Telephone Pioneers Braillewriter Repair Volunteers - Thank you, Mr. James Fowler!

When an individual works 18 or more years in the United States or Canada in the telephone business they are eligible to join a service organization called the Telephone Pioneers. This service organization was founded in 1911 to offer, according to their creed, “Fellowship, Loyalty and Service” for the telephone repairmen. Members recognized as a group of volunteers who are dedicated to braillewriter repair. James Fowler (pictured above) has repaired braillewriters for 9 years.

APH Light Touch Perkins Braillewriter

APH Light Touch Perkins Braillewriter

Finding a braillewriter repair service can be difficult. As a result, handling the braillewriter appropriately is the best way to delay or prevent problems from occurring.

Excerpt directly from APH Light Touch Manual.

  • When you are not using your APH Light-Touch Perkins Brailler®, push the paper release levers away from you, and cover it with the dust cover. Dust combines with oil to form an abrasive paste which can damage the machine over time.
  • Try not to drop your brailler. Though it is designed to withstand normal wear and tear and deliver years of service, it is a precision machine which can be damaged by a fall.
  • The brailler is thoroughly oiled at the factory with non-oxidizing oil, so you should not oil it yourself. Only non-oxidizing oil should be used. Oiling should be done by a trained brailler repair technician; otherwise, your brailler may be permanently damaged or made inoperable.
  • The brailler is made of aluminum, with enamel baked on to protect it. Though hard, this surface will chip if knocked about. The keys, knobs and carriage lever are made of hard plastic. Though durable, a sharp object can scratch them. Please handle your brailler with care.
  • Do not leave the brailler in hot places such as on a radiator or in direct sunlight. The rubber on the bottom of the machine and in the paper feed roller could degrade.
  • Though the brailler is designed to withstand corrosion, try not to expose it to excessive dampness. Exposing the machine to salt water and spilling liquid into it are particularly damaging.
  • If you travel with your brailler, use a carrying case if you have one. Try to keep the brailler from getting jostled, and do not check it as baggage if at all possible. A soft-sided carrying case is available from Perkins Solutions and works especially well for transporting the machine or storing it when not in use.

Perkins Braillewriter

Perkins Braillewriter

Excerpt directly from Perkins Braille Writer Manual.

  • Store your brailler in a clean dry environment; humid and moist conditions can accelerate corrosion of the metal components.
  • Clean the exterior of your brailler on a regular basis using a lint free cloth and soft bristle brush.
  • Always keep your brailler covered when not in use; doing this will keep dust and debris from entering your brailler and avoid premature loss of motion (sluggish action) to the keys and carriage assembly.
  • Send your brailler in to a certified Perkins repair center for regular service; we recommend every 3 – 5 years under normal use. For brailler writers that are heavily used or exposed to harsh environmental conditions, service more frequently.

Braillewriter Cleaning

Braillewriter Cleaning

School districts and teachers of students have been known to clean the braillewriters when small problems arise. According to Perkins, 60-80% of braillewriter problems can be fixed by cleaning the machine. Perkins School for the Blind does provide 6 step-by-step instructional videos that will guide the viewer through the process of taking apart, cleaning, and putting the braillewriter back together. It is important to carefully review all of the videos, gather the needed supplies, and develop a plan before attempting to take the braillewriter apart to clean it. 

Braillewriter Cleaning Videos

Request Repair Service

Request Repair Service

A Telephone Pioneer volunteers at KSSB every Tuesday morning from 8 a.m. to noon, cleaning and repairing broken braillewriters.  To request this service, email Toni Harrellcreate new email in advance. Use Free Matter for the Blind to ship the box to the School for the Blind. Before sealing the package, enclose a note with a description of the problems with the braillewriter.

Ship to:

  • Kansas School for the Blind
  • c/o Braille Writer Repair
  • 1100 State Ave
  • Kansas City, Kansas 66102
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