My multiply impaired student transitioned to middle school last year and had lots of trouble with all the changes. He refused to read braille in class with his peers. His class was taking a field trip to Mountain Mike’s Pizza. I asked one of our Paraeducators to braille the menu for him. He loves pizza and it is a rare treat for him, so he was eager to read the menu with the VI Para. The goal he had for himself was calling for a pizza delivery on the phone. He practiced making calls between our VI office and another room at school while I pretended to be a restaurant employee. Distance Learning changed my plan of incorporating braille reading in his classroom, but he still wanted to earn his pizza. He continued to practice his braille reading with me over Zoom lessons and on his final day of instruction, he called me and answered all the personal information questions needed to order a pizza online the morning of our virtual pizza party. He invited his O&M teacher and another TVI from our department. He had a blast talking to us and eating that day! It drove home the lesson to use highly preferred reading material with readers- especially reluctant readers! I always ask my students what they’d like to earn for completing a goal or overcoming a challenge. He is looking forward to returning to school (whenever that may be since Covid-19 has everyone Distance Learning right now) and working on making a shopping list for his ILS teacher and going with Miss Barbara, his O&M teacher to buy those items. We will incorporate the brailler or braille notetaker in our lessons to make his list. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box to achieve braille literacy.
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