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Helpful Books and DVDs

To order, click on the title of the book or DVD and follow the directions on the secure payment site, unless otherwise noted in the description or contact the NFB Independence Market by phone at (410) 659-9314, extension 2216, or by email.

American Action Fund Handbook of Braille Contractions
Compiled by Harry Schuchman and updated by Jennifer Dunnam

This practical guide to Braille contractions is written for Braille teachers and students of all ages. Updated to reflect the changes in the Braille code with the introduction of Unified English Braille, this book contains alphabetical lists of contractions, commonly used symbols, and Braille indicators. In the alphabetical contractions lists, letter groups are first spelled out and then the contraction is shown. Two versions of the book are available: Twin Vision® (Braille interleaved with print) and Braille only. The twin vision format enables a sighted user to examine the text in print as a blind user reads the same page in Braille.

Avoiding An IEP Disaster: Questions and Answers (DVD)

This 33-minute video opens with a role-play which shows an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting gone awry. A discussion follows, which addresses such questions as, “What are parents’ responsibilities and rights under the law?” and “What should a parent do if they disagree with a recommendation?” The federal law that set up the IEP process—Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—is referenced and explained in the context of practical questions and concerns of parents.

The Bridge to Braille
by Carol Castellano and Dawn Kosman

The Bridge to Braille is a practical, step-by-step guide that shows parents and teachers how to help blind children progress from early literacy experiences to full participation in the classroom.  This book demystifies the education of blind children and enables parents and teachers to give ordinary help with spelling, homework, reports, and projects to students who just happen to be blind.  Covered topics include adapting materials, beginning Braille reading, doing math in Braille, using technology, independence in the classroom, about Braille books, and more.

Getting Ready for College Begins in Third Grade: Working toward an Independent Future for Your Blind/VI Child (Pre-K to Middle School)
By Carol Castellano

Getting Ready for College Begins in Third Grade provides an approach to the development and education of blind/visually impaired children, based on the concept of equal expectations and the right to equal opportunity. The main focus is how to get and keep the child's education on track and how to create a remediation plan if things have gone wrong. Chapters on high expectations, academics, independent living skills, independent movement and travel, social awareness and social skills, and developing self-advocacy skills, encourage parents to look toward the future without fear and equip them with the information they need in order to raise their blind/VI child for an independent life.

Handbook for Itinerant and Resource Teachers of Blind and Visually Impaired Students
by Doris M. Willoughby and Sharon L.M. (Duffy) Monthei

Readable, practical, and thorough, this book covers all the topics one would expect in a book with this title. Best of all, it's also a great resource for parents and other non-professionals. Topics include: testing and evaluation; techniques for blind youth in math, science, home economics, art, music, technical education, physical education, daily living skills, and so forth; teaching Braille; teaching cane travel; professional concerns (such as organizing paperwork, developing relationships with parents and co-workers, etc.); and much more.
*To obtain a free print or Braille copy while supplies last, please contact the NFB Independence Market by calling (410) 659-9314, extension 2216. You will need to cover the shipping cost for the print copy.*

Independent Movement and Travel in Blind Children: A Promotion Model
by Joseph Cutter

"Independent Movement and Travel in Blind Children: A Promotion Model is an innovative guide to encouraging activity, movement, and independence in the young blind child.  Full of creative ideas and demonstrating a fundamental belief in the child's ability to learn, the book presents a "bottom-up" approach which combines natural interactions with the child and play situations with the alternative techniques of blindness.  Emphasizing partnerships and a team approach, the book provides guidance for parents, physical therapists, teachers of the blind, and O&M instructors who desire to create a learning environment in which the blind child can become curious, involved, active, and independent." -Carol Castellano

Integrating Print and Braille: A Recipe for Literacy
Edited by Sharon Maneki

Integrating Print and Braille: A Recipe for Literacy provides a recipe for using the integration approach—the integration of print and Braille into the student’s school and home life—to ensure full literacy for the low-vision student. This practical guide for both parents and teachers contains various perspectives on teaching and integrating Braille into a mainstream educational curriculum. The integration approach involves thorough teaching of Braille, so that it becomes a useful and efficient medium for the student, as well as developing the student’s ability to choose the appropriate reading and writing medium—Braille, print, or both—for a given task. Integrating Print and Braille: A Recipe for Literacy is only available electronically either in HTML or in ePub.

It’s OK to Be Blind (DVD)

Parents and blind kids are interviewed at an NFB national convention about their thoughts and experiences. One girl sums it all up when she says it is OK to be blind.

Making It Work: Educating the Blind/Visually Impaired Student in the Regular Classroom
by Carol Castellano

Making It Work is a definitive manual for the classroom teacher who has a blind student in his or her class. It is packed with information and advice on how to integrate a blind student into a regular elementary or secondary school program. 'Life as a blind person need not be any more frustrating or stressful than life with eyesight--as long as blind/visually impaired children are taught the skills and given the tools they need to accomplish tasks with independence and with success,' writes Carol Castellano. The news that a blind child will enroll often causes anxiety for teachers. Making It Work provides the answers to many questions asked by teachers, assuring them that, with the necessary skills, the blind child can participate on an equal basis with sighted peers in every aspect of school life.

Modular Instruction for Independent Travel
by Doris M. Willoughby and Sharon L. Monthei<

Dedicated to the memory of Kenneth Jernigan. This book is a flexible, practical guide for teaching cane travel to students from preschool age through high school.  In most subjects (science, physical education, reading, and so forth) there are a multitude of ready-made curricula and resource books. With cane travel, however, there are very few publications that have concrete, varied, and positive suggestions such as those contained in this book.  The authors, Doris Willoughby and Sharon Monthei, have a wide variety of experiences with students of all ages and abilities.  This is reflected in their dynamic, friendly, and helpful book.

The Slate Book
by Jennifer Dunnam

In her introduction, Jennifer Dunnam, an experienced Braille teacher, explains how this low-tech device continues to meet a critical need in a high-tech world.  In clear, concise language accompanied by photographs, she covers every imaginable topic, including loading the slate, moving the slate down the paper, and increasing speed.  There are also suggestions for techniques such as making flash cards, taking notes, and doing math problems.  Sources of Braille-writing supplies and descriptions of different slates and styluses are given, as well.

White Canes for Blind Kids (DVD)

This video depicts blind children and adults at an NFB national convention being interviewed regarding their experience with and views of early cane use.