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Louisiana Girl Spending Summer Translating Restaurant Menus Into Braille

Photo: flickr / lissalou66

This is just a really great story: 15 year old Sophie Trist, a sophomore at Mandeville High School and cousin of New Orleans restaurateur Dickie Brennan, is spending her summer translating local restaurant menus into braille. The incredibly uplifting story was presented by the Louisiana Restaurant Association last month, sitting dormant until being picked up by Jezebel blogger (and Eater contributor) Doug Barry this morning.

Trist, who is blind herself, has taken it upon herself to help those with her impairment be able to order n restaurants a little more independently.

Writes the LRA's Wendy Waren:

Brennan's cousin, Sophie Trist, is a 15-year-old blind student who is currently a rising sophomore at Mandeville High School. As she strives to learn the skills she will need to be a successful, independent adult, one hurdle she's encountered is the lack of braille menus in restaurants.
As Trist told Waren, "If a sighted person does not accompany me, the simple task of ordering off of a menu becomes a challenge."

Realizing she wasn't the only one facing this hurdle, she skipped the teenage ritual of finding a tedious summer job and instead started her own business. For only $20, she takes a restaurant's menu and creates a braille version to help other visually impaired diners order independently. Though the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn't require restaurants to offer braille menus, this is still an awesome step towards greater inclusivity for the restaurant owners that decide to do it.

· Visually-Impaired Teen Offers Braille Menu Transcription [LRA]
· Visually-Impaired Teen Starts Clever Braille Menu Business

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