Tell Me Something Good: A Braille lab

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It sounds like something out of a sci/fi novel. But the Star Lab at the Onondaga County Public Library in downtown Syracuse is a little more down to earth than that.

Library volunteer Ellen Bartlett says a genetic condition took most of her usable vision when she was just six years old. But with help from her adaptive technology, she lives on her own and works from home, testing websites for accessibility.

January is Braille Literacy Month, and the Star Lab has a device that converts the printed word to braille text.

For folks with low vision, the lab offers technology that enlarges the printed page to make it more readable. And other devices scan the text and read it out loud. The lab is particularly popular with seniors.

Right now, the Star Lab at the Central Library is open from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, but are hopeful that very soon, they’ll be able to extend those hours.

Ellen has been helping Maggie and the library staff update braille books created decades ago, and weed out outdated videos with descriptive audio, including some old Christmas VHS tapes.

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