Got to work today with a blind/deaf turner

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Well-Known Member
May 11, 2010
Phoenix, AZ
I got to work with Dani at the blind center today. He is both totally blind and profoundly deaf. He uses a braille keyboard connected to a laptop to communicate....he types on the braille keyboard and I use the laptop. So when he comes in, he sets up the laptop and keyboard and we discuss what he wants to make, what kind of wood, what kind of shape, etc. Then we go to the lathe and make it. He is becoming a very good turner. He is very independent and spent almost an hour in an orientation class before he started turning. He basically took the lathe apart and put it back together again! So when he turns, he does all the adjustments himself. Sometimes I have to fine tune it, but he is very good. I am learning to fingerspell the blind/deaf alphabet, which is totally different from the American Sign Language fingerspelling alphabet, so we don't have to stop and go back to the computer every time I need to tell him something.

He is such a joy to work with, very dedicated and has a wicked sense of humor! I'd guess he is in his mid to late twenties and has been blind from birth and deaf since he was about five years old.

Sly Dog

Active Member
Nov 16, 2018
Boise, Idaho
That is such a cool story and what a great person he must be. Since I joined the IAP not too long ago, I’ve followed many of your threads, Sharon, because my father-in-law was sight impaired much of his adult life. He wasn’t a turner but enjoyed woodworking. As a Korean War vet, he was able to spend some time at a VA rehab facility - I think the one in American Lake, Washington- and made an amazing jewelry box. There are some invaluable VA benefits for blind veterans out there. So your student is amazing, but so is the work you are doing!

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