“Accessible Educational Materials, or Accessible Instructional Materials, are print and technology-based educational materials that include printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are designed or converted in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of student variability regardless of format (print, digital, graphical, audio, video).
By: Carmen Willings
Updated October 28, 2017
Some people with limited knowledge of braille often feel intimidated by it because reading braille appears difficult. Some even unwittingly pass those fears and intimidation of braille on to the student by commenting on how challenging it appears. It is very important to not plant negative feelings toward braille in the student's mind. Instead, help foster interest in braille in the braille learner as well as with peers. In addition to intimidation, many people have the misconception that braille is a language and can be offered as a foreign language in school. Braille is NOT a foreign language but is a code in which to read and write the language (There is also a braille code for mathematics, computers, and music.). For this reason, it would not be appropriate to give a student foreign language credit in school for learning the braille code.
What is braille?
Braille is a system of raised dots arranged in cells. The number and position of the raised dots represent a letter, word, number, or symbol. Braille for reading and writing for Language Arts is referred to as a literary braille. In literary braille, there are two grades used in school, Grade 1 and Grade 2 (there is also a Grade 3 that is comparable to shorthand but it is not used in publications as it has not been standardized). These grades do not correspond to school grades but instead, refer to uncontracted and contracted braille. In grade 1 braille, each cell represents one letter, number, punctuation sign, or special braille composition sign. Books produced in grade 1 braille are very bulky as it takes a large space to produce each braille letter. Grade 2 braille was introduced as a space-saving alternative to grade 1 braille. In grade 2 braille, there are short form words and part and whole word contractions that save space.
Obtaining Braille Materials
Braille can either be produced using a standard manual braillewriter such as the Perkins braillewriter or it can be produced using print-to-braille translation software. In this method, information is typed into the software and it is formatted into braille. Examples include MegaDots and Duxbury. The braille can then be output onto a braille printer. To use the standard braillewriter, it is important to be proficient in both reading and writing the braille code and knowing the formatting rules.
Remember to store braille books in bookshelves sitting on their end. Do not stack them on top of each other or it will flatten the braille!
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TVI's Guide Complete Set Bundle + BONUS Resources
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The TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC Complete Set includes the following:
The LOTTO Cards Grab and Go Supplement includes 37 theme related unit cards along with activity suggestions that support activities within the TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC.
On My Way File Folder Cards
Print and use these cards to represent locations the student may visit that are related to the current thematic unit. Use these with the On My Way File Folder Game outlined in the TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC p. 27.
NEW! Access to TVI's Guide Bonus Membership Pages
Bonus pages include tutorials, printables, interactive sensory story downloads, and interactive choice making, matching and visual discrimination computer games (PowerPoint based interactive games), and job task activities.
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