Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Perkins SMART Brailler: A fond farewell

Does it make me a sap that today when I dropped the Perkins SMART Brailler off at the UPS store I got a little teary?  I really enjoyed it's visit. Its on its way to the Porter Family in Florida now.  I went through and cleared out the two user profiles that my kids made. Did you know you could save profiles for different members of the family?  I played with the eraser feature one last time.  I tested out the keys  and remembered the excitement I got when I made a letter and a word.  Yes its true I AM a sap. I look forward to finding out how the Porter Family and others enjoy the SMART Brailler.  

Abby was sure to share the SMART Brailler features with her dad this weekend. It was the one last thing she wanted to do before it had to away.
Abby and Sam unpacking the SMART Brailler a little over two weeks ago. 
I did notice something interesting when Abby used the SMART Brailler.  She would get frustrated when the SMART Brailler told her she made a mistake. She does already experiences this with her iPad and braille display which she uses a lot at school. She much prefers using a classic brailler and having her TVI tell her later what she did something wrong (than she is made to go and fix it)  The SMART Brailler isn't an enabler to lazy braille writers.  Parents and teachers rejoice!  I can see how the useful the SMART brailler would be for a a student like Abby
Abby using the Perkins SMART Brailler
I know the SMART Brailler would have been a huge benefit to Abby when she was a beginning Braille learner.   The combination of the audio and visual feedback is so useful. Oh and lets talk about that for a moment. The VISUAL feedback.   Blind/visually impaired students are diverse population of different levels of remaining sight (or lack of). There are many blind/visually impaired students who are not taught Braille simply because someone decides they can see enough. . Which is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. (though that's really another topic) So often its an ALL or nothing, tactile braille only or large print with pictures.  I liked that the SMART Brailler  had a visual display with different levels of contrast this could be helpful to many blind children with some remaining sight.  Abby could see most of the display and she loved to play with it. She got great enjoyment when the background was pink  I do question when it was pink if she could see any of text but it was fun.

I really do have a bit of crush on the SMART Brailler.  

Is the Smart Brailler now NEEDED by every Braile student? No. The SMART brailler is a tool. If a Braille learner doesn't have a SMART Brailler they can still learn Braille.   Its a tool and a pretty cool tool at that. It can be a bridge in a classroom when the Braille professional is not in the classroom, the classroom teacher and paraprofessionals can see on the display what the student wrote. It can be a tool for students so they are aware of their mistakes as they make them (or if they are mistake free) Its another great product that can make Braille cool and fun and that can only be a wonderful thing.

Good Bye SMART Brailler I miss you already and I hope you come again soon.

Links to my other blogs in this series.

1. Its Smart.... The Perkins Smart Brailler

About the Perkins SMART Brailler:  http://www.perkins.org/smartbrailler/

About the Backpacking SMART Brailler Event on Wonderbaby.org: http://www.wonderbaby.org/articles/backpacking-smart-brailler-event 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May 10th, 2013

Dear Duffy family,

My eye doctor said when I get older I may develop glaucoma because of my retinopathy of prematurity as a preemie, but I pray that doesn't happen. I am a fully sighted young lady and I am grateful that God gave me sight.

I am amazed at how Abby, Sam you and your husband have dealt with Abby's type of blindness and you have/she has shown the world she can concur anything! You and your family have had some rough times, but you made it through, and I am admired by that.

God Bless You All!