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Braille Literacy: Resources for Learning and Reading

2018

This reference publication covers a broad scope of resources for learning braille. Part One has been revised to list resources by the age of the prospective learner. Part Two lists resources for braille transcribers and teachers, covering literary braille, music, foreign language, and scientific notations. Part Three is a bibliography that includes citations from the fields of education, psychology, neurology, and computer science. Lastly, Part Four lists organizations that offer braille instruction, referrals, and other resources. Unless otherwise indicated, items listed are not part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) program and their listing does not imply endorsement.

Contents

Part One: Braille Literacy through the Lifetime
Emergent Braille Literacy for Babies and Toddlers
Braille Literacy for Children
Braille Literacy for Teens
Braille Literacy for Adults
Braille Literacy for Older Adults

Part Two: For Professionals Working with Braille
Resources for Braille Transcribers
Resources for Teachers

Part Three: Bibliography

Part Four: Directories
National Resource Organizations for Braille Literacy
State Directory for Further Information and Referrals
Where to Locate Materials Listed in This Publication

Part One: Braille Literacy through the Lifetime

Emergent Braille Literacy for Babies and Toddlers

Braille Activities for Children

Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness External
Lists activities for children age 3 and older who are visually impaired. Includes both games that can be made at home and games that are for purchase.

Braille and Literacy

WonderBaby.org External
www.wonderbaby.org/braille-and-literacy
Provides product reviews and advice on introducing toddlers with visual impairments to braille.

Braille Made Easy through Clip Art External
Merry-Noel Chamberlain, Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness
Features fun illustrations to teach braille to young children.

Braille Tales Print/Braille Book Program
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library External
American Printing House for the Blind
Provides six free print/braille books a year for children five and under.

Bumpy Basics: Board Books to Introduce Toddlers to Literacy
National Braille Press External
Sells print picture books adapted with braille labels. Intended for parents to introduce toddlers to braille.

Development
American Printing House for the Blind External
Sells array of concept and sensory development products. Includes games, puzzles, and toys.

Dots for Tots
Braille Institute Braille Special Collection External
Provides multi-sensory storybook kits for children aged 2 to 5.

Emergent Literacy
Paths to Literacy External
Shares blog posts from experts, parents, and teacher of infants and toddlers developing braille and language skills.

Emergent Literacy Products
American Printing House for the Blind External
Sells array of pre-braille and early reading products. Includes visual/tactile storybooks, games, and more.

Helping Your Blind or Visually Impaired Baby Learn about Reading and Writing
FamilyConnect
American Foundation for the Blind External
Suggests ways to develop literacy readiness for children who are visually impaired.

Literacy & Pre-Braille for Young Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Perkins Scout
Perkins School for the Blind External
Shares curated list of links on topics including early foundations of literacy, emergent literacy, prebraille skills, and reinforcing reading skills.

Making Tactile Books
Marion Ripley
ClearVision Project External
Provides guidance for making tactile books at home for children with visual impairments.

Making Tactile Books
Marion Ripley and Amy Palmer
Tactile Book Advancement Group External
Shares information on how to make tactile books for children who are visually impaired. Includes information for publishers and about buying tactile books.

Motor Activities to Encourage Pre-Braille Skills
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired External
Lists activities for infants and toddlers developing pre-braille motor skills.

National Lekotek Center Toy Lending Library
National Lekotek Center External
Lends more than 50,000 toys specially curated by the Lekotek Center’s Family Play Specialists. Toys develop pre-braille motor skills and lay a solid foundation for entry into school.

Patterns Prebraille Program
Hilda Caton, Eleanor Pester, Eddy Jo Bradley
American Printing House for the Blind
Prepares children for learning to read braille. Available in braille. Purchased from the American Printing House for the Blind store at catalog number 6-78360-00 External.

Print-Braille-and-Picture Books in Uncontracted Braille
Seedlings: Braille Books for Children External
Sells tactile illustrations, print/braille, and braille books for infants and young children.

Reading and Making Tactile Books with Your Child
Family Connect
American Foundation for the Blind: Family Connect External
Describes methods for making tactile books with your child at home. Includes advice on how to add tactile graphics and braille to commercial print books.

Sensory Development Products
American Printing House for the Blind External
Sells books, toys, and other products designed to help children who are visually impaired increase their sense of touch.

Tactile Skills Matrix
Karen J. Poppe
American Printing House for the Blind External
Helps parents and teachers of children with visual impairment locate products for purchase to improve pre-braille skills such as hand skills, shape recognition, spatial understanding, and texture discrimination. Updated regularly.

Tactual Readiness
Carmen Willings
Teaching Students with Visual Impairments External
Describes activities for pre-braille students developing finger sensitivity. Includes links to PDF list of motor activities to develop pre-braille skills and various pre-braille sensory books, toys, and games available from the American Printing House for the Blind.

Telling Stories through Touch: Communicating Tactile Story Ideas to Young Visually Impaired Children
Neil Johnson
Tactile Book Advancement Group External
Offers in-depth guidance on how to make tactile books for children who are visually impaired.

The Ultimate Toy Guide for Blind Children
Amber Bobnar
WonderBaby.org External
Provides reviews and advice on choosing developmental toys for babies and toddlers who are blind to prepare for language learning.

Braille Literacy for Children

Because Books Matter: Reading Braille Books with Young Blind Children
Carol Castellano
National Braille Press External
Promotes braille literacy and the importance of families with blind children reading print/braille books together. Includes introductory information on the braille code. Also available in Spanish.

Braille Activities for Children
Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness
Louisiana Tech University External
Suggests activities for teaching braille to young children.

The Braille Beginner: A Constructive Learner
Kerstin Fellenius
Future Reflections
National Federation of the Blind External
Explores how children’s home and classroom environments play a key role in braille literacy.

Braille Bug
American Foundation for the Blind External
Introduces children to braille fundamentals. Offers links the Helen Keller Kids Museum Online, information on the life of Louis Braille, games, and a reading club.

Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning
BELL Academy
National Federation of the Blind External
Prepares blind and low vision children, ages 4 to 12, to grow into confident and independent blind people who will live the lives they want.

Braille Lessons from Dots for Families
Paths to Literacy External
Helps parents of visually impaired children learn the basics of braille.

Braille Letter Drill
H. Randolph Latimer
American Printing House for the Blind
Assists in practicing braille memorization. Available in braille and print. May be purchased from the American Printing House for the Blind store at catalog number 5-17210 External.

Braille Literacy Pals Club
Early Childhood Initiative Program
National Federation of the Blind External
Promotes braille literacy among families and encourages parents and other caregivers to read daily with their children up to age 8. Participants receive supporting material from the National Federation of the Blind.

braille | SCHOOL
Sensory Sun External
Offers braille classes for parents of children with visual impairments. Online store sells educational flash cards and games aimed at teaching elementary aged children braille, alphabetic order, early learning words, and Nemeth braille. Blog and product reviews round out the site.

The Braille Superstore
MarvelSoft Enterprises, Inc. External
Sells more than 500 braille and print/braille books, games, and toys for children with visual impairment ages 1–9.

Building on Patterns: Primary Braille Literacy Program: Kindergarten Student Kit: UEB
American Printing House for the Blind
Provides a complete primary literacy program designed to teach beginning braille users all language arts—reading, writing, and spelling. Student textbooks are UEB-compliant. Available in braille and print. Purchase from the American Printing House for the Blind store at catalog number 6-78550. External

Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL)
Center for Evidence-Based Practices
Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute External
Provides resources for early childhood literacy intervention for parents, teachers, librarians, and researchers of children with visual impairment and other disabilities.

Children’s Braille Book Club
National Braille Press External
Offers subscribers a different print/braille book each month for children preschool to grade 3.

Games and Worksheets
Royal Blind External
Provides fun games to learn basic braille.

Good-bye Grade School!
FamilyConnect
American Foundation for the Blind External
Discusses how to prepare students with visual impairment for middle school. Includes information on ordering an assistive technology assessment, braille note-taking, and new reading demands.

Hadley Family Education Program
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired External
Provides courses for family members of individuals who are blind or severely visually impaired, including child development and reading and writing braille for the sighted.

Just Enough to Know Better, UEB Version
National Braille Press
Helps parents increase their awareness of braille to support their children’s braille literacy. Updated for UEB. Purchased Just Enough to Know Better, UEB Version External

Math Window
https://mathwindow.com External
Sells kits that teach basic braille math, braille algebra, and braille geometry using magnetic 1/2-inch tiles with Nemeth Code or UEB and large-print lettering.

Power at Your Fingertips: An Introduction to Learning Braille
American Printing House for the Blind
Includes video lessons on the braille alphabet and numbers; use of the slate, stylus, and braillewriter; and an introduction to contractions. Available in DVD. Purchase from the American Printing House for the Blind store at catalog number 1-30033 External

ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters!
National Braille Press External
Provides free braille book bags to families with blind and visually impaired children ages birth to 7. Bag includes a print/braille book, order form for free braille primer, tactile ball, print/braille alphabet card, and more.

The Rose Project
Seedlings: Braille Books for Children External
Provides students grade 1–12 who are blind with free braille translations of any article from the World Book Encyclopedia.

Tips and Tools for Teaching Beginning Braille Skills
Cheryl Brown
Paths to Literacy External
Shares tips and tools for young beginning braille readers who have received preschool instruction and are ready to learn braille.

Top Dot
Braille Institute Braille Special Collection External
Provides materials for parents of visually impaired children ages 4 to 7 years old.

UEB Braille Flashcards for Contracted Braille Practice
Sensory Sun
Helps learners review the twenty-three UEB Alphabetic Wordsign Contractions. Can be used alongside the Braille Bee: Spelling for Kids app. Purchase UEB Braille Flashcards for Contracted Braille Practice External.

Word PlayHouse Kit
American Printing House for the Blind
Teaches phonics along with braille reading skills. Available in large print and braille. Teacher-made video included. as catalog number 1-03562-00″>Purchase Word PlayHouse Kit from the American Printing House for the Blind store External

Braille Literacy for Teens

Books for High-Schoolers
Braille Bookstore External
Sells books in braille for teens ages 14 to 18. Includes bestsellers and popular genres.

Braille Challenge
The Braille Institute External
Challenges children and teens to improve their braille reading comprehension, writing speed and accuracy, proofreading, spelling, and reading tactile charts and graphs. Fifty winners are invited to Los Angeles.

Braille Writing Contest
National Federation of the Blind External
Shares information on free braille writing contest for teens and young adults.

College Bound: A Guide for Students with Visual Impairments, 2nd Edition
Ellen Trief
American Foundation for the Blind
Advises college-bound students with visual impairments. Includes information on how to advocate for alternative formats. Available in a variety of formats. Purchase as ISBN 978-0-89128-739-1 External

Dictionary of Braille Music Signs
Bettye Krolick
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped External
Lists more than 400 music signs and 100 literary abbreviations in braille. Patrons of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped may obtain it from the NLS Music Section in braille as BRM26334 and in large print as LPM00428.

Digital Dots
Braille Institute Braille Special Collection External
Provides books in braille for high school readers.

How to Read Braille Music, 2nd Edition, 1998
Bettye Krolick
Opus Technologies
Provides a book written at a fifth grade reading level for blind music students in a variety of formats. New edition has additional sections for guitar chords and reflects the latest changes in the braille music code. Includes “Tips for Sighted Music Teachers.” Purchase Tips for Sighted Music Teachers here as ISBN 1-892195-06-2 External. Patrons of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped may obtain it from the NLS music section in braille as BRM29811 and in large print as LPM00638.

An Introduction to Music for the Blind Student: A Course in Braille Music Reading
Richard Taesch
Dancing Dots
Provides a range of exercises for students with visual impairment learning to read braille music. Purchase Dancing Dots External. Patrons of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped may obtain them from the NLS music section in braille as BRM34079 and BRM34080 and in large print as LPM00662 and LPM00664.

Who’s Afraid of Braille Music: An Short Introduction and Resource Handbook for Parents and Students
Richard Taesch and William McCann
Dancing Dots
Provides lessons, assignments, and a short introduction to braille music for students and parents. Purchase Who’s Afraid of Braille MusicExternal. Patrons of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped may obtain them from the NLS music section in braille as BRM32949 and in large print as LPM00660.

Braille Literacy for Adults

Braille Connection, Mentoring Manual: A Braille Reading and Writing Program for Former Print Users
Eleanor Pester
American Printing House for the Blind
www.aph.org/files/manuals/7-11102-00.pdf External
www.aph.org/files/manuals/5-11102-V1.brf External
Teaches braille reading and writing to adults. Purchase as catalog numbers 5-11102-00 (braille) and 7-11102-00 (regular print) External.

Braille Information for Adults
National Federation of the Blind External
Lists books, articles, research, and other resources for adults learning braille.

Demystifying Braille
Dotless Braille External
Introduces print-disabled adults looking for a way to start learning braille to the elegant braille systems before teaching braille cells. Parents and teachers of children with visual impairment may also benefit from this holistic introduction to braille.

Hadley Adult Continuing Education Program
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired External
Provides braille reading courses geared towards adults and teens age 14 or older who are blind or visually impaired.

High Tech Swap Shop
American Council of the Blind External
Provides community board for selling used products including braille note takers and refreshable braille displays.

Learning Braille as a Mature Adult
Mike Jolls
Braille Monitor
National Federation of the Blind External
Describes the pleasures and challenges of learning braille as an adult.

Strategies and Resources for Teaching Braille to Adults
American Foundation for the Blind External
Shares practical strategies for teaching braille to adults. Includes textbooks written with the adult braille learner in mind, courses, and other resources.

Braille Literacy for Older Adults

All about Braille
American Foundation for the Blind External
Introduces braille. Includes resources for adults learning braille and resources for adults with decreased finger sensitivity learning braille.

Courses for Senior Adults with Vision Loss
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired External
Offers seniors with vision loss free online and correspondence courses. Includes tactile readiness, the braille alphabet, uncontracted braille, and contracted braille.

Jumbo Braille
Perkins School for the Blind External
Offers a collection of Jumbo Braille to adults with visual impairment across the country. Jumbo Braille is helpful for individuals who have an impaired sense of touch and impaired eye sight.

New Approaches to Consider: Suggestions for Individuals with Recent Vision Loss
Romona Walhof
National Federation of the Blind, Seattle, Washington External
Describes how older adults with recent vision loss can maintain an independent lifestyle, including learning braille at an older age.

Reading & Writing for Adults and Seniors with Vision Loss
Perkins Scout
Perkins School for the Blind External
Shares tips for older adults with vision loss interested in learning braille. Includes a list of web-based organizations and internet resources for learning to read and write braille later in life.

The World at My Fingertips
Norma L. Schechter
Beach Cities Braille Guild
Discusses braille using jumbo braille, which is designed for adults with poor tactile sensitivity. Contact the Beach Cities Braille Guild for more information.