University of Edinburgh

"Braille is not a language, it is another way to read and write a language."

Presented on Thursday 23 November 2006

Teaching Braille Primary Focus. Preparation for Secondary.

Christine Stones TVI, Principal Teacher SLANT

Elaine Bruce TVI

The Teaching of Braille.

  • Role of the Peri TVI
  • Skills Needed
  • Routines and Responsibilities
  • Introducing the Braille Code
  • Braille in a Mainstream Class
  • Teaching Ideas
  • Transition from Primary to Secondary

“Learning to read braille is a time-consuming and complex process that requires daily instruction by a TVI.”
Swenson A “Beginning with Braille” 1999

“Each pupil is an individual challenge with unique needs . . . ”
Lorimer, P “Reading in Braille” 1994

someone reading braille

“The guiding principles of 5-14 curriculum which include continuity, cohesion and breadth of study are of equal importance in learning language skills in braille as they are in any other medium.”
Meek, M “Read On. Braille Materials for the 5-14 Curriculum. 1997

“It is assumed that the course (braille reading) will be taught by someone with a thorough knowledge of braille and its rules. . . ”
RNIB “Take Off Second Level Reading Scheme, 2000

revised brille alphabet

The Role of the Peri TVI

  • Know child.
  • Teach pre-braille skills.
  • Consult with Authority - Support for Learning Officer.
  • Report to multi-disciplinary meeting.
  • Consult with school staff.
  • Consult with parent, teacher/SLA/medics/other agencies
  • Know classroom routines and responsibilities.
  • Teach braille in the class.
  • Support full inclusive curriculum access.
  • Support full caseload

Video -”Understanding Braille Literacy “ AFB Press
Know about:

  • The braille code.
  • Instilling positive attitudes towards braille.
  • Braille in a Mainstream class.
  • Teaching braille readiness at pre-school/nursery.
  • Braille writers.
  • Braille reading schemes.
  • Effective hand movements training.
  • Fostering independence through braille.
  • Encouraging family participation.

Routines and Responsibilities

  • Parent - choice of school learning some braille supporting homework
  • Authority - funding staffing environmental adaptation transport
  • Headteacher - school ethos class size resources
  • Teacher - whole class curriculum timetable
  • Support for Learning Assistant - braille transcription pupil/teacher support
  • Teacher of visually impaired children - teaching braille braille transcription curriculum access resources

Pre-braille skills

Working with Parents - first teachers

need good resources and techniques
“Parents who take the time to learn braille, supervise homework, and become involved in the school communicate the importance of braille literacy to their child.” Swenson A 1999

Pre-braille skills

Braille for Infants - Part 1

  • motor skills development
  • auditory skills
  • language development
  • reading awareness

- Nursery experience

child with tambourine

child painting

nursery books

Introducing the Braille Code

Difficult choices to make -

Grade 1

  • quick start
  • good for phonetic learning
  • limited availability
  • better for pupils with ASN?
  • significant relearning if transition to G2

or Grade 2?

  • slow start
  • more common
  • large availability

Braille reading

  • easier to learn code in order

or Transcribed scheme class scheme?

  • work with peer group no gradual intro to code

How can braille lessons be included in the daily routine?
How much support will be given?
What adaptations need to be made to the school environment?

Introducing the Braille Code

  • Braille for Infants Part 2 - manual, 27 books, 2 tapes, progress checklist
  • Abi books
  • Take Off - second stage, manual, 62 books, contractions, wordsigns
  • Read On - extension readers to Take Off books, reflect Scottish context, print version available
  • Class reading schemes - Oxford Reading Tree, Literacy World
  • Check your braille, Burns Code

Braille in a Mainstream Class

  • Total Immersion
  • Daily task board / Timetable
  • Activities board
  • Points chart / Teacher stickers
  • Calendar / Labels
  • Jotters / Folders
  • All class work / braille library
  • Whole school
  • Practical lessons / Visiting teachers
  • Games / Wet play activities
  • Blackboard / Wall charts
  • Homework
  • Newsletters
  • Coat hook / tray

draughts board

Teaching Ideas - Resources

  • 3 Perkins braillers
  • perkins brailler
  • Electronic Brailler / Braillenote
  • Computer/Duxbury braille translator
  • Embosser / paper
  • braille embosser
  • Printer
  • Scanner / Textbridge Pro software
  • Video magnifier
  • Class computer / large monitor
  • computer monitor
  • Screen Reader / JAWS
  • Zyfuse heat machine / swell paper
  • Drawing software - Apple Works 6
  • Folders (jotters) / filing
  • Braille paper / for jotters / coloured
  • Clear sticky braille paper
  • Address labels
  • braille signage

    • Touch typing resource / Read & Type
    • Dictaphone
    • Small cassette recorders /Desk cassette recorder
    • Headphones
    • headphones
    • Cassettes / foot switch
    • Talking calculator /clock / scales
    • VI Awareness pack
    • Dycem mats
    • Lap tray / clip board
    • TV / aerial splitter
    • tv set
    • Portable tables (fold up tray table)
    • Shape & measure resources
    • Braille code & rule books
    • Craft materials

    Teaching Ideas

    • Book of Lines
    • Find the space
      ==== ====== ===== ==
      lllllll lllll ll LLL
    • Find the cars on the road
      --- 7 -- 7 ----- 7
      - 7 ---- 7 -- 7 --
    • Pin the new word ‘do’
      d g d ,donna d
    • Number Book

      #a smiley face #bsmiley face smiley face

    • Tricky words - same as class
      put = sd
    • Odd one out
      w w w w r w w w w w
      I I I I I I I e I I
    • Daily Timetable / Activities Chart
      tactile picture + name in braille
    • Integrate listening, speaking, reading and writing
    • Initially focus on meaning
    • Model good literacy
    • Provide supplementary workcards/ worksheets - use minimum contractions and punctuation until taught
    • Double / triple space lines/words at the start
    • child learning braille
    • Use Clearvision books
    • clearvision book
    • Don’t try and make exact copies if they are not helpful
    • Give good support but foster independence
    • Keep diagrams simple - go easy on the swell paper
    • Use NLB books
    • Establish a daily routine
    • Ensure a good working space for pupil, TVI/SLA, resources
    • Don’t isolate pupil from peer group
    • Train class group to be tidy
    • Ensure good posture
    • Transcribe exactly for class teacher
    • Teach print alphabet too if possible
    • Introduce Touch typing at around P3
    • Teach how to use equipment
    • Teach writing in conjunction with reading
    • Teach good fingering
    • brailler fingering
    • Teach finger tracking and positioning
    • Encourage frequent checking of braille
    • Encourage a light smooth touch, left to right - talc
    • Using two hands produces the best braille readers - lots of practice needed
      two-handed braille reading
    • Teach some braille to friends /class
    • Don’t give extra writing from class
    • Do preparation so book can be read easily
    • Cloze procedure - number spaces and pupil brailles numbered list
    • Teach letter reversals
    • Speed reading encouraged with good scanning
    • Make learning fun so the children want to learn

    • Braille what the class teacher puts on the black/white board
    • pupil using braille notetaker
    • Ensure good mobility training
    • Encourage good organisation skills
    • JAWS training
    • Consult with class teacher regularly and get weekly timetable in advance
    • Put some work on tape
    • Support IEP - class teacher’s responsibility
    • Be flexible
    • Have a clear marking code
    • Make sure parents have print with the braille
    • Provide parents with resources to support homework
    • Library - remember blind children can get as much enjoyment from reading as sighted peers

    Other ideas
    Kids Together Club with visually impaired peer group

    kids together club

    Experiental learning can make such a difference. If you have fun, learning stays with you forever.

    transition document

    actions checklist

    actions checklist

    actions checklist