Written by Eileen P. Curran, M.Ed. Published by National Braille Press, 1988
A Review by: Doris Willoughby
Parents of blind children realize that if they themselves learn Braille, they can be much more helpful and involved with their children's education. Too often, however, they are bogged down and intimidated by the regular manual for Braille transcribers. Lessons are long and detailed, with rather technical descriptions. Precise rules for arrangement on the page-unimportant to the Braille code itself-are emphasized.
A thoroughly enjoyable new book from the National Braille Press changes all this. Short lessons are clearly presented in an easy-to-read style. Whimsical illustrations and clever wording add humor and a cheerful approach.
Practice passages of Braille text consist of articles which themselves promote positive attitudes: "Braille, the Key to Literacy," from a speech by Bernadette Kobierecki, and "A Report card for the Teacher" by Mary Ellen Reihing. (The latter is reprinted with permission from Future Reflections, Spring/Summer 1987.) Each passage is given in double-spaced Braille, with the intent that the learner will figure it out and pencil in the words above the corrresponding Braille, workbook-style. When the page is turned, the same passage is then found in inkprint for verification.
All of the signs of Grade II Braille are presented, with the common punctuation marks and the numerals. Major rules of Braille usage are given, though not all exceptions and ramifications are explained.
Most of the Braille copy is in the form of actual raised dots rather than dotted inkprint representations. In a few places the Braille dots are a bit weak and uneven, but generally the quality of the dots is satisfactory.
Positive attitudes are emphasized. The Introductory page begins, "Great Expectations-Your child can learn to read and write, like you do...maybe better."
Those learners who do want to study all the technicalities of Braille transcribing can go on, fortified by this excellent primer, to the study of the regular transcriber's manual.
Just Enough To Know Better is available at the reasonable price of $12.50 from:
National Braille Press, Inc. 88 St. Stephen Street Boston, MA 02115
[PICTURE] Jane Kronheim (far right) is shown here in the Exhibit Hall of the 1988 National Federation of the Blind Convention. Her Learning Pillows were a popular and much-talked-about item.
[PICTURE] Joseli Walter of Michigan (left) and Leslie Allen of Texas (right) pose with Leslie's mother, Brenda, on the dance floor.
[PICTURE] The 1988 National Federation of the Blind Convention in Chicago, Illinois, was the largest ever-over 3,000 people attended.
[PICTURE]Rebecca Loomis (top) of Iowa and Paivy Ballayan (left) of California enjoy the new toys in the convention child-care room.