Instruction in Writing Braille
By: Carmen Willings
Updated October 28, 2017
Students will not only need to learn to read braille but to write braille as part of their literacy program. Encourage students to write about areas of interest and practice reading back what they wrote. Writing on the braillewriter requires physical strength, in addition to fine motor skills. Students can learn to make the connection between pressing the keys and forming symbols when they "scribble" on the braillewriter. As part of the writing process, students will need to learn to insert the paper into the braille writer. Teach the student the names of the parts of the braillewriter and relate the dot positions to the braillewriter keys. Knowing the dot positions will help in instructing the student on how to form the various letters and symbols.
Produce Braille with Braillewriter
The most common way for a student to produce braille, and fundamental for transitioning to electronic means of producing braille, is to use a standard manual braillewriter such as the Perkins braillewriter. Although the traditional Perkins braillewriter is heavy, I prefer this model to newer lightweight models as I feel it produces higher quality braille without tearing the tops of the braille when returning to the beginning of the line. In order to use the braillewriter proficiently, the student will need to learn skills to produce braille. The following is a sequence of skills that students will need to learn to produce braille on the braillewriter. Encourage the student to
This classic Perkins braillewriter available from APH is a manually operated, six-key machine that, as its name indicates, is used to produce braille. Electronic and computerized braillers are also available that are more portable and lighter weight. This braillewriter is known for its durability and reliability and ability to write on wide paper.
The Perkins website provides downloadable manuals that includes the machine layout and basic functions, instructions for the care and storage, inserting and removing braille paper, as well as brailling tips.
Writing with the Slate & Stylus
A slate and stylus is a portable way to produce braille. Using a slate and stylus provides a student with a means of producing braille "on the go." It can be easily carried in a pocket or on a clipboard. The slate is a metal or plastic frame with openings through which braille dots are embossed with the aid of a pointed stylus. As part of the instruction in using a slate and stylus, the student will need to:
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