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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dot Bug

"Dot Bug"

Why do I call myself Dot Bug? For a couple of reasons.
"Dot" refers to braille. As someone who is deaf and totally
blind, I love braille. Reading is my life and braille is
the way I do it.
Each braille cell is made up of six dots. When you read
braille, you aren't supposed to feel each individual dot.
The key is to feel the pattern the raised dots make. An
"l", for example, is three dots in a vertical row. You can
feel a long line. A "b" is two dots in a vertical row.
That line is shorter than the "l." If you are trying to
feel and count each little dot, you are doing it wrong.
So "Dot" means braille. Where does "Bug" come from? It's
actually from a t-shirt I bought while attending the 2006
American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) National
conference.
The shirt is blue and has puffy decal dots to represent
braille. It says in both braille and print, "I'm a braille
bug." I thought it was cute. Put it together... Dot and
Bug... Dot Bug. There you go.
My dad is a Lion's Club board member in my city. We were at
a Lion's Club event last summer. I was wearing my "I'm a
braille bug" t-shirt. A woman came up and asked my mother,
"What's a braillie bug?"
"Braillie" - as in two syllables. Braille-ee. I was
stunned. This was a Lion's Club event. You know, the
Lion's Club is devoted to helping people who are blind and
visually impaired. And this woman doesn't even know the
word "braille"? You would think the dots on the shirt would
be a clue.
I love braille. I am dotty about braille. Or maybe I'm
just dotty. I think you have to be a little crazy to make
it in the world as a person who is deaf-blind. It's hard.
Having a sense of humor really helps.
I can laugh at myself and the mistakes I make.
When I lose my balance as I walk and pretend to be drunk...
When I scold my son but glare in the wrong direction and he
says, "Who are you talking to, Mommy?"
When I accidently goose someone because I didn't know they
were there...
When I over pour a glass of milk and spill it everywhere
because I didn't hear the beep of my liquid level indicator
since I forgot to put in my Cochlear Implant processor...
When I misunderstand my mother's fingerspelling and think
she said "poople" instead of "people"...
Humor is the key to it all. You have to be able to laugh at
yourself. if you take it all too seriously, you will go
insane. At least that's my theory.
Welcome to my blog. I am Deaf-Blind and Determined.

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