The latest mailing I got from the federal Conservative party, under the guise that it’s from my member of parliament (Harold Albrecht), to abuse the free service from Canada Post, had something that made me laugh right away. There was some braille on it – in picture form and not the actual raised dots. Immediately I knew that the powerful Conservative Party should be made fun of for this.
Above the braille it says “SUPPORTING JOBS FOR ALL CANADIANS”. I was curious and this first braille explaining page I found on the Internet let me know that the braille was a straight cypher substitution for those shouted words.
And shouted words they are. Years ago when I was on a BBS it was explained to me that when I use all capitals, I am shouting. In those early days of linking computers up, I don’t think that italics were available on the board I used. Bolding was possible but only the more technologically proficient could use that strategy. So to emphasize words, I would use capitals. After the shouting thing was explained, I then realized that newspapers and magazines sometimes shout their headlines. Capitals are a way to get attention just like a newspaper boy shouting “EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!”
So Conservatives are shouting that headline to Canadians. But since the braille they used is pictorial and cannot be used by those with diminished sight, the Conservatives might as well be saying this to these visually disabled people from a block away.
But wait just a minute. Sometimes those with sight problems have great hearing. Perhaps some can barely hear what the Conservatives are saying.
But you see, instead of shouting, the Conservatives whisper the braille. “supporting jobs for all canadians” is all in small letters. That same page I found explaining braille also says a certain braille cell put before a word capitalizes the first letter. Two of these cells in front of a word capitalize the whole word. So yes indeed the Conservatives mean to whisper this to the visually disabled.
Why would the Conservatives whisper to the visually disabled? Mainly because only a short time ago they revamped copyright law. One sentence, put in the right place, could have made it possible for the visually impaired to change electronic format books and magazines into different formats they could then understand. Books would be as easy to get for them as most of the general public. But the Conservatives upheld the primacy of digital locks so the visually impaired are at the mercy of the copyright holders at a time when most of the big ones tend to be maximalists [There is an alleged loophole, but that might be closed]. The Conservatives failed their disabled constituency.
Oh and the Conservatives were lazy in making that cypher substitution for braille. Again, using that first braille translation page I found, Braille has contractions and cells that mean certain combinations of letters. The suffix “ing” and the word “for” have their own one cell short form. So the braille on that mass mailing I got, isn’t even conventional braille.
As well, these mass mailings from the government offend me. There is a cost to Canada Post and thus the taxpayer. So, this year from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014 I am collecting all these mailings. We’re just in our fourth week and I’ve received 3 so far.
At the end of the year I am going to count all the flyers I receive. I am then going to go to Canada Post to find out how much it would cost for a person to mail out all these. I will figure out how much my riding costs and then multiply by all the Conservative ridings in Canada to find the true cost of all this propaganda. Stay tuned.