AUTHOR’S CORNER: Braille Is Not a Language by, Author Mary Hiland

Good morning campbellsworld visitors.
This morning Author Mary Hiland shares with us an experience that is sure to give food for thought.
Her points concerning Braille, blind persons, and the sighted world’s perceptions are quite interesting.
As always we welcome your comments.
Thanks for reading and be sure to continue after the article to see information on Mary Hiland’s book, and how to buy it.
Thanks for dropping into campbellsworld and come back anytime.

Last year, I wrote an article for The Toastmaster Magazine. It was printed pretty much the way I wrote it, with the exception of one glaring word, that I never would have written in this context. The article, as I wrote it started, “it’s 7:25 on a Monday night, and my Toastmasters meeting will be starting in five minutes. The voices of my fellow Toastmasters blend around me as I check the agenda, which I have entered in Braille in my note taker.” Note that I said “entered in braille.” What they substituted, without my permission was “translated into braille.” Braille is transcribed, not translated. You don’t need to translate English into braille. Braille is English, at least in the U.S. It is not a foreign language. It is a tactile way of writing. Think of it this way. If you write something in cursive, or script, it is not a different language from writing the same thing in print. So why do I make such a big deal of the use of one word? Saying that I translate things into braille infers that it is another language, thus propagating the notion that as a blind person, I speak another language. I am a foreigner. I used the word “enter” in my article, because I was using an electronic device. I could have said “typed.” The point is, I did not say “translated.” It did not even occur to me to use the word translated. That was the editor’s choice and evidence of ignorance about braille and probably about blind people too. I am offended by such ignorance. Words are important to me. They often carry more weight than actions. As a blind person who has spent most of her life trying to prove that she isn’t so different from anybody else, I am constantly reminded that I am. I try so hard to remind people that it’s okay to use words like “see” and “watch,” as in “Did you see the game last night?” and “I like to watch TV at the end of the day.” Blind people speak the same language that sighted people do. We don’t need a translator.


The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: A Daughter’s Memoir
by Mary Hiland / C 2017
E-book: $3.99 / Paperback: $11.95 (209 pages)
Available from Amazon, Smashwords, and multiple other online sellers.

Short synopsis:
As a blind only child, the author enjoyed the single-minded love and devotion of her parents. So when her mother, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, was going blind and deaf and needed to move into assisted living, it was time for Ms. Hiland to assume the duties and role reversals required for her mother. She wrote her book with the hope of being helpful to others in this tough place in life.
Just one of the many glowing review quotes that accompany the book: “Most of us have faced, or will face, the problems of dealing with an aging parent, but Mary Hiland did it blind. Her book The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living captures the frustration, rewards, and incredible complications of the ordeal with feeling and humor. I was impressed that Mary handled it so well—and thankful that she tells us about it so vividly!”—Daniel Boyd, author of ’Nada and Easy Death
For a longer synopsis, author’s bio and photo, cover photo, text preview, full review quotes, and buying links, please go to:

About Patty L. Fletcher

Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. And as a Social Media Promotional Assistant. She is the owner and creator of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger Business Assist), and is the published author of two books, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life and Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye: Volume One. She can also be found in two anthologies which are, December Awethology Light And A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales. She is now working on her third book which is to be a memoir trilogy called, ‘Pathway To Freedom: Broken and Healed’.
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