Hi there! I’m Lisa Dalton. I originally created CanDo reusable braille labels for a man I was dating –who became blind many years ago after a motorcycle accident as a teen.
In June 2018, I organized all of the cans in his pantry while helping him make a grocery list, and I was promptly introduced to 2 problems that so many visually impaired people face: handsy people and unreadable container labels.
Since cans and jars are essentially identical to each other and unreadable by the blind or visually impaired, by moving his items around, I essentially lost them for him.
After apologizing, I quietly set out to find a braille food labeling solution to try and right my wrong. The options I found included: hand brailling index cards and using rubber bands to hold them on to each item; buying expensive tech equipment that requires constant internet access; or using time-consuming apps every time you needed to distinguish one item from another. I knew these options were not practical for him.
Using my 3D printing knowledge, I decided to engineer, print, and present him with a reusable braille label set of my own design. Seeing how easily they worked for him, he encouraged me to start candoable and make these reusable braille labels available to everyone who needs them, so that’s what I’m doing.
Feedback on candoable’s mission has been incredibly positive. Since starting Candoable, I was fortunate enough to be nominated for a surprise pop-up champagne party from the CO+HOOTS Foundation. Soon after, I was the subject of a great little write up on the CO+HOOTS Foundation blog, and won 3rd place (and $1500 for candoable) in Pitch Gangplank 2018 held at the Chandler Gangplank.
Astonishingly, in February 2019 I was featured as a startup on NPR’s How I Built This podcast. (I still can’t believe it, as I love this podcast.) Listen to the full episode with JetBlue’s founder David Neeleman below or on your favorite podcast app –and if you want to hear just my portion skip to the last 5 minutes.
NPR also did a follow up on candoable in February 2020, which can be found at the end of the Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain episode with Ron Shaich (below).
Most recently, I was named a 2020 Louis Braille Touch of Genius Award for Innovation winner. This is an internationally recognized award for innovation in tactile literacy, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to advance candoable’s efforts, and inspire more people to create solutions to problems they encounter, with this title and prize.
CanDo braille labels are 3D printed at Gangplank Queen Creek, a collaborative workspace in the heart of downtown Queen Creek, Arizona. To learn more about our community, and the incredible people that made candoable possible, check out Gangplank Queen Creek here.
For more information, or to request custom braille labels for your home, school, workplace, program, or convention, please contact me (Lisa Dalton) at firstname.lastname@example.org.