Update on Blind Center turning project

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sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,246
Location
Phoenix, AZ
We are now in our fifth year of turning at the blind center. When the director printed out a list of all the turners we have worked with since it started it was 41 pages long! One of our most experienced blind turners has been asked by our local Rockler to do a turning demonstration later this month. She is over the moon!

Mark just sent us some of the beautiful olive wood blanks from George in Australia. My blind and deaf turner used one today to make a keychain. It turned out beautiful.

He is one of my favorite turners. He comes in with a laptop and a braille keyboard. He sets it up himself on my desk and we chat about what it is he wants to do. I use the laptop and he uses the braille keyboard. Then we go to the lathe and if I have to communicate with him, I can fingerspell into his hands with American Sign Language fingerspelling alphabet. (Haven't used it in 30 years and had to relearn it!) He can speak quite clearly, since he lost his hearing after he lost his sight. He has been blind since he was a small child. He is VERY independent and wants to do everything himself. We have gone to using a lathe based pen press because it gives my blind turners much more control over the assembly process, so he even assembles the pens and keychains himself. Most of my turners use sound to judge when they are at the bushings, but he does it all by touch. He has the most amazingly sensitive fingers! He can feel the vibration through the tool when he touches the bushings.

Needless to say, I am still having a wonderful time with these turners!
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
13,663
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Sharon, thank you for this update ... it is wonderful to hear about the progress your turners have made and are continuing to make.

It is also wonderful to hear about the interesting methods they develop for their own needs.

Thanks again for sharing experiences you are having with these very special and talented people !!
 
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