by Debbie (Butler) Prost Sharon Duffy
(Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from the Newsletter of the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB), a Division of the NFB. The authors are both blind Braille readers and both are educators. Mrs. Prost teaches blind children and Ms. Duffy, although currently teaching cane travel, has taught Braille to both children and adults.)
Books for Teaching Braille to Children
Patterns; The Primary Braille Reading Program. American Printing House for the Blind- (APH). This series is a basal reading series teaching general reading skills, comprehension, phonics, and Grade n Braille. It begins at readiness (which includes letters and words) and goes through the third reader. A series of library books is available to accompany each reading level Price: $495.00
Teacher's manuals for readiness and preprimer levels are available in Braille from Braille Services Guild, Inc., 2140 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90025. Paper must be purchased for the manuals. Braille teacher's manuals are not available from APH.
The Mangold Developmental Program of Tactile Perception and Braille Letter Recognition. Available from Exceptional Teaching Aids, 20102 Woodbine Ave., Castrol Valley, CA 94546. This covers prereading skills and the alphabet. To go from one lesson to the next, the student must meet specific standards of speed and accuracy. Pages may be a bit too long. The teacher's manual is availablfi on cassette.
Cerwinski Braille Series. Available from the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1100 Raymond Blvd., Newark, NJ, 07102. Price: $90.00 bound; $70.00 unbound. Includes Work book for Beginning Readers, Work book for Special Signs, Learning to Read Braille Contractions, and Cracking. the Nemeth Code.
Braille for Beginners. Three volumes. Available from the Department of Education, Michigan School for the Blind, 705 W. Willow St., Lansing, MI, 48913. For late kindergarten through first grade. It teaches the alphabet, whole-word signs, contractions and vocabulary development. Can be used as a supplement to a standard text Very repetitive which can be good far beginners.
Touch and Tell Three volumes. APH. Prereading, kindergarten. Shapes and Braille characters, but not designed for teaching letters or the alphabet.
Smart Fingers. One volume. APH. Pre reading Letters and numbers in lines, but does not include curriculum for learning them.
A Tactful Road to Reading. APH. Thermoformed booklets to work on specific prereading skills. Not the best quality Braille. Tactile Discrimination. Worksheets. APH. Differentiating Braille shapes and letters.
ABC's of Braille, by Bernard M. Krebs. APH. Geared to ages 9 to 12. It teaches the alphabet, punctuation and whole-word contractions simultaneously. The rules for Braille usage are taught in a story at the end of the books, and a list of all the contractions appears at the end for reference. The teacher's guide is available in Braille.
Phonics for Fun, by Lynn Flaleigh. APH. This Hrill book teaches Braille letters and contractions along with the sound(s) of each letter taught. There s a diagonostic test included to see how well students know the Braille contractions. The teacher's manual as available in Braille.
The Guild far the Blind, 180 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601, has three groups of books far children who can already read Braille, which teach them how to draw pictures using a Brailler or slate and stylus. Some of these books give step-by-step instructions far drawing specific pictures, while more advanced ones contain stories with pictures in them. Others encourage the children to copy the pictures without giving instructions. Creativity is encouraged. The three groups, each containing several books, are: The Teddy Bear Series, The Bunny Series, and The Owl Series. Contact the Guild for specific titles within each series and prices, which are very reasonable. There is also a manual in both Braille and print for adults to teach drawing to children. It is entitled Braillables; A Manual for Parents and Teachers
Books for Teaching Braille to Adults
Beginning Braille for Adults, by Nading and Walhof, One volume. National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson St., Baltimore, MD 21230. Teaches the alphabet, alphabetic word signs, and some short form words simultaneously. Has the disadvantage of showing words in several forms as signs are introduced. Well tested and effective book when taught by a teacher. A cassette accompanies this book.
Braille in Brief, by Bernard M. Krebs, APH. Teaches letters, contractions and punctuation. It has in the back a list of rules for contractions. Includes a list of all contractions for reference. This book introduces too many signs at once, but could supplement other books.
Braille Series 1960. Three volumes. APH. Book One is in large RraiTIp and introduces only the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation. Excellent for persons with touch problems and those wishing only self-communication skills. Volumes Two and Three complete the teaching of Grade II. The whole book is designed far self teaching and is very slow paced.
So What About Reading, Book One, by Stephen Benson, Guild for the Blind. One volume. Teaches Grade H Braille rapidly, beginning with the letters easiest to distinguish. Begins each lesson with the new signs or letters for easy review.
Getting In Touch with Reading by Margaret Smith. APH. No experience with this book.
Modem Methods of Teaching Braille, Book One, Kansas Braille Reading Series. One volume and teacher's manual in Braille from APH. Teaching approach good. Programmed Instruction In Braille, by S.C. Ashcroft and Ereda Henderson. APH Available on cassette from Recording for the Blind. Geared for sighted people learning Braille to teach it. Inappropriate far the average Braille student, very long.
Braille Drill Book; by Lula May Wash, APH. Introduces signs in order as they would appear on the Rra-m<a charts. Has a complete listing of signs, contractions, short form words and punctuation marks at the back of the book. Excellent for reviewing the signs, and as a drill, not adequate reading practice to be used as a single text.
English Braille In 40 Lessons, Thermoform, one volume. Available from Regional RehahLlitatiDn Center, Minneapolis, RUN 55403. Teaches Grade H Braille at an average pace. Some irregular English usage. Must be taught by a teacher. Contains charts of punctuation, special symbols (such as the letter sign) and complete listing of the contractions.
Note: The following comments about a text for teachers of Braille were supplied to us by Imogene Bradley, who has been teaching Braille for more than 20 years at the Kentucky School for the Blind:
Braille: A Different Approach, by Johnette and Jeff Weiss, should certainly lift the hearts of teachers of Braille reading and writing. The book was written primarily for adults, but is also suitable for newly-blind young people from the eighth grade onward. The alphabet, numbers and some common punctuation marks are presented sequentially, and no word is introduced until it can appear in its final contracted form. The alphabet, numbers and some common punctuation marks are presented in the beginning volume. Two volumes are devoted to contractions and additional punctuation. There is also the blind teacher's luxury: an instructor's manual. Throughout the book there are exercises to reinforce what has been learned. A tone-indexed cassette tape containing these exercises is also included. The four volumes and the tape are available at a cost of $20.00 from the American Printing House for the Blind.
If anyone knows of, or has had experience with other Braille instructional materials, please send your comments to: Sharon Duffy, 3435 Berteau, West Chicago, IL 60618. We are anxious to develop a list which will significantly benefit all those involved in the learning or teaching of Braille.
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