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Functional Approach to Braille

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Presentation on theme: "Functional Approach to Braille"— Presentation transcript:

1 Functional Approach to Braille
By Donna Brostek Lee, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor University of Kentucky

2 Braille Literacy: A Functional Approach
An overview of Diane P. Wormsley’s book from AFB Press, 2004

3 Literacy Levels Emergent Literacy Basic Literacy Functional Literacy
Emergent – scribbling, telling stories, reading books with adults, logos (McDonalds) Basic – Reading, writing, spelling Functional – grocery lists, reading menus, signs, signing name

4 Functional Braille School Home Community Work

5 Approaches to Teaching Reading
Phonics Whole Language Basal Reader Literature-Based Language Experience Functional Approach Literature – Students select books based interest (hard to control content and level) Language – Students dictate books (hard to fill-in gaps, teach new words & content) Functional – Meaning centered and individualized vocab (can be linked back to language approach)

6 Functional Braille Literacy Program
A 12 step program designed for non- traditional braille learners including those with: Cognitive impairments Deaf-blindness Physical limitations

7 Step 1: Determine whether braille will be the literacy medium, and which form of braille to use
Functional Vision/Learning Media Assessment Contracted or Uncontracted braille? Differences between learning to read print and braille?

8 Step 2: Create a braille-rich environment
Create labels for the classroom and home Model reading and writing braille Books Braille writer State and stylus Notetakers and refreshable braille displays

9 What’s Wrong with this Picture?

10 It Helps to Know Braille!

11 Step 3: Select the individualized reading and writing vocabulary
Words of meaning Part of the daily routine Calendars Interview Parents/Caregivers Teachers

12 Step 4: Create word boxes and flash cards and teach the first key words
Elements of a good flash card: Size (at least 3x5) Top right corner cut for orientation 2-5 lead line Texture/material of card Integrating technology: Talking card readers (i.e. VoxCom) iOS apps (i.e. Digit-Eyes, QR code creators/readers) Lifescribe Pen

13 Step 5: Teach tactile perception and letter-recognition skills through proper hand and finger usage in tracking activities Posture/Positing of student: Proper seating Non-slip surface Inefficient Characteristics: Scrubbing Regressions Pauses Searching Motions Erratic Movements

14 Step 5 Cont. Types of hand movements: Right or left hand only
Right hand reads – left marks Parallel Split Scissors parallel hands - left and right together split hands - left and right together until near end of line, and then separate scissors reading - both hands used independently

15 Step 6 & 7: Assess & teach phonemic awareness
Assessments: DIBELS Texas Primary Reading Inventory Teaching: Imbed into teaching (steps 8 & 10) Use formal phonics programs Research supports the link between phonics and braille reading

16 Step 8: Develop writing skills - mechanics and process
Tools: Braille writer Slate and stylus Mountbatten Notetakers iOS devices with refreshable braille displays or tactile overlays Adapted Equipment: Extension keys for the braille writer Adapted braillers (light touch, uni-brailler, etc.) The Role of Spelling and Contractions How to teach the brailler writer – parts, checklists, swing cell

17 Step 9: Create functional uses for reading and writing
Label important items in school and home Music Recipes Phone Numbers Notes Pen Pals Instant messaging with friends via braille displays (i.e. iOS devices, computer with braille display, etc.)

18 Step 10: Create stories Use repetition Repeat new words
Start with short sentences Slowly decrease spacing Create a book of stories Encourage rhyming (Dr. Suess books) p. 63

19 Step 11: Keep detailed records and use diagnostic teaching
Tracking progress: Word lists Letters/contractions mastered Phonics patterns mastered Ways of Monitoring Progress Charts or reward boards (encourage student to participate as appropriate) Utilize technology (Excel, tablets, etc.) Include in IEP goals Make charts or reward boards (as age appropriate) Utilize technology to track progress

20 Step 12: Watch for when to move to a more traditional academic approach
When new vocabulary is needed Possible curriculums to transition to: For Children: Patterns For Adults: Braille Too The Braille Connection

21 Brainstorming: Share your struggles with teaching braille How might the Functional Braille Approach help your student?

22 For More Information: Braille Literacy: A Function Approach by Diane P. Wormsley from AFB Press (2004) Paperback: $39.95 e-book (ePUB or Kindle): $27.95 Note: Information provided during this presentation is copyrighted by Dr. Wormsley as part of the above named book

23 Presented by: Dr. Donna Brostek Lee Clinical Assistant Professor
Program Faculty Chair University of Kentucky Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling 229 Taylor Education Building Lexington, KY Phone: (859) Website: An Equal Opportunity University

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