Transcribing books for those who are blind

Pauline Nevins July 11, 2019 - Auburn Journal

I was intrigued. A casual conversation with Diane, a former co-worker, at a retiree’s luncheon, included mention that her mother-in-law, Peggy, was a braillist — a person who transcribes sighted material into braille.

 
As a child, I remember the postman delivering stacks of massive braille books to my half-brother, Malcolm. But I knew nothing about the braille process. Malcolm was my mother's ninth child. His eyes, like those of all newborns, didn’t focus the first few weeks of his life. Weeks turned into months.

The baby’s eyes continued to roll from side to side. Mother fitted him with glasses when he was 4 months old. He’d sit in his pram, propped up with pillows, a pair of thick spectacles resting on his tiny nose. 


Mother would not, could not, accept that her child couldn’t see. 


Malcolm was 6 months old when my mother finally faced the reality she had tried so hard to deny. Her youngest son would never “... see the sun rise over Shannon, nor watch the sun go down in Galway Bay” — scenes from the Irish song she’d croon to him.