In 1972, Dianne Todd was introduced to a sample audio recording of The Upper Room devotional guide. Being a blind woman, the talking book gave her a new means of experiencing a global community of faith. She longed for more.
It wasn’t until years later that Dianne found the braille edition of The Upper Room. Only then was she able to develop a daily routine with the devotional she fell in love with in 1972.
Dianne is now so passionate about the braille edition, that when staff from The Upper Room called braille subscribers in the summer of 2015 to update and check contact information, she feared the call was bad news: another publisher saying they were no longer going to publish in braille.
“Don’t take braille away from me!” Dianne told The Upper Room staff, who quickly reassured her that was not the purpose of the call.
Today, according to the National Federation of the Blind, under 10 percent of legally blind people in the United States read Braille, and an even smaller percent of blind children are learning it. More and more magazine and book publishers are phasing out braille publications because of the declining numbers, leaving people who rely on braille with fewer and fewer reading materials.
While The Upper Room now offers a variety of options for the sight impaired, including digital and audio options, the braille edition is still available. Generous donors help make it possible for the braille edition of the devotional guide—despite declining subscriber numbers—to continue as a tool for the blind to connect with God and to join The Upper Room’s worldwide community of prayer.
Click here to read a recent article by Brooke Pernice on Upper Room Books blog. Brooke served as an intern for The Upper Room this summer and focused on improving our braille ministry and other options for blind persons.