Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Doctor, I'm Seeing Spots

by Laura Legendary

A Braille labeler is one of those devices that can be easily overlooked or dismissed in favor of other, more exciting gadgets. However, a Braille labeler is not only a great tool for helping you to become better organized, it can be a great way to quickly learn Braille.

If you have learned to read Braille, then you probably have one of these handy little tools already. If you don't read Braille, this labeler can be a fun tool that may motivate you to learn. Braille really isn't that difficult, and one of the best ways to learn Braille, in my opinion, is to use it everyday on everyday things. You will learn much more quickly to recognize the dot patterns when you already know what the item is that you are trying to identify.

For example, if you are using a Braille label to mark a can of peas, and you know that when you go grocery shopping you typically buy canned peas, carrots and green beans, it will be fairly easy to figure out that four Braille characters is the can of peas. Four letters. Peas. The number of letters in the words "green beans" and "carrots" clue you in to the contents of the other cans. You will be surprised how quickly you pick up the 'feel" of the dots, and a Braille labeler will help.

Still not exciting enough for you? Well, if it helps, I do think my labeler vaguely resembles the Starship Enterprise.

Years ago there was an office gadget that was called the 'P-Touch." It was used to emboss alpha letter characters on narrow strips of adhesive tape that you could then apply to just about anything so as to easily identify items at a glance. You used it by rotating a dial on top of the unit until you selected the letter you wanted. Then, you pulled the "trigger" and the letter was stamped into the plastic tape. After you completed the label you wanted, the gadget clipped off the length of tape and you affixed it to the file folder or cassette tape or whatever it was you wanted to label.

A Braille labeler works the same way; only the letters are Braille characters. Simply spin the dial to select the letter you want, then pull the trigger and voila! You have an adhesive label to stick on your boxes, cans, files, CD's, cosmetics, electronics...anything. Find it faster with a Braille labeler. Soon you’ll be seeing (or, feeling) spots all over the place. That's my prescription for better organization!

  Click this link to purchase a Braille Labeler from Independent Living Aids.

Copyright 2010 by Laura Legendary

Laura Legendary is a speaker, author and educator specializing in disability awareness, accessibility and assistive technology. Visit Eloquent Insights at to request Laura for your next event. Find Laura's Accessible Insights blog at

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.