Ask McFartnuggets: “Why Do Emergency Exits Have Braille Written on Them?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
Have you ever noticed that emergency exits have that red bar that says “Emergency Exit” and then there’s little tiny braille bumpies on there? What the heck is the point of that? Do they honestly think that in an emergency like a fire that a blind person will stumble around with their hands out reaching around for braille? That would be like finding a needle in a haystack times a million. Surely a blind person would be able to recognize an emergency exit just by the big bar that you push to make an alarm go off. Is there some sort of secret braille message there that’s meant just for blind people like a little easter egg treat or something? What if you’re just trying to read it and you push too hard and set off the alarm? You shouldn’t touch an emergency exit unless you need to, right? -- Lori from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dear Lori:
Well maybe it’s there so a blind person can know where the exits are at their workplace. Also, yeah they probably could gather that a long bar object on a door is an emergency exit, but when you’re blind you probably can’t just assume what things are. I’ll bet a lot of blind people have learned that lesson and once you do I’m sure you want things around you to have braille on them. You’re asking why emergency exits have braille on them and I’d ask why more things don’t have braille on them? If everything had braille on it then blind people could read the world like a giant book. That might be one possible advantage to blindness. Braille is harmless readable pimples so if they can be put on something like an emergency exit then why not? There’s no real negative to it. It’s difficult for sighted individuals to comprehend how the extremely visually impaired live. You could ask the same thing about braille on a bathroom door. Do blind people just walk around reaching for doors when they have to take a shit? Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense.

It's amazing how blind people can ever escape danger without these helpful visual aids.

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