

dios, there are more than enough reasons to mock you without delving into religion. I'm mocking you right now, inside, where it counts.
posted by substrate at 9:28 AM on June 17, 2005

wgp wins
posted by leotrotsky at 10:23 AM on June 17, 2005

don't get me wrong, it is great that the bible is avaliable as a braille book and as an mp3 (god wants you to share files), but what is noteworthy about this?
posted by quarsan at 12:37 PM on June 17, 2005

As a side note, I play everquest with a blind guy all the time.
posted by Balisong at 7:33 PM on June 17, 2005

"As a side note, how does a blind person read a website anyhow?"
A braille user can use a refreshable braille display as a monitor.
posted by Sixtieslibber at 8:16 PM on June 17, 2005

Sixtieslibber: Okay, so, why don't they read the BIBLE with a "refreshable braille display" ?

Seriously: I saw a braille Bible way back when I was a computer science student in the dark ages. I thought, "Digitize!". I figured a bunch of solenoids under a latex membrane would do the job. Suddenly that huge Bible became a few tapes (I said it was long ago).

So why the books? Terribly expensive to print and distribute. Not easy to carry around so you can thump it.
posted by Goofyy at 9:42 AM on June 19, 2005

How blind people read:

1 Traditional technologies
- Braille books. Familiar, simple, but bulky and difficult to transport, and not much stuff made available in this format.
- Audio recordings. Familiar, simple, but not much stuff made available in this format. Only about 5% of all printed material is ever made available in an accessible format, and that usually much later.

2 New technologies based on computers:
- Computer plus Braille line. These produce Braille characters on a dynamic line (little pegs pop up) so you can read whole electronic texts. Very expensive: think thousands of dollars. New technology, need to be tech-savvy.
- Computer plus speech synthesizer. Speaks text aloud. Can be very expensive (thousands of dollars again) but [blatant self-plug] inexpensive screen readers like LookOUT are available [end of blatant self-plug]. (Warning: lots of politics around screen reader use and pricing) Obvious problems with speech synthesis, e.g. "Yesterday I read that you can't read, St. John of John St: how does this affect the UN, EU and NATO?" but they're getting pretty good.

If you're looking at web pages you can use a screen reader (what's on the screen is spoken or fed to a Braille line) or a dedicated application like [plug again] WebbIE, the web browser for blind and visually-impaired people. (Other accessible browsers)

So why have Braille books? Well, why do you have books? Why not put them all on your iPaq? Same reasons of portability, reliability, convenience, readability all apply. The electronic solutions come into their own when you are trying to do something about the limited availability of alternative Braille or audio formats. That's another reason the Web is great: billions of documents that should all be accessible text. Create a web page yourself? Make sure it is accessible. Or blind people will be stuck with the Braille Bible, and they'll all vote Republican, and as a MeFites you wouldn't want that, would you?
posted by alasdair at 6:30 AM on June 20, 2005

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