September 20, 2019

Braille Gifts for the Blind Gadgeteer

Red t-shirt background studded with Braille dots spelling "Out of Sight"Brailletshirts.com has touchable t-shirts. In fact, that’s the best way to read them. Using genuine Austrian crystals or metallic studs, each Braille dot is placed by hand, then heatset onto the item so there is no irritating attachment point on the inside. To quote the site, these tees are “Quirky, different, tactile and a little bit sensual.”

The owner of Brailletshirts.com, Alice Woodside Lynch, became intrigued when she saw a Braille message in an issue of “Daredevil” (I know, it’s like a theme or something!). She became even more interested when, a short time later, she was diagnosed with macular degeneration and has since gone on to study Braille textbook transcribing.

Her training enables Lynch to use Grade 2 Braille on the t-shirts, though Grade 1 is available if you prefer. The shirts come in black, red or blue, and several styles—short sleeve, long sleeve, zip hoodie, and fleece–and there are nine different crystal colors to choose from.

The shirts can say anything you want, though an especially long phrase may cost a little extra. Here are a few of the suggested messages:

  • “2 hot 2 handle”
  • “sexy” (apparently a great looking word in Braille)
  • “cuddle”
  •  “touch me”
  • “hands off!”
  • “time to get tactile”
  •  “Brailliant!”
  • “Braille readers are leaders”
  • “If you can read this, you are too close”
  • “Differently visioned”
  • “Can you see me now?”

One design is a Braille version of the famous “I heart NY” with the heart outlined in red metal studs, but you can substitute any direct object your own little heart desires.

Brailletshirts.com also has Braille totebags and Braille jewelry. The totes are 12″ by 15″ natural cotton with a Braille manuscript-sized pocket on the front and red or navy trim on the handles and edges.  The Braille phrase of your choice is placed on the front on the pocket or on the back. The pouches are 6″ by 9″, “suitable for cosmetics, travel items, or as a tote for a notecard size slate and stylus.”  The attractive  jewelry–necklaces, earrings, and keyrings–is designed around brass or copper discs embossed with up to six cells of your choice of letter.

Give us a heads up on any cool, fun items you’ve come across in your internet travels. The gift giving season is looming.