Staying in Touch: Personalize Your Networking with Accessibility

Despite being in the age of easy connectivity and high tech devices, the humble business card still reigns supreme when it comes to networking. But what happens when you give a business card to someone who can’t see what is written on it?

The music industry, like many others both in and out of the entertainment industry, thrives on networking. And among the countless cards one is bound to gather at a networking event, it is important to present oneself in a way that stands out. This can be done, quite literally, by the simple act of adding braille to cards which in turn makes them both unique, and more importantly, accessible. After switching to brailled cards myself, I have found them to be an interesting conversation starter, and have inevitably received many questions as to how to have them made. So here is my guide on adding that special touch to your cards, both for blind musicians and for the sighted looking to make their networking a little more inclusive.

The Cards

There are two important things to keep in mind when selecting the cards themselves. First, the material they are made of must be thick enough to hold braille dots. Braille is typically written on 80 to 100 pound paper, so the card stock used for your cards should at least meet these standards in order to remain legible over time. In addition to using thick card stock, braille can better be preserved through the use of a rigid business card case, which can be found anywhere office supplies are sold. This protects them from being battered or rubbed to the point where the braille becomes dull over time. Second, it is important to consider the design of your card. A wonderful option is the folded business cards on Vistaprint. This particular design, which consists of a larger piece of card stock folded in half to be the size of a regular business card, allows for a traditional business card design on one flap and an empty flap perfect for including the brailled information. However, it is important to note that the cards do not come folded, though they do have a tactile crease, so that sighted help is necessary to orient oneself if blind so as to know which side is the blank one.

The Braille

Once you have your cards, it is then time to consider how you will have them brailled. For those familiar enough with braille to write it, it can be done by hand using a business card slate. This particular model provides the added benefit of a signature guide. For those who do not know braille, or do know braille and would prefer to dish out some money to avoid the tedious work of brailling by hand, a braille business card stamp will do the trick. The unit is designed with your information, and once you receive it, you simply insert a business card into it and squeeze to have the text pressed into the card.

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