A highlight from Blind Guy Travels: Brick By Brick
Who have changed us. And for me. Lilly kill was one of those people lily met my parents in russia literally a few days before they immigrated to the us in the eighties. Lily emigrated six months later and also settled in boston where she may be sat for my older sister and then years later for me but it wasn't just babysitting leader was like another member of our family always around and always in good spirits. She wore the tiniest bit of perfume just enough so that i could tell that it was her when she entered the when i was young leader taught herself how to read and write braille. Just so she could teach me. She created braille. Mad libs for me and a rubik's cube with little braille labels marking the colors of each square. She was always keen on helping me. Experiences much of the world is i could once she even let me take the wheel while driving around the neighborhood. It was pretty terrifying for me. Lena loved it but the greatest gift of all arrived on my thirteenth birthday on that day. Nearly came over lugging big cardboard box and a big fat binder stick as a phone book on. The box was a brand label. Lego battle of albert eight hundred twenty. One pieces i was intrigued. I'd read about the online. A fortress bristling with barrels of dripping oil catapults. In castle guards. It even came with the lego camel. I never thought. I'd actually get the battle of alma though after all blind kids can't really build lego sets because the instructions are all pictures. Despite that fact. I'd always been a lego fan and leland knew she'd actually introduced me to go when she found a creative assorted pieces sitting at the end of someone's driveway on our way home from piano us and she knew i'd be excited about building this palace but the real gift wasn't the legos. It was the binder. I'm matthew schifrin. And this is blind guy. Travels from radio appeal I opened up the binder from leila and spread out before me were pages and pages of instructions describing every step of the building process. Step one take camel and put the satellites to take a flight eight by two and put it horizontally table put. India created a system for identifying each piece by its tactile qualities cejka flat to by two with connectors and describing exactly how they all fit together so that the whole set could be built by the fifth wheel and then she pre-sorted the pieces for each step in two separate bags. So i wouldn't makes up the colors that one make the person back to make the people back three making type these instructions by hand in braille art upside down. Now if you've never seen a perkins baylor imagine you're old typewriter. Way louder punchers. Little sequences of dots into thick rough paper. It only has six keys. One for each of the six dots that combine to form braille letters and numbers so instead of pushing one time like on typical keyboard. You're pressing up to six keys at a time in many different combinations and you have to really press them hard to get good. Indentation point is writing. These instructions will a lot of work. I remember in elementary school. My sated friends were obsessed with lego. Come to class with the hogwarts express or tow truck. They'd just finished. I was in. It would take me hours to finish even a small set when building with my parents. They'd have to tell me what to look for one by one and i'd go scrounging around for it in the box. The whole process was exhausting. Number next you by shoes are now years later with braille instructions. In hand i spent my entire thirteenth birthday built by bedtime. A domed middle eastern palace. Saloon before me on the kitchen takes and that's how leg for the blind began a few months after my thirteenth birthday lily was diagnosed with stage four cancer. No one knew how long she had to live. The doctor said a year at most. I was devastated but couldn't just crumple enter depressed mess. Needed certainly wasn't crumbling. She was taking it day by day. One task at a time so i did the same. Okay here. we are Insert to sticks into the leading us to record videos of us building to catch every moment of the experience. I empty bag. What when i'd call her after chemo. She returned to exhaust it to talk and she was still typing up. Lego instructions and sorting pieces into block bags with braille labels. So i could build faster. After we finished building the palace we moved on to hogwarts castle. Hard to build a pirate ship the sydney opera house in london's tower bridge as the sets come more complicated. We realized that there was an easier way for leila to translate instructions. She could just type them into a word document which i then read on my brow. Computer this streamlined. Our whole process as leader road instructions. I would build the sets checking for errors as i want can make a clicking noise around this time. I reached out to lego to see if they'd be interested in making their own text based instructions for the blind. I mean if lillian i could make instructions from our living room leg could make every set accessible problem. Right trouble was i didn't quite know who to talk to. And neither did the customer service rep. I got on the phone. So lily and i decided to launch her own website lega for the blind dot com and it kind of took off so matthew in his family friend lilia developed a system to enable blind or visually impaired people to build commercial science interviewed. Us time for kids got in touch. Now he's doing the same for kids. Everywhere and braille instructions perform. The emails started pouring in a lot of them came from blind children. Or they're sited parents requesting we make instructions for their favorite sets. Blind parents would say children also wrote to me saying that they finally understood why their kids were so obsessed with lego and telling me how great it felt that they could finally check their kids work to make sure that all the bricks run the right spots. I even got emails from cited kids. who wrote. hey. I'm not blind but this is really cool. Keep it up. I've often thought that creating techspace instructions kept leila going. They gave her purpose when things got really bad. I'd come over to her house and sit by her side building. Lego sets the oxygen concentrator word and hunt. The doctors have given her a year to live but she lived for five and they weren't five years of pain and suffering. She was energetic as always. She mentor dot Children translated books from russian to english and still made it to church almost every week. The cancer and chemo almost seemed to fade into the background. And in that time she created instructions for over forty. Lego sets leila.