Question and Answer Session 7

This week's discussion was an open-ended question and answer session, which including questions on the difference between hyphens and dashes, the changes between EBAE and UEB, and the International Council on English Braille.

October 31, 2019

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Audio Transcript



Hadley

Embracing Braille – Q&A Session October

Presented by Vileen Shah

October 31, 2019

Vileen S: I welcome you all on this 31st day of October 2019 at the Embracing Braille group session, and I would like to get this question/answer session open real soon but not before wishing you all happy Halloween. And I believe you brought your ghost, as I said. You are most welcome, so ... Okay, here we go. Open question and answer session that we have on the last Thursday of every month.

Again, once we take one question, then that question will be on the floor for discussion, and then everybody else will raise hands only if you have something to say about the question. We'll then take next question. I'll announce about it. Alright, so we are done with this question. Let's move to the next question. You can raise your hand and we'll take your question.

If we could not take your question today, save it for the next month. Do not take offense. It's not our intention at all to ignore anyone. we are just trying our best, and we take questions in the order in which the hands are raised. Alright, so I'm pretty sure that you have all come here with some question in mind and I'll be happy to answer as much as I can, but it'll be also open for everybody to answer. So please raise your hand for a question to ask.

Elyse H: Wonderful. Beth, you're first in line. Go ahead.

Beth: Yeah, I'm confused. Sometimes I see a ... It's a dash in UEB. That's the same as that, like, 2 ... Is that dots 3, 6? Because sometimes I see a dash when it talks about, or a hyphen. Like if somebody has two last names, like even on Facebook I have a friend that uses her maiden name along with her married name and she uses a hyphen. But isn't a hyphen and dash, isn't that two of the dots 3, 6? Over.

Vileen S: Okay, thank you, Beth. This is, I would say, quite a specialized question or a very specific question, particularly for those who are still doing Braille Literacy 1 and 2. You may not get it exactly, but if you will carefully listen to this, it is going to be very useful in your next course which is Braille Literacy 3. Anybody who is done with Braille Literacy 3, has completed that course and anything further advanced, then this is a question that you may want to listen, understand, and ask further. Let me first try to answer as I understood your question but correct me if that's not what you're asking.

Alright, so the question as I understood is actually the difference between a hyphen and a dash, especially in UEB. Is that right?

Beth: Yes.

Vileen S: Okay, terrific.

Beth: Yes, correct.

Vileen S: Terrific. Good question.

Beth: I've seen it between two last names like on Facebook and I'm wondering how that would be in UEB.

Vileen S: Let me try my best.

Beth: Like the difference-

Vileen S: Okay?

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: That question is really valid because I see some of my learners still making an error and I see them a little bit confused between a hyphen and a dash. In UEB, which is a most current form of braille, and those who have not learned UEB and know the old braille, which is EBAE, and that is to be spelled English Braille American Edition, E-B-A-E, for them there is much to learn.

Let me also make sure that everybody knows that UEB is not a huge change. It is just a marginal change to EBAE, English American Braille Edition, and so not to worry a lot but there are some changes, and the dash is one of them. The hyphen is same. That consists of dots 3 and 6. That consisted of dots 3 and 6 in old system and as well as the new, new means UEB, it is same. But dash is different, and not much different again. In UEB, the dash consists of two cells, dot 6, and then dots 3, 6. In EBAE, the dash consisted of two cells also. They were all dots 3, 6 and then dot 3, 6, which means two hyphens would make a dash, in old system.

In the new system, which is UEB, the first sign is dot 6 only and the second sign is 3, 6. Therefore if there is any name, or a group of names, or a group of words separated by a dash, you will see a little gap because it consists of dot 6 and then 3, 6. So it wouldn't look like a dash as you are used to seeing it before, but it is a dash and that consists of dot 6 and 3, 6. But a hyphen again consists of only dots 3, 6. That's a one cell sign. Okay, Beth, did it help you to understand the difference?

Beth: Yes. Thanks.

Vileen S: Okay, welcome. Let me see. If anybody has any confusion, feel free to speak up. No question is dumb. Any other comment or you want to share your experience how you differentiated between a hyphen and dash while reading braille, anything, please raise your hand pertaining to the question now. Alright, let's see.

Elyse H: Okay, I see Roderick's hand is raised. Go ahead, Roderick.

Roderick: I'm not even sure exactly how I can tell the difference between a hyphen and a dash because in print, a hyphen is often called a dash, and vice versa. So they only found the difference in braille. It seems to be that in a sentence, a dash is like continuing a thought, giving a pause. Am I right? And a hyphen is simply used usually to connect a couple of words like "ice-cold," "self-help," but in a sentence ... I can't think of one right now, but you couldn't use a hyphen to connect two parts of the sentence, but you can use a dash. And I think that's what differentiates them. I guess I'm a little confused too, so I'd appreciate somebody else to explain a lot better.

Vileen S: Oh, great points, Roderick. I see two, three things that you brought up. The actual difference between a hyphen and a dash, how to be used, and it's of course a more linguistic explanation and certainly not related to braille but it is important in braille because normally a hyphen is used between two words or names. That's right. And a dash is mostly used to separate two ideas or two sentences or two part of the sentences, and my computer always says "dash" when there's a hyphen.

So you are right, Roderick. In print there mustn't be much difference, however we'll take Elyse's view here a little later in how you distinguish between a hyphen and a dash when you see the print. But that's a real good point that overall in general in print, hyphen and dash are treated more or less same. However, the uses are different, and the hyphen is used, again, to separate the two words or two names, or a word and a name, and a dash is normally used to separate the ideas or the sentences, or sub-sentences, parts of sentences. That's really a good input. Terrific, Roderick. I really appreciate it. Let's see what Elyse has to say how dash and hyphen look in print. By the way, I have no idea because I never read print. Okay, Elyse.

Elyse H: I agree with you. I agree, Vileen, that the hyphen is between words or like you said, last names if there's two last names. And the dash in print can be like your thoughts are trailing off. Usually in a novel they say, "Well, you know, Sissy-Lou was thinking about it but-" and then they just do a dash, because they didn't ever formally finish their thought but it's alluding to that there's a pause for you to think about it.

Roderick: This is Roderick again. Isn't an ellipsis usually used for something like that?

Elyse H: Yeah, I think you can use the ellipsis as well. I've seen more of the ellipsis as in a quote for speaking or capturing someone's specific words, and if they trailed off they would do that dot, dot, dot. The ellipsis.

Vileen S: So we’ll take ellipsis separately, and yeah, that's very right. As far as the hyphenated last name is concerned, I just have a little, my view of course. Mostly the hyphenated last name has something to do with marriage. As I understand. Not necessarily. Let's take next comment on hyphen and dash.

Elyse H: Okay, Allen, you're next in line.

Allen: This is Allen. One of the things, because the way we speak we kind of change things around, just like when we say numbers. Like in an area code 407. It's not really an O, it's a zero, but we've just gotten used to saying "dash," but if you're going to be dictating literally, you would have to say "hyphen" or "dash”, so it goes in the right spot. Now, for Vileen, a hyphen is like if you were to write the dots 2, 5. It's halfway up between the letters of a word or a letter. That's where the hyphen actually would look in print. Over.

Vileen S: Oh, really? Are you saying... Let me understand. I'm not sure because I never read print, but so in print the hyphen looks like dots 2, 5, which is actually a colon in braille, and that's another issue that-

Beth: Yes.

Allen: Yeah, that's why it gets confusing when you use the colon-

Beth: Why, were you needing to use it?

Allen: Because in print, colon looks like a dash or a hyphen.

Vileen S: Oh, thank you for telling, Allen. I learn a lot from my participants. I love it. Therefore, many of my learners are often confused between a colon and a hyphen, and I keep repeating saying that a colon is like two middle dots. Dots 2 and 5, remember the numbers, and a hyphen is dots 3, 6, two bottom dots. So anybody who is here who knows print and braille and who has more or less completed learning braille, that's a great input by Allen, so remember that the braille hyphen is not like a print hyphen. It has its place at the bottom, not in the middle. Thank you so much. Okay, let's see. Next person.

Elyse H: Okay, Donald, you're next in line. I'll go ahead unmute you.

Donald: I have two comments. One is that in UEB, they follow the print in another way with the dash and that is that if there are spaces before and after the dash, that's what you got in braille. When you had EBAE, the dashes were generally joining the two sides. There were no spaces to the left or the right. In UEB though, if there are spaces in print there are spaces in braille. If there are not, then there isn't. And I thought, well that's interesting. They want to go along with print as much as they can at this point.

Vileen S: In braille, normally, do not leave a space before and after a hyphen and a dash. However, what Donald said is 100% correct that in new braille which is UEB braille, there could be a space before a dash and after. Because the basic rule in UEB is braille follows print. So if there are spaces in print, you have to leave spaces in braille. The whole question comes, how do we know? At least for people like me. I'm totally blind and I've never read print, although I have not been blind since birth. I became blind at age three, so I didn't have a chance to read print. So in which case, as blind or visually impaired person, how do we know? And that is so much a transcriber's job, so I think Donald, you could be a real good transcriber because you know the rules so minutely, and the person who transcribes-

Donald: Well I was a braille proofreader for almost 30 years.

Vileen S: No wonder. No wonder you know the rules so minutely. Great, great. We are blessed to have such an experienced person with us.

Donald: Thank you.

Vileen S: So once again, if there are spaces, and we don't know why, but if there are spaces in print before and after a dash, then the spaces should be left in braille because braille follows print.

Elyse H: Okay, Beth, you're next in line. Go ahead.

Beth: I'm glad that since the hyphen is dots 3, 6 I was going to say, I'm glad that they wrote in UEB the "com" is written out because that's the same dot, so I was just saying I'm glad that they have that difference.

Vileen S: Okay. Are you done saying? It's a real good point.

Beth: Yeah. Over.

Vileen S: Very good. Thank you. Thank you. Very good point. Very good point. Now, actually, in EBAE which another word is old braille. That's what I call it. That's not official by the way. Old braille and new braille. That's my way of identifying. So, EBAE, we were using dots 3, 6 as a hyphen, two hyphens as a dash, and also dots 3, 6 as a contraction for "com." So when we would write "commerce," C-O-M-M-E-R-C-E, we would use dot 3, 6 for the "com" contraction, and that has been now eliminated in UEB so that hyphen and "com" are not confused.

If for instance there is a pair of words, "emerging commerce," and just in case there is a hyphen, not a great example, but just in case there is a hyphen between emerging and commerce, in EBAE you will see something like two 3, 6, 3, 6, because one is a hyphen and another is a contraction for "com." Now that problem is eliminated now and it's no longer there, but an interesting thing that I would like to share is that the confusion wasn't there much when EBAE was there and when two 3, 6, 3, 6 would appear and one is to be treated hyphen, another was treated to be "com." People were reading and reading correct and reading well. So the confusion is for the computer that translates braille into print, and in order to help the computer not to be confused between a hyphen and "com," this contraction has been eliminated as far as I understand because one of the prime aims of the UEB is to make braille compatible with computer translation. So I would say it's the computer and not human beings. Over.

Elyse H: Okay, Roderick you're next in line. I'll unmute your phone.

Roderick: I seem to recall from Braille Literacy 3 that the dash in a sentence doesn't have a space before or after it. I don't recall ever learning that the dash ever would have a space before or after it. Also and the other thing, I believe you said something about, was it C-O-M as in more, or C-O-N as in not? Because the "con" contraction in UEB is dot 2, 5.

Vileen S: No. Roderick ... Okay, go ahead. I will let you finish.

Roderick: The C-O-N as in not contraction in UEB is dots 2, 5. Was there a contraction for "com" as in like the word "computer?"

Vileen S: Yes, Roderick. Let me explain. Are you done saying? Are you ready to listen to the explanation?

Roderick: Oh. Over.

Vileen S: Okay, great. C-O-M as in Mary was the contraction in old English, and that is C-O-M like commerce, like company, computer. Yes, your example is correct. Computer. And that contraction has been eliminated now, so you do not know because you are learning new braille, which is Braille Literacy 3, UEB.

However, what you are referring to as C-O-N like Nancy, which is dots 2, 5, yes. That contraction is still there and when you learn it in details in Braille Literacy 4 you will know more about that, but basically a hyphen also represented the letters C-O-M as in Mary and it was profusely used in old braille, and as I said that oftentime ... Not oftentimes. I will correct myself, but sometimes there used to be a hyphen and the next word starting with C-O-M as in Mary, which means the contraction consisting of the same dots, 3, 6. So often time you would see two signs of dots 3, 6, a hyphen and a contraction, and yet, people were able to read it correctly and they would read it correctly by the context.

So say for example again I will take, I didn't get a good combination, but if there's a hyphen and the word "commerce," then people would not treat it as a dash and "merce," because that doesn't make any sense. By the context people would understand that this should be a hyphen and the word "commerce." That's the example I was giving. Does that make more sense now, Roderick?

Roderick: I think it does. One thing I've been learning about contracted braille in UEB is, I think you mentioned it too, is that a lot of the changes were made so that computers wouldn't be confused when they translate braille into print or print into braille. Over.

Vileen S: Thank you. No, I believe you should not worry about old braille, EBAE, in which contraction was used. If you simply focus on UEB then just imagine or understand that some of the confusions have been eliminated, so they made it simpler for you. So you may want to focus only on UEB and just let go of the other discussion that we are having here, but we would have it because we do help people here who learn old braille first and then UEB, or there may be some people, I don't know but there may be a few participants here who did not yet learn UEB, so they know old braille. Alright, next one.

Roderick: Okay. Over.

Vileen S: Thank you.

Elyse H: Wonderful. The next person's phone number starts 903. Can you tell us your name please?

Michelle: Yes, this is Michelle.

Vileen S: Oh, hi Michelle.

Michelle: Hi. I'm going back a little bit where you were asking a question about what possibly the dash and the hyphen looks like in print. I think of it as the space bar but smaller. It's horizontal in print, and I think of that the same as a minus sign in print, because they are probably the 2 and the 5 on braille but there would be a connecting line like a string going straight across. So on that, and the hyphen of course is used with compound words and of course the dash where you're basically just connecting phrases. Anyways, it was just the print over of what it looked like.

Vileen S: Okay, great. [inaudible] Basically I liked your input about compound words, yes. That's where we use hyphens. Most hyphenated words if not all are compound words. That's correct. Other things you mentioned Michelle about print. That's something Elyse may comment. I think it's a good input, but I do not know print. Yeah, Elyse. Is that hyphen smaller than dash? Is that what Michelle you said?

Elyse H: Yes, in print the hyphen is traditionally smaller than the dash.

Vileen S: Okay. Alright, great.

Elyse H: Okay, Jodie, you're next in line. Go ahead.

Jodie: Hi there.

Vileen S: Hi there.

Jodie: Well, I just wanted to comment that I learned UEB but the old braille I didn't learn, but I am reading a book now that's in the old braille and I really don't have any problems with it. I just notice the difference, like when "to the" is written without a space between it. So I'm learning the difference between UEB and the old braille by reading the old braille and seeing how there's a little bit of a difference.

Vileen S: Terrific, and Jodie, you really made a good point that although most books, or rather all books are now published in UEB, and you can get tons of material in UEB, but let's not forget that the publications in UEB have started since January 4, 2016. Which means all earlier publications were done in old braille, and NLS particularly, of course other production houses as well, has thousands of volumes in old braille. So thank you for sharing your experience, Jodie. Yes, you can still get the books in old braille, and once again, I mentioned this before, that UEB is not a huge change. So yes you can read old braille. A few things are different. So it's good to know. Good to know how a hyphen and a dash, how they are in UEB and how they are in old braille. Even though you are not learning old braille, you are new learners for old braille and you're learning braille in UEB, you may get some books of your interest for reading in old braille down the road, so that's a good point. Thank you. Okay, who else?

Elyse H: Okay, Allison. You're next in line.

Vileen S: Oh, Allison from Michigan?

Allison: Yep, that's me. How's everybody doing today?

Vileen S: Welcome.

Allison: Good. The dash in the UEB braille, is that dot 6 and then dots 3, 6? Am I correct?

Vileen S: A dash, yes. A dash in UEB consists of two cells. The first cell is only dot 6, and second one is dots 3, 6. Yes, correct.

Allison: Okay, and the second comment that I want to make is most of the books that I get from my library are in UEB braille and I don't have a problem with it at all. Over.

Vileen S: Okay, but then that raises the question for me. Have you learned UEB or no?

Allison: No, I have not. But I know how to read it.

Vileen S: Well, that's good but then maybe you want to take a course. It's not too long at Hadley. Only six lessons, but that way you will have a clear idea what are the changes and how changes are impacted in braille

Elyse H: Okay. Beth, you're next in line.

Beth: Yeah, I-

Elyse H: Okay, I can hear you.

Beth: The grade 3 terminator, I was wondering. I get confused when that's used and the dots. Because I don't think they used that in EBAE. I think they had a separate braille like grade 3 braille. Over.

Vileen S: Beth, it seems you have some confusion here. First of all, I think you mean to say grade 1 terminator.

Beth: Oh. Oh, yeah. Grade 1.

Vileen S: Yeah, it's grade 1 terminator. First of all, grade 1 terminator for those who know old braille, is just a fancy name for letter signs. We used to have letter signs which is dots 5, 6, and in UEB we call it grade 1 indicator, but if there is a whole paragraph to be written in grade 1, then we need to use a terminator. And that concept of terminator I will discuss more when I do my presentation on UEB changes, but briefly, each type form like boldface, italic, underline or underscore, and grade 1, each one of them has a terminator sign. Which means it indicates that the type form terminates, ends here, and all terminator signs carry dot 3. I also did not include capitalize passage. That's another thing that also has a terminator.

So all terminators carry dot 3, but before dot 3, prior to dot 3, there is some symbol. Which symbol should we use when? I'll discuss it in detail when I do that presentation. I think it's somewhere in December. But I may tell you here for the grade 1 terminator, you may want to use the grade 1 marker which is dots 5, 6 and dot 3. To make it simple, the grade 1 terminator consists of dots 5, 6 and then dot 3. So basically for each type form, you use that marker and dot 3. That makes the terminator, and we will take plenty of example at that time. So once again to answer your question, grade 1 terminator consists of dots 5, 6 and dot 3. Well, actually we were talking about the dash and hyphen, so let me take more comments or questions or experience from other people who want to say anything about hyphen and dash and if that is over then we can switch over to your terminator.

I really did not think that we could have such a useful, helpful and interesting and long discussion on hyphen and dash. When Beth brought that question up, I thought this could be done in ten minutes, but I'm so glad that everybody made such a good contribution. Appreciate it. Okay, let's see. If anybody please raise your hand only if you have anything to say about a hyphen and a dash.

Elyse H: We have another hand up by Donald. Can you hear us, Donald?

Vileen S: Oh, the experienced person, Donald.

Donald: I know that dot 5 and dots 2, 3, 5 together is a plus sign in UEB, but they have sometimes dot 5, dots 2, 3, 6 and I keep forgetting what that symbolizes. I wanted to ask you to tell me.

Vileen S: Okay, okay, okay. That is so much about UEB, and that is a times sign.

Donald: Oh, okay. Times.

Vileen S: Two times three makes six, and that is your dot 5 and dots 2, 3, 6, okay?

Donald: Okay, thank you.

Vileen S: Also the question about the terminator. I forgot who asked. Of course I don't have a great memory, but I said that we will address that question later. I did address in brief, and I think using indicators and terminators is a big thing for UEB. We did not have it that way in EBAE, and this is for paragraphs. We did have something in EBAE, but that was different. In UEB, when there are paragraphs to be written in a certain type form, then there are markers. I call them markers. I don't know if UEB writers have used that word but it's easy to understand. Sometimes I come up with my own terminology, just to make it easy.

So in UEB these markers are indicators and terminators, which means when a paragraph begins you may want to use the indicator, and when a paragraph ends you may want to use the terminator. Each indicator and terminator is determined by the type form, and each type form has its own specific marker. I mean to say for instance, italic. That one has a marker consisting of dots 4, 6. Now, UEB has a way to indicate whether the letter has been italicized, a word has been italicized, or the paragraph, but the definition of paragraph is so different. It doesn't have to be a whole paragraph as it looks in print. Anytime when you have three or more words in a special or specific type form it is to be treated as a paragraph, and then you may want to use the type form indicator and terminator.

As I said earlier, all terminators carry dot 3, and I'll give you two examples or three probably to make it easy. Now this is very specific. If everybody doesn't understand, don't panic. It's not for you. It's not for everybody. It's only for those who really want to learn UEB with so much of accuracy, but when the question has been asked, I would like to say because it is useful.

Okay, so going back to italic. Remember, the terminators are used only for passage marker. Terminators are not used if a word or a letter is in a specific type form. Then only there is one marker before that letter or a word, but when a passage, which is three or more words appear, then you need to use indicator and terminator. The marker for italicized passage, or word or letter, the marker for italic sign is dots 4, 6. Now let's say you have a paragraph or three or more words to be italicized, which means you need to use the indicator, italic indicator, and of course that consists of dots 4, 6 and then dots 2, 3, 5, 6. Terminator would consist of dot 4, 6 and dot 3.

Capitalized passage. The indicator consists of three capital sign, which means three times dot 6, and obviously the terminator would carry dot 3, which means the terminator consists of dot 6 and dot 3. Grade 1. The marker for grade 1 is dots 5, 6, for a word, for a letter, for a passage. Therefore, the grade 1 passage indicator consists of dots 5, 6 three times. I hope I said 5, 6 before. Yeah. Dots 5, 6 three times, and the terminator would consist of dot 5, 6 and dot 3.

So remember, all terminators carry dot 3. That's an easier way to remember a specific type form in UEB. UEB is very specific about each type form, which wasn't there before in old braille. Over. Questions, comments, experience?

Elyse H: We have a hand up from Roderick. I'll go ahead unmute you.

Roderick: Thank you again, Elyse.

Vileen S: Yeah, Roderick?

Roderick: I was pondering why it is that the type form indicators all have dots 2,3, 5, 6 to indicate a passage, but the capital has three dot 6's and the grade 1 indicator is three dots 5, 6, and then it just occurred to me. The type form indicators start with a dot 4. That's like the italics, dots 4, 6, so it's a top dot. So right next to it to the dots 2, 3, 5, 6, which is only the lower dots, well that wouldn't make sense. With a dot 6, a dot 6, 2, 3, 5, 6, or a dot 5, 6, 2, 3, 5, 6. But it makes perfect sense with the type form indicators. Am I correct in my understanding? Over.

Vileen S: Your understanding is perfect, Roderick. Your understanding is perfect, and yes, the grade 1 and capitalized passage indicators do not use dots 2, 3, 5, 6 for the indicator sign, unlike the type forms such as italic, boldface, underscore. Why? I think I can forward your why to ICEB. ICEB is International Council on English Braille, and ICEB consists of the representatives from ten English-speaking countries. So in other words, I also have that question why, but I don't have the answer. But if anybody has, I will welcome. I'm always open to learning.

Elyse H: Yes. Oh, I see a hand up here. Let's go to Allison. You're next in line.

Vileen S: Yes, Allison?

Allison: Alright. I was curious as to the International Council on English Braille. What do the people do on that council?

Vileen S: Allison. Okay, let me try. They are the ones who determine what sign, what symbols in braille should be used in UEB, and they are the ones who prepared or recognized or made the uniform code available for all. So they are the final authority on UEB, and from time to time they issue a press release, or they release a note explaining any new symbol that has been adopted in UEB. From time to time-

Allison: Oh, so they're kind of like BANA almost?

Vileen S: It is above BANA, yes. BANA is a member of ICEB. Yes. BANA is for ... That's a good thing. For those who do not know what BANA is, BANA is Braille Authority of North America. So again, BANA consists of North American countries, and that includes mainly the United States and Canada. I think Mexico is part of that, but again, Mexico uses Spanish, so certain issues are different for them obviously of course. But geographically North America consists of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, but since the United States and Canada have been using English and have been using UEB, it's much more pertaining to these two countries and for some of you who do not know, let me tell you here.

Canada started using UEB much before the United States did, and there are ten members of the ICEB. BANA is one of them because BANA is the Braille Authority of North America, and then there are other members from other countries. The United States actually was second last in adopting the UEB, so eight countries had already started UEB. In Australia they have been using UEB, and also in New Zealand, since 2004. Okay, so that's kind of a sidebar information, but again I think I answered your question about ICEB. Did I?

Allison: Yes, you did. Thank you.

Vileen S: Final authority, yeah.

Elyse H: Okay Cyrille, can you hear us?

Vileen S: Cyrille from the Philippines.

Cyrille: Yes, hi.

Vileen S: Hi.

Cyrille: I'm a beginner in writing braille so I just want to know, what do you do when your hands and arms ache after writing braille for some time?

Elyse H: They're hurting after writing braille for a long time?

Cyrille: Yes, with a slate and stylus.

Vileen S: Oh, okay, okay. Does your hand hurt after writing, or reading?

Cyrille: After writing.

Vileen S: Writing, yes.

Cyrille: Yeah. After writing.

Vileen S: I'll briefly say that at some point you may want to take rest. Have intervals in writing braille. Gradually your muscles will be more trained and more used to doing that. Again, I may share my experience. I used to write pages and pages of braille with using a slate and stylus for nearly three to four hours or sometimes even five hours a day. There was a time. I cannot do it now. Yes, my hands do hurt. What I'm trying to say, it's possible by more and more practice. Allen actually is quite the specialist in this area, and he has a wealth of experience and wealth of suggestions to make about how you can train your hands and things like that. So let's see. We'll take those two people, what they have to say.

Elyse H: Okay Beth, you're next in line.

Beth: I have problems with motor skills because I was born with Leber congenital amaurosis, so when my hands hurt, I take a brief break and then stretch them out, stretch my fingers, and open and close them, and then just go back at it again. Over.

Vileen S: Very good. Yeah, so some exercises, some yoga might help. Okay, great. Okay, next one.

Elyse H: Okay. I don't see any other hands. If people would like to comment though to help Cyrille. Here's a hand that came up. The phone number starts 313. Can you tell us your name please?

Pauline: Pauline.

Elyse H: Pauline, thank you.

Vileen S: Oh, hi Pauline.

Pauline: Hello. Just a note for hand and arm fatigue also. Make sure that your materials and you are oriented properly so that you're not having to strain when you're reading or writing. For example that your materials are not sliding around on the table or whatever surface you're using. The other thing that I learned when I was teaching students. It might help if you run your hands under warm water and then dry them before you start a reading task.

Elyse H: Oh, great idea.

Pauline: Or rub your hands together.

Elyse H: Yeah, to get your [crosstalk] a little bit warm.

Pauline: Rub your hands together to get your fingers circulating, and that'll help.

Vileen S: Oh, terrific. Yes. I think one time Allen also suggested this. That's really good. Good point. Thank you so much, Pauline. Yes, warm water does help, and particularly in the cold region. In the Philippines we don't have that problem, but still. The warm water does help when you are tired and take it and rub your hands and do some exercises that covers your shoulders, your elbows, and particularly your palm, your fingers. So that's a good way to do, and there's nothing else we can think of. Okay. Alright.

Cyrille: Thank you so much.

Vileen S: Thank you. Alright friends, I would like to wrap up this session now. Thank you all for joining. I wish you all a good week ahead, a good weekend. Bye now.