Friday 31st July: Stay Safe, Stay Connected

Join us at 6 PM (UK time) on Friday for our weekly catchup call. This week, we’ll be discussing job seeking and employment.

Although the major epidemic wave we experienced during Spring here in the UK seems to at last be subsiding, many people are becoming increasingly concerned about the effect of the pandemic on the economy, and the job market in particular.

There are reports of hundreds of applicants applying for each open position in parts of the country, so we’ll be discussing what blind and partially sighted people can do to stand out in a crowded job market.

We’ll be discussing everything from when to disclose your visual impairment to a prospective employer, to how to begin building a personal social media “brand” to impress hiring managers. We’ll be joined by professionals from a variety of fields to talk about how best to go about finding and applying for a new role.

Join us at 6 PM on Friday the 31st of July, as we try to make sense of the often confusing and contradictory advice we’ve all heard before about how best to appeal to a prospective employer!

Wednesday 29th July: an introduction to Indian cooking

Join us at 6 PM on Wednesday for this week’s Clever Cooking session, when Ben and Liam will be taking a back seat as Gheeta Shammana (who’ll be a familiar voice if you’ve joined us before) leads us through an introduction to Indian cooking.

With a special focus on accessibility, Gheeta will be walking us through the ingredients, equipment and techniques you need to make perfect curries from scratch at home.

Gheeta will lead us through a couple of recipes, before taking questions from the group to help you perfect stunning Indian dishes at home. We hope you’re able to join us for what promises to be a fascinating hour of new spices, recipes and techniques!

Wednesday 22nd July: Clever Cooking

Join Ben and Liam at 6PM on Wednesday for our weekly cooking and food group.

This week we’ll be discussing store cupboard essentials: the jars, tins and packets you can use to create a delicious meal in minutes. We’ll be talking about the things you need, and, just as importantly, the things you don’t need. There’s nothing more annoying than finding a recipe calls for ten different spices and flavourings which you don’t have to hand.

From selecting ingredients to labelling spice jars, we hope this weeks session helps you stock your store cupboard with confidence!

Friday 24th July: GPS Navigation

We’re all being encouraged to avoid public transport and make journeys on foot wherever possible, but how can you navigate an unfamiliar area as a visually impaired person?

Join us at 6 PM on Friday, when we’ll be talking about GPS wayfinding apps, from Soundscape to Blindsquare. Ben has been testing them out around his town and will be reporting back how he got on.

Whether you’ve never considered using your mobile phone as a navigation aid or are a seasoned GPS pro, we’re hoping this session will equip you with the tools you need to navigate the world with confidence.

Wednesday 15th July, 6 PM: Clever Cooking

Emma, Ben and Liam are all immensely proud of the community we’ve built up around our Wednesday evening Clever Cooking sessions. It’s an absolute pleasure to spend time with the group, and hear people sharing ideas and recipes with each other every week.

This week, Ben and Liam want to know what you’ve got out of the sessions. What you’ve learned, what you’ve tried, and what you’d like to try in future. We’ll also be announcing our plans for the sessions over the next few weeks, including some special guests!

Join us at 6 PM (UK time) to discuss accessible kitchen techniques, equipment, recipes and more!

Friday 17th July, 6 PM: Stay Safe, Stay Connected

Here in the UK, restaurants, pubs, hotels and cafes have now been open for nearly two weeks, since the 4th of July.

As we continue to move towards a “new normal”, what steps has the hospitality sector taken to ensure venues are accessible and safe for blind and partially sighted people?

Join us on Friday the 17th of July at 6 PM (UK time) when we’ll be discussing navigating these spaces as blind and visually impaired people. From accessing apps (many venues require you to download an app to place an order) to the availability of Braille menus, we’ll be discussing what venues have got right (and wrong) on accessibility.

Pour yourself a drink, and join us from 6 on Friday!

Cheers!

Wednesday 8th July: Clever Cooking

Join Ben and Liam at 6 PM UK time this evening, Wednesday the 8th of July, for our weekly Clever Cooking series of kitchen hints, tips and discussions. 


This week, we’ll be talking nifty kitchen hacks and tricks. Cooking can be great fun, but it can also be frustrating and stressful, as anyone who’s ever tried to peel a clove of garlic will know. 


Ben and Liam have been scouring the internet to find the most useful hacks and tricks to save you time and grey hairs in the kitchen! One of our favourite things about these sessions is the strong community feel, so if you have any kitchen hacks, from microwave scrambled eggs to more accessible ways to cook spaghetti, we’d love you to share them with the group!

Friday 10th July: Stay Safe, Stay Connected

This Friday (10th July) at 6 PM (UK time), we’ll be talking about COVID-19. We’ve run a few sessions now on the impact of lockdown and social distancing measures on blind and partially sighted people, but up until now, we haven’t talked much about the illness itself. 


Pardy, a blind man who has recovered from a relatively severe COVID-19 infection requiring a stay in hospital, will be joining us to discuss his experiences. We’ll also be joined by Geraldine, a mobility coordinator from Ireland who has recovered from COVID-19 in the Irish healthcare system. We’re particularly interested in discussing these experiences from a blindness perspective, and our guests will be happy to answer any questions you might have. 


We understand this will be a sensitive or difficult topic to discuss for many of our subscribers. As with all our meetings, this call will be run in line with our moderation policy. You can find more information at https://www.braillists.org/staysafe/moderation/

This Evening, Batch Cooking

Although Emma is taking a break, our clever cooking sessions are continuing to run by popular demand!
This week, Ben and Liam will be taking over the Braillists kitchen, talking about batch cooking.
Do you ever find yourself too busy or tired to cook in the middle of the week?
Cooking large quantities of food at the weekend, and freezing portions for future consumption could well be the answer!
Ben and Liam will be discussing simple recipes that scale and freeze well, as well as adaptations you can use to make a variety of dishes from one simple recipe.
Join us in the Braillists kitchen to share hints, tips and recipes with our friendly group.

This Friday, BrailleCast live: Robert Englebretson

Join us as Robert Englebretson, professor of linguistics at Rice University in Houston, Texas, records a special live edition of our BrailleCast podcast.
Robert has been internationally recognised for his work updating and completing the Braille version of the international phonetic alphabet, a system for transcribing the pronunciation of words accurately. Print IPA uses a combination of Latin, Greek and special characters to transcribe every single sound the human mouth can produce. Until Robert’s work, however, the Braille IPA code was incomplete and out to date.
The lack of a workable Braille IPA code put blind students and professionals at a considerable disadvantage. In diverse fields from scientific linguistics to speech and language therapy or performing arts, the IPA is essential for understanding the sounds of language, and often the only way to understand the pronunciation of a word without hearing a native speaker.
Over the course of the hour, we’ll be talking to Robert about his work completing the Braille IPA code, the importance of specialised Braille codes to blind students and professionals and his research interest in braille reading and writing from the perspective of the cognitive sciences.
If you are unable to make the live recording, you can email any questions for Robert to [email protected] and listen to the recording at www.braillecast.com when it goes live.
We found this video useful in giving a fuller overview of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Although the video is not fully described, the presenter goes over the table he mentions line by line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uZam0ubq-Y