For your convenience, all Reader’s Forum submissions are separated by the ## symbol.
In response to Op Ed with Bob Branco – Highway Robbery, Wesley wrote:
I can only assume that Bob Branco doesn’t understand the fundamentals of supply and demand. Braille literacy has drastically dropped from 50% in the 1960′s to 10% in the new millennium for school aged kids. With the invention of screen readers and voice activated products, blind and visually impaired persons are simply not learning braille. This means the market size for Braille watches is very small, and thus the cost to produce a specialized product will be higher. Since the market size for talking watches is significantly larger, and even serves persons who are not considered blind or visually impaired, the good news is as Mr. Branco mentioned, talking watches are readily available, and are also available from online sources for a more reasonable price.
However, I also want to mention that the quality of the talking watches I have purchased are very poor, and I have replaced these literally once a year. Also, is it possible that the quality of materials and parts utilized in the Braille watch are better and thus warrant a higher price?
In response to Op Ed with Bob Branco – Highway Robbery, Travis R. wrote:
I understand your frustration as I am sure many do. I think you hit on two key items as to why, however.
1. It is an adaptation, someone has to do it, and this requires a manufacturer process. Since there are not many needed we do not get economy of scale.
2. You mention you do not have the skill. Exactly. So it is paying someone who does to do the work.
I also wanted to comment on the talking watch recommendation. This could be good. However, I would still encourage the user to try a braille watch. If he can use it he may enjoy the privacy of it and that may be worth the extra cost. For me, this is the case. I do not want others to know I am curious how long a meeting has been dragging on, for example. In addition, a braille watch does not require the use of sound. Again a bonus for privacy. It is also easier to use in a noisy environment, or for someone who has difficulty hearing.