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Session I - Overview. What Is Literacy? Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write and also as the basic skill or knowledge of a subject. For.

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Presentation on theme: "Session I - Overview. What Is Literacy? Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write and also as the basic skill or knowledge of a subject. For."— Presentation transcript:

1 Session I - Overview

2 What Is Literacy? Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write and also as the basic skill or knowledge of a subject. For children and adults who are blind, and for some students with low vision, braille is THE medium for true literacy.

3 Literacy and Information Literacy involves the ability to acquire information and communicate with others. Literacy involves the ability to gain access to written information. Literacy involves storing communicated information so that it can be referred to again later.

4 Access to Information For a person who is blind or has a severe visual impairment, literacy means: all methods of acquiring, storing, and accessing information all methods of communicating one's own ideas, opinions, and needs.

5 Braille or Print? Literacy includes the ability to use braille, print, and technology as well as the ability to use recorded materials and readers to gain access to and acquire the most knowledge from information.

6 Why Is Braille Important?

7 It Can Change Your Brain! Braille is literacy for a blind person. Studies show how the brain changes and adapts to learning and that memory improves more through the tactile interaction with braille than with audio, which is more passive.

8 Braille Leads to Success Braille proficiency is strongly correlated to future success in school and in the job market. The majority of blind people who are competitively employed use braille. Studies show the most proficient braille readers are those who started braille at a young age and received frequent braille instruction in school.

9 Readin and Writin … Nothing substitutes for the ability to read. For blind people, braille is the medium for true literacy. Audio recordings and synthesized speech are useful tools, but they can't replace the ability to read and write.ability to read and write

10 I Can Do It Myself Braille provides an independent means of literacy and allows people who are blind or visually impaired a way to read and write with out being dependent on anyone else to do it for them.

11 Braille and Technology In today's technology-driven world, is braille still relevant? Blind people have traditionally had many barriers to information and harnessing technology is critical in bridging this gap. E-Braille can help blind people surf the internet, text, e-mail, download books, and stay connected to the world as never before. However...

12 Keepin It Old School! Braille that is written or embossed onto paper or similar materials is still used everyday. Paper braille is often the most pleasant to read for leisure purposes and has the advantage of being low-tech and reasonably portable.

13 Back To the Future While hard copy braille will not disappear anytime soon, it is essential that we continue to provide information faster and more efficiently, in a variety of formats, and with new technologies that allow blind people to keep pace with the sighted world.

14 When Should Braille Instruction Begin? There is no hard and fast rule about when to begin exposing a child to reading and writing. Experiences should begin as early as possible. Childs attention gradually focuses on concepts and strategies learned through these experiences.

15 In The Beginning… Literacy instruction begins the day a child is born. Nurtured by adults who read, write, and involve the child in language, both spoken and written.

16 Vision and Literacy Children know about reading and writing long before they actually learn to read. Literacy begins as parents talk and read to their infants and begin to teach them about their ever expanding world. Incidental learning takes place as they interact with the world around them.

17 Emergent Literacy Knowledge and skills built during these early years, before formal reading instruction begins, are called emergent or early literacy skills

18 How and When? How and when braille is taught depends on many factors including: Age of the child at the onset of the visual impairment Level of students literacy at the onset of the visual impairment Students functional vision and options for other literacy media Motivation for the student and his or her parents for learning braille A solid foundation of emergent literacy skills

19 Assessment Before Instruction For children able to read both braille and print, a decision needs to be made regarding which medium is the most appropriate for the bulk of a childs instruction. Assessment determines the childs primary reading medium.

20 Primary Reading Medium -Medium most frequently used in classroom instruction -Allows most access to greatest variety of information -Used in a variety of settings, both in and out of the classroom -Allows for both reading and writing

21 Choice of Primary Reading Medium Must take into consideration the future needs of the child as well as his or her current needs - Students and their needs change over time, so the more skills they learn, the more prepared they will be for adulthood and independence.

22 Intentional Instruction Is the Key Children with visual impairments need intentional experiences that will promote the development of the skills and knowledge needed for later literacy. Children with visual impairments also need opportunities to develop the use of their other senses.

23 Foundations for Reading Braille Language development Auditory Discrimination Concept Development Tactual Discrimination

24 Emergent Literacy Skills and Knowledge Ability to use words to speak and to listen Good verbal vocabulary Knowledge of the ways we use written language and some of its conventions Familiarity with braille books and book handling skills, and the tools used for writing braille Awareness of symbols Concepts about the childs home and community Concepts such as same, different, alike and prepositions like in, on, out More and more refined tactual discrimination skills

25 Skills and Knowledge Are Built By: Lots of first-hand experiences with activities at home and in the community Lots of varied tactile experiences Activities to build finger strength, stamina, and fine motor skills Engaging the child in conversation Being read to often, from a variety of books Using written language for many purposes

26 Moving Forward Continued efforts to build on what a child already knows and can do will lead into conventional reading and writing. Based on development of the child rather than a set age or point in time.

27 Where Can Parents Find Support? The American Printing House for the Blind On the Way to Literacy Series Everyday Activities Calendar Imagination Library Books Move, Touch, Do Best For A Nest Moving Ahead Series Story Books Tactile Treasures

28 Agencies and Organizations American Printing House for the Blind (APH) American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) National Center on Family Literacy (NCFL) American Council of the Blind (ACB) National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Zero to Three

29 Online Resources Texas School for the Blind Washington State School for the Blind AFB Family Connect Dots for Families

30 Publications Just Enough To Know Better Beginning With Braille On The Way to Literacy: Early Experiences for Children with Visual Impairments Children With Visual Impairments Reach Out and Teach

31 Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness. Helen Keller

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