TABLE: Toward a Better Linguistics Environment, a colloquium series taking place this fall, continues on Monday, October 11, with a talk by Robert Englebretson (Rice), held via Zoom and in person in Dwinelle 370 (hybrid) from 3-4:30pm. Those who would like to attend, including Berkeley linguists, need to register for the event regardless of mode of attendance (Zoom registration; in-person registration). The talk is entitled "Linguistics, blindness, and braille: Deconstructing sight-centric assumptions and promoting diversity in teaching and research," and the abstract is as follows:
This talk focuses on blindness as a source of diversity in linguistics teaching and research. I will highlight how enhancing the accessibility of our field enables greater participation, which then feeds back into broader and more diverse research perspectives. I will begin by discussing my work on IPA Braille (Englebretson 2009), which sought to improve general access to our field for blind students and professionals. I will then turn to a discussion of braille as a tactile writing system, and what the unique aspects of (English) braille orthography contribute to the cognitive and reading sciences (e.g. Fischer-Baum and Englebretson 2016). I will conclude with a brief introduction to an ongoing federally-funded multi-disciplinary research project that seeks to address some of the potential barriers to braille literacy (Fischer-Baum, Englebretson, and Holbrook).