Future Reflections Spring/ Summer1989, Vol. 8 No. 2

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by Claudelle Stocker

Editor's Note: These remarks are reprinted from the February, 1989, issue of The National Federation of the Blind magazine, The Braille Monitor.

Claudelle Stocker is the capable head of the Braille Development Section of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. She recognizes the value of Braille and is working to encourage teachers to become certified in Braille through the Library of Congress program. Here is what she says about it:

It is encouraging to note that the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress (LC) is receiving inquiries from two important potential sources for Braille transcribers. The Braille Development Section is receiving requests from teachers of visually impaired and blind students who wish to enroll in the LC Literary Braille Course, and LC-certified teachers employed in graduate schools are inquiring about certifying their student-teachers before graduation.

This interest in the LC certification has positive aspects for teachers, future teachers, and students. Teachers and future teachers can look forward to more thorough knowledge of the subject they are teaching. Certification will provide more credibility and prestige to the teacher's credentials. Students and parents will feel they are in more competent hands with the knowledge the teacher is LC-certified in literary Braille. Special education teachers will have the convenience of being able quickly and accurately to transcribe class lessons, workbooks, and other materials for the students, instead of having to do without or send lessons to Braille groups who are already overworked trying to keep up with textbook transcribing demands.

However, the greatest benefit will be for young blind students and adults who have recently lost their vision. There is a direct correlation between proficiency of the teacher and the predictability of the student's success. In this case, it can make the difference as to whether or not the blind student develops basic literacy skills or remains in a veil of semi-illiteracy.

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