FOREWORD

For decades, the National Federation of the Blind has been engaged in improving educational opportunities for blind and visually impaired students. During the 1980s and 90s the Federation spurred state legislatures to pass Braille bills to improve literacy skills for these students. This effort culminated in the adoption of Braille literacy language into national legislation with the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997. While these legislative efforts improved the quality of education available to blind students, many problems remained.

In 2009, the National Federation of the Blind convened a consortium of experts in blindness education and leaders from the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children to examine ways to improve the literacy skills of students with limited vision. The group decided to develop a new assessment tool to better determine which students should learn to read Braille, or print, or both Braille and print. The group also decided to produce a publication to help parents and teachers ensure that the dual reader has adequate skill in Braille reading and writing to enable the student to leave the school system with strong literacy skills.

The teachers in the consortium provided case studies, teaching strategies, and approaches to strengthen the teaching of Braille reading and writing for students who are dual readers. The group also offered ideas on how the student can obtain enough instruction and practice to achieve speed and fluency in Braille reading.

The list of consortium members included:

Kim Adams BA, Special Education, University of Northern Colorado
  MS, Curriculum and Instruction, Doane College
  Endorsement, Visual Impairment, University of Nebraska
  35 years of experience teaching blind/visually impaired students of all levels and abilities
Debra Baker BS, English Communications, Ohio State University
  MS, Education of the Blind and Visually Impaired, University of Texas at Austin
  Endorsement, Reading K-12, Ohio State University
  33 years of experience teaching blind/visually impaired students of all levels and abilities
Edward Bell BA, Human Development, California State University
  MA, Educational Psychology with Concentration in Orientation¬†and Mobility, Louisiana Tech University
  PhD, Rehabilitation Education and Research, University of Arkansas
  Certification, Educational Statistics and Research Methods, University of Arkansas
  Director, Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness, Louisiana Tech University
Janet Bernhardt BS, Elementary Education, Louisiana State University
  Certification, Education for Blind and Visually Impaired
  Certification, Low Vision Therapy
  35 years of experience teaching blind/visually impaired students of all levels and abilities.
Carol Castellano BA, English Literature, Douglass College, Rutgers University
  Author and Education Advocate
  Director of Programs, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
  24 years of experience as education advocate for blind/visually impaired students of all levels and abilities
Merry-Noel Chamberlain BS, Elementary Education, University of Nebraska
  MA, Special Education/Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Western Michigan University
  MA, Educational Psychology with Concentration in Orientation & Mobility, Louisiana Tech University
  12 years of experience teaching blind and deaf-blind children of all levels and abilities
Barbara Cheadle BS, Education, Missouri State University, Springfield
  MLS, Information School, University of Maryland, College Park
  Founding Editor, Future Reflections
  President Emerita, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
  32 years of experience as education advocate for blind/visually impaired students of all levels and abilities
Jessica Ewell BA, Foreign Languages/Music, University of New Mexico
  MA, Vocal Performance, New England Conservatory
  Graduate Research, University of Leeds, England
  DMA, Catholic University of America
  Project Coordinator, Department of Affiliate Action, National Federation of the Blind
Carrie Gilmer Education Advocate, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
Annee Hartzell BA, Politics/Japanese, Whitman University
  JD, University of Washington
  MS, Special Education with Concentrations in Severe Needs, Vision, Orientation and Mobility, University of Northern Colorado
  Certification, Orientation and Mobility
  11 years of experience teaching blind/visually impaired students of all levels and abilities, including ESL students
Debra Head BS, Education/Special Education, University of Missouri
  MS, Education, University of Missouri
  Certification, Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired
  31 years of experience teaching students with special needs, including blind/visually impaired
Jerry G. Petroff BS, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, The College of New Jersey
  MS, Medical Speech Pathology and Audiology, The College of New Jersey
  PhD, Psychological Studies in Special Education, Temple University
  Certification, Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired
  Associate Professor, The College of New Jersey
Denise M. Robinson BS, Special Education, Teacher of the Blind/English Language and Literature, Eastern Michigan University
  MA, Early Childhood Education, Western Michigan University
  PhD, Education, Capella University
  20 years of experience in administration and teaching blind/visually impaired and deaf-blind students of all levels and abilities
Ruby Ryles BS, Elementary Education, University of Arkansas
  MEd, Elementary Education with Reading Specialization, University of Arkansas
  Postgraduate, Rehabilitation/Special Education, Emphasis in Blindness, University of Arkansas
  PhD, Special Education, University of Washington
  Assistant Professor, Louisiana Tech University
  Coordinator, Teaching Blind Students Program, Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness
Eva Scott BS, Applied Psychology/Special Education and Elementary Education, Eastern Washington University
  MEd, Psychological Studies in Special Education with Emphasis on Communication, Positive Behavior Support, and Severe Disabilities, Temple University
  Certification, Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired
  Instructor, Teacher Preparation Program for Teachers of the Blind/Visually Impaired, The College of New Jersey
  28 years of experience teaching blind/visually impaired and deaf-blind students of all levels and abilities
Kristen J. Sims BS, Psychology, Louisiana Tech University
  MS, Education and Teaching Blind Students, Louisiana Tech University
  National Certification in Literary Braille
  7 years of experience teaching blind/visually impaired students
Gail K. Wagner BS, Elementary Education and Teaching the Visually Impaired, Kutztown University
  28 years of experience teaching blind/visually impaired students of all levels and abilities
Carlton Anne Cook Walker BA/BS/BS, Multi-Disciplinary Studies with Concentration in Political Economics)/Animal Science/Poultry Science, North Carolina State University
  MBA, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  JD, Wake Forest University School of Law
  MEd, Teaching Students with Visual and Multiple Impairments, Salus University
  Certification, Teacher of Student with Visual Impairments
  National Certification in Literary Braille
  President, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
Jan Zollinger BA, Education of the Visually Impaired, Brigham Young University
  MA, Education with Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction
  NLS Certification in Braille Transcription
  33 years of experience teaching blind/visually impaired students of all levels and abilities

[Acknowledgements]  [Contents]  [Preface]