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Clayton found this lovely article about some clever posters written in Braille with the theme of equal treatment for the blind.
Only problem - the posters had no other headline than the braille, so the seeing could not read them, also they were placed behind protective glass, so the blind could not read them. So the equal treatment message fell on deaf ears. *bada-bing-tssck!*
"Unfortunately, no one knows what it says because it has been put inside a display case with a glass front," the magazine noted in its feedback section, a regular feature about life's ironies and tidbits from around the world.
In this week's edition of New Scientist, Patricia Finney of Truro, county Cornwall, England, wrote in to say that the U of A isn't alone. The Truro Leisure Centre has signs directing people to the showers and exits in letters and in braille.
"The only trouble is, the dots are flush with the plastic and so can't be felt at all," she wrote.
But before anyone calls the U of A's human-rights office, it would be a good idea to, well, call the human-rights office, which is responsible for the posters that are indeed in braille and in 25 display cases around the campus.
Things are not as they might appear to some, said office director Janet Smith. The striking poster, entitled Finding your voice, is one of several on human-rights themes commissioned by the office in recent years. The limited-edition posters (about 100 were printed) are kept behind glass to protect them. Some are offered for sale at $10 each, Smith said.
The latest print is by fine arts student Rebecca Beardmore. It is intended, according to an accompanying explanation, to highlight "the feeling of exclusion faced by certain sectors of society," notwithstanding the rapid advances in communications technology.
The writings in braille are a lengthy description of images conveyed in the print. "There is a sharp crease on the left eyebrow just above the bridge of the nose," it begins. "Perhaps it's really the right eyebrow depending on how you look at it."
Smith said it's always possible to leap to conclusions.
"If you take a single view of something without putting it in context, in its total environment, yes, it's a braille piece behind glass."