Braille Business Cards

For many years I resisted having business cards. When asked, I’d say “I don’t do analog” and the moment passed in laughter. Now I find I need business cards. I most certainly wanted Braille on my business cards. I care deeply about accessibility, so my business card will be accessible. I set out to find out about Braille business cards.

There are two main ways to get Braille on your business cards. Stick-on labels are the easiest. Most printers offering Braille will make them for you. The other way is for the printer to emboss the Braille directly on your card. Labels only require that you place the order, embossing requires that you send your cards to be embossed. So labels take the least amount of steps and planning.

I decided that I had the time for embossing. There are a number of businesses offering this service. I got some recommendations from Twitter. A number of people chimed in: @Acuity_Design, @clifftyll@Accessible_jobs and a few others.

Sam J @mixolydian recommended Access-USA where they charge $65.95 for 500 cards. Also recommended by @johnfoliot is T-Base Communications which charges $59.95 for 500 cards.  Both of these services offer to take your existing cards and emboss them. Not included in the price is the cost of printing the cards, shipping the cards to them, and shipping the cards back to me.

I’m starting fresh with new cards, so I need printing and embossing. I looked for another solution and found Morning Print located in Irvine, California. They do both printing and Braille finishing for $45.94 for 200 cards including shipping and tax. They use UV activated clear ink for the Braille which is different from the true embossing offered by other companies. The resulting price is about the same for all three companies, but Morning Print offered me one-stop service. I’m waiting to feel the results.

L.A. Accessibility Meetup

In June of this year I started the Los Angeles Accessibility and Inclusive Design Group. We now have 45 members. Our August meetup was at the Santa Monica Apple Third Street Promenade store. Cara Quinn, an iOS developer, did a demo of VoiceOver on iOS. Cara develops iOS apps at LookTell.

Cara uses VoiceOver constantly so this was an expert guided tour. She demonstrated an inaccessible app, and compared that with accessible apps. Very enlightening.

For just one example: developers, please don’t name your buttons but1, but2, but3. If a user depends on the name of the button they will be lost. Name your buttons semantically, and meaningfully. You will enhance your product and elevate its reputation.

We are working with other Los Angeles Meetup groups to spread the word, The Los Angeles PHP Developers Group (LAPHP), and The Los Angeles User Experienc­e Meetup with thousands of members each.

The incredible wealth of support and information represented by Meetup groups in Santa Monica is a sign of very healthy economic development. Santa Monica is known as Silicon Beach because of all the tech development happening here. I’m glad to be making accessiblity a part of it with the Los Angeles Accessibility and Inclusive Design Group.