Common Ways Of Making Braille Labels
Using Braille as an organizational tool most often requires labeling or writing down a few simple directions. Either a slate and stylus (a metal guide and a punching device equivalent to the pencil or pen) or a Braille writer (comparable to a typewriter) can be used. Labels are perhaps most commonly made with Dymo Transparent Labeling Tape, made by 3M. This vinyl tape, with a self-adhesive back protected with an easily removable strip, comes in a twelve-foot roll. The half-inch width accommodates both standard and jumbo Braille. The Braille labeling gun, as well as the Dymo tape attachment for the Perkins Braille writer, are designed for this width. Moreover, many slates on the market today now have a half-inch Dymo-tape slot. However, the experienced Braillist can easily center the narrower 3/8th-inch width in this slot and produce labels in standard sized Braille. For cosmetic reasons and for the convenience of any sighted members of your household, you may prefer the almost transparent tape, which does not obscure what is underneath the Braille label. Since transparent Dymo tape is often not readily available commercially, you may have to purchase it from a supplier specializing in products for the blind.
These labels can be directly affixed to the desired object after the backing is peeled off, or they can be attached with a rubber band threaded through a hole punched with a one-hole punch. The latter type has the advantage of being reusable.
Whether you are a whiz at Grade II Braille, just know Grade I, or use jumbo Braille, you will discover that with a little imagination Braille can serve you in countless ways. If you follow some of these suggestions and are stimulated to implement your own ideas, you will soon wonder how you ever managed without Braille.
This excerpt is from "101 Ways To Use Braille" by Ellen Waechtler. The article first appeared in the Summer, 1998, issue of the Braille Spectator, a publication of the NFB of Maryland, and is reprinted with special permission from the author.