Braille Instruction

The links in this section provide teaching tips and resources for braille instruction, and explore the debate about teaching contracted versus uncontracted braille.
Below is a list of topics you'll find in this section. Click on a title to jump to a specific topic.

Braille Instruction Techniques

The braille section of the Paths to Literacy site offers an overview, instructional strategies, pre-braille, tactile graphics, technology for braille readers, sources of print/braille books, tools for writing braille, braille production, and brailler repair. Users may post content, and there is also a forum for questions and answers related to braille literacy.

Blockbuster Braille: Creating Reading Superstars

Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network 
A video presentation by braille expert Frances Mary D'Andrea, from the PA Low Incidence Institute 2013. This video is presented in two 1-hour parts. Transcript and slide downloadables are available for both parts. Part 2 link is here.
Includes both Math and ELA (English/Language Arts).  These frameworks are based on the same Maryland Common Core Curriculum Frameworks that were adopted by the State Board and include the identified braille skills and expectations at each grade level (Pre-kindergarten through grade 12) for students who read braille.  The standards provide a clear roadmap of braille instruction for teachers and parents to improve literacy skills for students who read braille.
Future Reflections, 2013. National Federation of the Blind
Teacher and consumer Heather Field explains her Hands Only approach for teaching braille to children with low vision.
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Teachers will find many practical suggestions for incorporating braille into a regular classroom. Projects, games, and activities designed to introduce sighted students to braille and help them feel comfortable with their classmates who are blind.
Perkins eLearning Webcasts
Braille instruction expert Lucia Hasty discusses the importance of language and concept development for young children who are blind as skills needed for braille literacy.
Tech Vision
A video demonstration by Dr. Denise Robinson of Tech Vision of a remote braille instruction technique using Skype.

Reading Exercises

California School for the Blind
Ann Gelles shares a series of animal stories designed to teach contractions to beginning braille readers. "Students are introduced to … whole word contractions and short form words as they learn and practice the alphabet."


University of Stuttgart
In her dissertation for the University of Stuttgart, Christine Lauenstein examines whether braille's structural elements "inhibit writing performance because they interfere with language processes" and result in poor spelling skills.

Web-Based Organizations and Resources

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
This section of the AFB website includes resources for teachers of braille, resources for parents, a link to DOTS, the newsletter for braille literacy, and a listing of sources of braille materials.
"BANA's purpose is to promote and to facilitate the use, teaching and production of braille." It publishes codes, rules, interpretations, and opinions about braille, most of which can be downloaded from the site.
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
NFB offers many braille-related programs through its Jernigan Institute, including the Braille Certification Training Program for people who want to become braille transcribers.
New York Institute for Special Education
The Blindness Resource Center is a valuable Internet resource for information about braille: description, history, Louis Braille's biography, legislative initiatives, organizations, advocacy, research, software, educational materials, and transcription services.
Reproduced by Duxbury, Inc., world leader in software for braille and braille translation.  These are print resources for students and teachers of braille.
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
This information packet from NFB includes a selection of articles, fliers, braille alphabet cards, and related resources; much of the material can be downloaded from the site.
The purpose of ICEB is "to coordinate and improve standards for braille usage for all English-speaking users of braille."  One of their key initiatives is Unified English Braille.
Sarah Blake presents a collection of articles "about issues concerning literacy for people who are blind. Some provide theoretical discussions; others present the results of research; still others provide information about teaching methods."