Literacy and Braille Resources

Literacy at its simplest means the ability to read and write. However, it starts with comprehension and encompasses many media and formats, including listening, speaking, and object communication. Most children aim for basic or academic literacy, which is the ability to use reading as a tool to gain more knowledge. Others will strive to attain functional literacy, which supports the activities of daily life. This section offers an introduction to the forms of literacy for children who are blind and visually impaired, ranging from tactile symbols and calendar boxes to print and braille.

Paths to Literacy addresses the Core Standards in terms of literacy and learning medium

Source: Paths to Literacy

This special issue of Future Reflections is devoted to the first years of a child's life. It includes sections on learning at home, movement and mobility, touch, literacy, and formal education.

Source: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

NIMAS is a national technical standard that requires learning materials be made accessible to students with print disabilities as quickly as possible. All NIMAS sources are easily converted into braille, audio, large print, and digital text. 

Source: National Center on Accessible Educational Materials

Use this search engine to find over 2,000,000 free digital books on the Web, which can be read with a screen reader or scanner program.

Source: University of Pennsylvania

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.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

AFB's article offers specific strategies to help preschool children develop essential literacy skills.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Tips for general educators who are preparing their classroom for a braille reader

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

This article introduces the range of literacy options for children with multiple disabilities, including print, braille, and symbol systems.

Source: Family Connect

Touch the Invisible Sky is a NASA-funded book that uses "braille, large type print, and tactile diagrams of celestial images observed by space telescopes … to reveal the cosmos to the blind and seeing-impaired"; includes an audio description.

Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

This online course is designed for learners who are already proficient in EBAE (English Braille American Edition).

Source: Hadley School for the Blind

UEB Online is a training program for people who are sighted to learn Unified English Braille (UEB)

Source: Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC)

This "cheat sheet" is designed to be a quick reference tool that is a handy summary of some of the key differences in UEB (Unified English Braille).  

Source: Paths to Literacy

The rule book for transcribers is available free online.

Source: International Council on English Braille (ICEB)

This free 4-week online training is designed for people who are already proficient in braille who wish to learn UEB.

Source: Northern Illinois University

There are many free resources on this site, such as The ABC's of UEB,  as well as current news about the plans to implement UEB.

Source: Braille Authority of North America (BANA)

This document is based on the braille code used in the UK to transcribe Spanish braille.

Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

Overview of UEB, including rule and guidelines, tools for remembering changes in the code, online training courses, lessons for teaching braille students UEB, videos and more!

Source: Paths to Literacy

This section of the Paths to Literacy site includes an overview of literacy for students who are blind or visually impaired with additional disabilities, including deafblindness. Includes information about instructional strategies, tips for creating books, and more.

Source: Paths to Literacy

AFB's short introduction describes what braille looks like, how it was invented, and how it is written.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

This tutorial suggests fun and motivating story telling and writing exercises for students who are blind or visually impaired.

Source: Perkins eLearning

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