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RNIB supporting blind and partially sighted people Factsheet

Learning braille - courses and resources for children and young people
There are several ways in which children and young people can learn to read braille. In this factsheet we explain about the different types of braille, provide information on the courses available for teaching children to read and write braille, and highlight useful products and publications available to purchase from RNIB. If you would like to order any items mentioned, or request a copy of our Braille Products or Everyday Living catalogues, either visit or telephone our Helpline on 0303 123 9999. To make browsing and ordering easier, RNIB product codes are listed in brackets. Contents Learning braille - courses and resources for children and young people.............................................................................................1 It can help beginner touch readers to read materials in double line spacing at first to track lines more easily. Sighted people generally read braille by sight, so need reading materials with braille on just one side of the paper......................................................................2

Learning braille
Children who are learning to read and write braille will benefit from developing pre-braille skills first and his factsheet lists courses available for teaching braille to children. Most of the materials are aimed at young children learning to read through braille, and offer a phonetic introduction and systematic progression through the complete contracted braille code, with supplementary material at various stages. There is also a comprehensive course for older children transferring to braille, who need to learn a new way of reading rather than how to read.

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It can help beginner touch readers to read materials in double line spacing at first to track lines more easily. Sighted people generally read braille by sight, so need reading materials with braille on just one side of the paper. Please call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 if you need any further help with getting started with braille.

Uncontracted and Contracted braille
Uncontracted braille (formerly known as Grade 1) is a letter-forletter translation from print. It includes the alphabet, numbers, punctuation marks, representation of print symbols and composition signs. Anyone who is familiar with uncontracted braille can quite easily go on to learn the additional signs for contracted braille at a later date if desired. Uncontracted braille is quicker to learn but takes up more space. Many books and magazines are available in uncontracted braille, as well as bank statements and labels on medicines and lift buttons. Anyone who knows uncontracted braille can label items and enjoy card and other games with friends. Contracted braille (formerly known as Grade 2) is a more complex code, which includes a number of extra signs and some shorthand in addition to the characters in uncontracted braille. Commonly occurring groups of letters are represented by one or two signs e.g. ING, THE, ST and EN are single characters, while TION, ENCE and OUND are represented by two characters. Contracted braille also includes a kind of shorthand, where groups of letters represent complete words - e.g. AFN is afternoon, QK is quick and FR is friend. Contracted braille takes considerably longer to learn, but there is a larger range of material available in this format, and contracted braille takes up about 12% less space than uncontracted.

Braille courses

Introducing braille Hands On Hands On is designed for a young child who is beginning to learn to read through contracted braille. two-handed coordination and developing a light finger touch . rnib. Also included is a very simple version of the story with tactile illustrations for the children to "read" for themselves. A comprehensive guide for parents and teachers is included in the pack in print.all vital prerequisites for a future braille reader. contraction. It is linked as closely as possible with the Letters and Sounds framework. numbers 1-10 and some punctuation marks and short forms through a phonetic reading scheme.Pre-braille skills Feeling Ready to Read (TC21009) is an exciting pack of tactile graphic materials to develop pre-braille skills. This brand new resource introduces the braille alphabet. a booklet of fun activities and several real stories at each tactile discrimination. Divided into five levels. and who has acquired prebraille skills. punctuation marks or numbers. • 32 Practice books which each introduce a letter. alphabetic word signs. It is not necessary to order the braille version of the guide if the parent or teacher is a print reader. whilst not compromising the need to keep tactually confusing braille signs apart. The whole scheme includes simple tactile pictures and puzzles to enliven the reading material. This guide is also available for parents and teachers whose preferred format is braille (TC21010). It is based on the well-loved story of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and has over 100 fun swell paper exercises to practice skills including accurate tracking of . Hands On includes practice books. and provide discrimination and word building exercises using them.

and their friends and . Reading Together encourages emergent reading and writing. Print text appears above the capitalised braille in these humorous stories about Kali. with a simplified version of the same on the right. which consolidate and extend everything learned so far and encourage tactual exploration and familiarity with simple graphic representations. Levels one to three have a full text on the left-hand page. level three (TC21363). level four (TC21364). Each pack is accompanied by a quick start guide which contains all of the information you need to begin teaching the course. • Fun books providing a range of activities and games. level two (TC21362). level five (TC21365). the young learner should be able to read the simplified text and can also scan through the full text to look for familiar signs and words (indicated in bold print). Reading Together Designed for young children. Five or six letters with associated braille contractions must be taught before the "real" stories at each of the five levels can be read by the child. many including tactile graphics.• Story books that can be read in any order once the practice books at that level have been completed. • level three can be used after the letter Y is taught in level four of Hands On • level four can be used after the letter W is taught in level five of Hands On • level five can be used after level five of Hands On is completed. Kai. Reading Together introduces some additional dot rnib. Having been read the full • Reading Together levels one and two correspond exactly with levels one and two of Hands On. Hands On is available to purchase as a full course (TC21359) or as individual levels: level one (TC21361). Levels four and five are completely readable by the young learner.

and develop search and scan techniques. please call 0303 123 9999. No previous knowledge of braille is assumed.adding two more stories at each level for the child to choose from. Braille in Easy Steps Braille in Easy Steps (TC21143) is a contracted braille course designed for latecomers (pupils between the ages of about 10 to 14) who are literate in print but are transferring to braille. Teachers notes in contracted braille (TC21097) can be ordered separately from our Helpline. The complete contracted braille code is introduced in small steps. The capital letter sign is used and the emphasis is on reading. please call 0303 123 9999. Reading Together core pack (TC20916) comprises 10 stories . activities and stories. in addition to information on teaching braille to older pupils and details of the order of braille sign introduction. with practice reading material in the form of quizzes. and the teachers' notes in print. Books one to four are also available to purchase separately as a replacement pack (TC21144) as these early volumes are heavily used so they may need replacing before the rest of the course. the teachers' notes in braille (TC20917) can be ordered separately from our Helpline. The Braille in easy steps teachers' handbook is available in print (TC21145P) or contracted braille (TC21145B) and should be ordered separately.two at each level. It includes the complete text of the braille course books. It is in capitalised braille throughout. For adult braillists supporting the learner. Reading Together extension pack (TC21096) comprises 10 stories plus accompanying teachers' notes in print .uk . Some of the longer stories are accompanied by tactile maps and plans to add interest. rnib.5 contractions and extra shortforms.

Each booklet contains a practice page and story. notes on encouraging good reading technique and a list of additional resources. A print version of the capitalised braille text appears on facing pages throughout to encourage shared reading at home and school. Abi books These humorous stories featuring the adventures of a sparky young blind girl with tactile pictures on the covers to appeal to rnib. Take Off series 1 to 3 can be used with Get Going. booklets in series 1 to 10 also include a “fun page” of activities to encourage braille writing. You can also buy each series 1 to 12 as individual sets (TC21194-205). Take Off pack B (TC21193) comprises 26 booklets (five in series 7 and 8 and four in series 9 to 12). knowledge of braille contractions and word signs. The Take Off teachers' handbook is available in print (TC21206P).Continuing with braille Take Off A second stage scheme for young learners to develop phonic skills. as well as encouraging enjoyment of reading and . The course takes the learner who has completed 'Hands On' or 'Braille for Infants' (no longer available) to the end of the contracted braille code and has been produced in consultation with the VIEW Children's Braille Committee. and can be used alongside Read On series 7 to 12 (no longer available to buy). Each series is identified by a raised domino and tactile illustration on its coloured cover. and can be used alongside the following reading courses: Abi books 1 to 40 (see below).org. Take Off pack A (TC21192) comprises 36 booklets (six in each series). contracted braille (TC21206B) and audio CD (TC21206CD) and contains the complete text of the braille booklets as well as notes on the braille signs being taught. Read On series 1 to 6 (no longer available to buy).

BraillePhun letter and maths bricks are interlocking bricks which are similar to chunky jigsaw pieces. Products for teaching and learning braille The faces of the Braille cube keyring (DH122) are studded with large black rivets and indentations. Get Read On series 1 and 2. Get Going (published 1999) Get Going contains many stories incorporating Scottish culture. It is designed for the learner who has completed 'Hands On' or 'Braille for Infants' and who needs to progress at a slower pace while learning additional braille signs. and capital letters are indicated in the braille. They introduce additional braille signs and a print version of the text appears on facing pages to encourage shared reading between sighted and touch readers. • Abi books 21 to 30 (TC20919) can be used with: Take Off series 3 to 5. Each one displays one rnib. • Abi books 1 to 20 (TC21115) can be used with the following reading courses: Take Off series 1 and 2. Read On series 1 to 3 (no longer available) and Abi books 1 to 23. Get . The three sections of the cube can be rotated to form the shape of every braille character on one of the cube's faces.young readers who have completed 'Hands On' or 'Braille for Infants' (no longer available). Read On series 3 to 5. Read On series 5 to 6 (please note that all Read On books are no longer available to purchase). • Abi books 31 to 40 (TC21247) can be used with: Take Off series 5 to 6. Get Going (PR120236) comprises of 30 books and teachers notes. The handbook contains the complete text of all 40 stories. Capitalised braille is used throughout. • Abi teachers' handbook is available to purchase separately in print (TC20553) and contracted braille (TC20554). The print version of the stories is shown on facing pages to help with shared reading. and can be used with the following reading courses: Take Off series 1 to 3.

They are available in a range of different sized packs.character in both print and enlarged or standard size contracted braille (TC21267B) and on CD-rom (TC21267CDR).uk Braille music RNIB's Music Advisory Service (MAS) supports people with sight problems in any aspect of music. Nigel Berry. sets out the benefits of using braille at home. and focuses on how to teach braille reading and writing to adults and young people who are losing or have lost their sight. from beginners to advanced . written by Nigel Berry is a practitioner's guide. The programme "Dechrau Darllen Braille Cymraeg" (Starting to Read Welsh braille) consists of 40 graded books. For more information. for study and in the workplace as part of a comprehensive communication package that enables blind people to regain maximum independence. guidance on establishing good reading and writing techniques and selecting appropriate resources. The book includes unique insights into the development of shape and pattern perception through touch. There is also a library of Welsh books in braille and a catalogue is available on using the Welsh Braille Code. Welsh braille Blind and partially sighted children can learn to read and write Welsh Sense and sensitivity. providing information and advice on music education at all levels. a true champion of braille. Contact the Music Advisory Service on 020 7391 2273 or email mas@rnib. and are ideal for braille learners. It provides a structure for introducing braille to new touch The following publications support learning braille music notation: rnib. Sense and sensitivity is available in print (TC21267P). please contact RNIB Cymru on telephone 029 2045 0440 or email accessibleinfocymru@rnib.

Literacy assessment Neale Analysis of Reading Ability The Neale Analysis of Reading Ability (NARA) measures accuracy. The Neale Analysis of Reading Ability is being reprinted and should be available spring 2013. • Braille music for beginners (piano). • Focus on braille music. written by Edward Watson. evaluate and put in place appropriate teaching methods and literacy formats to support children in their literacy development. diagnose needs so that appropriate action can be taken. written by Cay Holbrook. It is also available to borrow from RNIB National Library Service. rate of reading and comprehension in children aged 5 to 18 reading contracted braille. written by Lisette Wesseling Available to loan in print and contracted braille from RNIB National Library Service (contact the Music Librarian on 0161 355 2064).uk . Learning Media Assessment A guide to help assess. check specific skills have been acquired and probe children's interest in reading. to be kept informed about when the new edition will be available.• A guide to braille music notation. Contact education@rnib. The test (in capitalised and uncapitalised braille) can help to plan teaching programmes. written by Joan Partridge Large print (TC20011) and contracted braille (TC20185). Large print (TC20278) and contracted braille (TC20279). It is available in print or braille from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI).org. Purchase from Techno-Vision Systems Ltd on 01604 792777. ensure that reading materials match children's

In addition to a word list containing most of the words young writers are likely to use. home.a brief explanation or example is given in brackets.Rules and reference books The Spelling dictionary for beginner writers (TC21298) is for new writers (Key Stage 1 and early Stage 2). astronomy/space. Using the braille maths code in contracted braille (20708203) includes advice about transcription issues and covers the code required up to GCSE level. currency and time in braille. For words which sound the same but have different meanings . The examples are not meant to be exhaustive but should act as a guide to solving the common problems which occur when transcribing science notation into braille. Also includes a section on transcribing the notation found in Genetics. write algebraic equations. and express measurements. covering colours. Using the braille code series Guides for use by educational professionals to teach pupils using braille as their main medium for communication. Each word is shown in uncontracted braille (and contracted equivalent if applicable).such as where and wear. Also includes theme word lists. It covers how to lay out calculations. record statistical data. "said" and "went". they are based on the braille code used in the UK for transcribing print into braille. They can all downloaded free of charge or purchased from our shop. sports. rnib. school. and in 18 point print. 4. holidays and weather. label geometric diagrams. geography. AS and A2 curricula. sore and saw .org. there is a mini thesaurus giving synonyms for common words such as "then". Written by the RNIB/VIEW Curriculum Groups. Using the braille science code in print (TC21085P) contains examples of most of the common units and chemical symbols found in the Key Stage .

German code (TC20910) or Spanish code (TC20911) are available in print. Have a Look at This! Learn to sight read contracted braille with this new book compiled and designed by Jill Pemberton. together with the print translation. create words in braille The book offers the beginner an insight into a fascinating subject.Using the braille French code (TC20909). The A4 book uses enlarged print and a braille font to guide the sighted reader through the braille code in 21 “bite-sized” sections. Each section includes a puzzle inviting the reader to complete gapped sentences. Introduction to braille for sighted readers Braille alphabet card The Braille alphabet card (PR10223) shows the embossed braille alphabet. decipher dreadful jokes or solve simple logic problems. puzzles and jokes and is designed to introduce the uncontracted braille (grade 1) alphabet. It should not take more than a couple of hours to complete. Crack the code Crack the code is full of activities. You can download if for free from ClearVision Library. It explains the braille code and how useful even a little braille can be in making a difference to the life of a blind or partially sighted person. It is available in print (TC20401) and contracted braille (TC20393). It is also available in Welsh (TC20802) . at the same time it could help sighted tutors. parents. punctuation marks and numbers. Everyday braille Everyday braille offers an introduction to braille for sighted friends and . support workers. friends and colleagues of visually rnib. simple punctuation and numbers. daily uses and includes some reading exercises.please call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 to place your order. The leaflet also covers braille production methods.

Calibre Audio Library.impaired braille users. Shared reading books Shared reading books are standard print books that have been adapted to include braille on clear interleaved sheets or on clear labels which have been stuck to the pages of the book. along with a wealth of information on braille. information or school work with this free leaflet. a delightful and fascinating introduction to braille. and teachers. Designed to teach sighted children about braille and encourage literacy among all children by using games. . The braille trail activity book (ISBN 978 0 89128 863 3) and braille parent/teachers guide (ISBN 978 0 89128 862 6) are available from American Foundation for the Blind. these books offers students. graphics and activities. This allows the pictures and print story to be read underneath. For further information or to order a copy contact havealookatthis@btinternet. enabling shared reading between sighted and blind The braille trail . Designed in collaboration with RNIB. friends. It can also be downloaded for free here. such as parent and child. They are available while stocks last from our online shop. teacher and child. assistive technology and the biographies of Helen Keller and Louis Braille. it is available free of charge in print (TC20923). contracted braille (TC20924) and on audio CD (TC20925).org. rnib. ClearVision Library and National Blind Children's Society.for pleasure. who happily inhabits American Federation for the Blind's website.written by A Swenson and FM D'Andrea Based on the popular braille Bug. Buying and borrowing books Ways of reading Find reading materials in accessible formats for children of all ages who are blind or partially sighted .

org. and contains factual articles. problem pages. contracted braille (PR12230B2) and multimedia CDROM (PR12230) which includes English. jokes and puzzles. call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999. teacher and child. available in uncontracted or contracted braille • Missy and Vibe are aimed at young teenage girls and boys. • Braille at Bedtime contains short stories for 7 to 11 year olds. stories. • Blast Off! is for children aged 7 to or read our online factsheet. email helpline@rnib. The books have been adapted to include either uncontracted or contracted braille on interleaved clear plastic sheets. available in contracted braille. so that the pictures and print story can be seen underneath. Spanish and French versions in formatted embosser-ready braille. Braille .the world at my fingertips An inspiring collection of 25 winning essays from blind adults and children around the world sharing what braille means to them and how it's changed their lives. and is ideal for children to read to themselves or for adults to read aloud to them. The magazines contain pop gossip. sports news and real life stories. recipes. interviews.Magazines RNIB publish a range of braille magazines for children and young people. friends. rnib. Oxford Reading Tree Oxford Reading Tree is a print reading scheme that is widely used in primary schools. DAISY audio. For a full list of the Oxford Reading Tree titles available please visit our online shop. it is available bi-monthly in uncontracted or contracted braille For a full list of magazines available visit our online shop. PDF and text . Available in uncontracted braille (PR12230B1). This enables shared reading between sighted and blind readers. such as parent and

org. so that pictures and text are not obscured. or email titles in braille. and are mainly for pre-school and primaryaged children. They are designed for blind and partially sighted many of our titles do indirectly support the Curriculum. telephone the Children's Librarians on 0161 355 2061. teachers and friends. please visit our website. and Michael Morpurgo to name just a few! We also stock . For further information please contact the ClearVision Library on telephone 020 8789 9575 or by email info@clearvisionproject. classmates. Books can be sent to home or school. parents and teachers with enquiries about books and reading. From contemporary novels to older favourites we have books by authors such as Stephenie Meyer. giant print (24 point) and unabridged audio on Children's librarians are available to assist young people. Roald ClearVision Library ClearVision Library offers over 14. call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email: helpline@rnib. They are also useful for blind adults wanting to read with sighted children. who are learning to read through braille or Moon. The books chosen are from popular fiction and non-fiction.000 print picture books adapted to include braille or Moon on clear plastic sheets. or browse through the Library catalogue for titles that are available to borrow. You can browse the Book site catalogue to search for titles that are available to purchase.National Library Service RNIB National Library Service has over 4. and although we don't loan text books. for children and young people. to share print books with their sighted rnib. For more information. To join the Library or for information on buying braille books. Jacqueline Wilson.

The kit is available with a blue brailler (BM39BLUE) or a green brailler (BM39GREEN).org. • The Unimanual Perkins (BM08) is similar to the Standard Perkins brailler but has been adapted for one-handed use. It produces up to 42 cells to the line. There are five Perkins brailler models available to choose from: • The Standard Perkins brailler produces up to 42 braille characters per line and weighs about 4. • The Jumbo cell Perkins (BM07) produces braille with larger dots and cells and also wider line spacing. producing up to 28 characters per line on A4 sized paper. The Perkins brailler starter kit includes your choice of blue or green coloured Standard Perkins brailler. Available in midnight blue (BM41BLUE) and raspberry pink (BM41RASPBERRY). It is available with a blue enamel (BM36BLUE) or green enamel (BM36GREEN) finish.38kg). It has six keys. a pack of braille paper. The braille can be checked as it is written. and is available in blue (BM40BLUE) and green (BM40GREEN). a ring binder. smaller and quieter than the Standard Perkins.74kg. with light touch keys and a built-in braille cell eraser. • The Light touch Perkins is perfect for people with reduced hand strength. rnib. • The Next Generation Perkins brailler is a colourful addition to the . braille eraser and labelling materials. carry case. Braille machines The Perkins brailler is a manual writing machine. labelling tape adaptor. one per dot. and it is lighter (3. It is useful for people who find standard braille difficult to read.Braille products Braille can be written using a Perkins brailler or with a hand frame and stylus to write dot by dot. similar to a typewriter. which produces braille on one side of the paper only. and the combination making up any sign are all pressed together. It is specifically constructed and tuned to reduce the force required to operate the braille keys by up to 40 per cent. One example of this software is Duxbury Braille Translation (HT106) which can convert text into both uncontracted and contracted braille. The BrailleSense OnHand 18 (HT254) is a portable braille notetaker with integrated word processor. The Seika is one of the lowest cost braille displays and perfect for light use. WiFi and more which makes it a viable alternative to a computer. media player. There are many electronic braille displays on the market which link to a computer and provide the on-screen information in braille. instantly. They are made up of a number of braille cells which refresh with a new line of braille as you read down the page. The latest braille notetakers offer both braille and speech feedback usually with a choice of voices. into electronic braille. web browser. for example. . rnib. Electronic braille Software can be installed onto a computer which then enables you to convert text from. One example is the Seika Braille Display (HT225) which has 40 braille cells and connects to a computer using USB.When keys are pressed on the left-hand side of the keyboard they remain depressed. braille keyboard and many features usually found on a computer into a standalone device. The standard keys on a Perkins brailler may not be suitable for everyone and they can be replaced with curved (BM10) or straight (BM11) extension keys to suit people with limited dexterity or hand strength. The converted braille can then be printed out using a braille embosser such as the Gemini embosser (HE07). email. Each cell has a cursor key so you can move directly to this letter so you can edit or correct it. Braille notetakers take things a step further and integrate a braille. word documents. until the spacebar or the keys on the right-hand side are pressed.

The Braille King roller frame (BF22) (also upward writing) is unique in that the paper can be fed through it line by line using the roller. so that the writer had to work from right to . Lightweight paper is suitable for most personal work. and there are slots for producing labels on braille labelling tape. including both upward writing and traditional. without needing any knowledge of braille. It produces uncontracted braille. This method is not recommended for braille learners now! The Braille King pocket frame (BF21) is an upward writing frame and uses a hollow-ended stylus to produce the Paper or labelling material up to A4 size can be used with the roller frame. If you are sighted and unfamiliar with braille. reversing the characters. you can easily write a greetings card or quick note to a blind friend. For our full range of braille frames. Brailon® is a plastic paper used primarily to reproduce tactile graphics and useful for people who struggle to feel braille dots on standard paper. please visit our online shop. rnib. weights and materials and is hole-punched for easy storage in a ring binder. so you can write the braille from left to right. hand-held Braille labeller (DL65) can produce self-adhesive braille labels on labelling tape. It is suitable for use with our range of braillers and braille frames. Heavyweight paper is suitable for creating braille documents that need to last a long time. Braille paper Braille paper is available in a choice of sizes. although some contractions are available.Braille frames Traditional braille frames involved using a pointed stylus to prick out (emboss) the dots. Braille Labelling The easy to use.

Why buy from RNIB? Instructions Our instructions are written to make it easier to use the product and understand key features. rnib. and are especially suitable for consumables such as food in the freezer and toiletries. For a full list of braille products. diaries and calendars. Clear self-adhesive labels (DL66. DL67 and DL68) are ideal for labelling items around the home and office in braille. and tactile games. We understand the importance and pride ourselves on providing instructions in accessible and can order braille or audio CD with your product to get the most out of your purchase. we also sell a wide range of Braille products to help you to organise and enjoy your daily life. order our Everyday living catalogue. a braille frame or a Perkins brailler when an adaptor (BM42 and BM43) is fitted. visit our online shop or order our Braille products catalogue or to find out more about our full range. You will receive large print as standard. battery compartment. such as DVD and CD collections or items where a sturdy label is . braille playing cards. as appropriate. functions and menus. CD sized labels (DL52) are also available to add to crystal cases. These include a range of braille address books. Everyday Living and Leisure In addition to all of the products for creating braille. Thick plastic self-adhesive sheets (DL11) are ideal for producing braille labels for items with a long life. Products are fully explained including orientation around operating buttons.Braille labelling tape is used for producing self-adhesive braille labels and can be used with the Braille labeller.

org Braille bug website: Website: Techno-Vision Systems Ltd All of our products have a 12 month guarantee unless stated otherwise which starts from the date of Website: www. Contact your nearest RNIB and Action for Blind People Resource Centre or local society for more information. Where can I have a demonstration of these products? There is a network of resource centres around the UK demonstrating RNIB Browse our full range of online at www.tsbvi. Email: Website: Other useful contacts RNIB Research Library is Europe's Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) for information on Learning Media Assessment by Cay Holbrook. most comprehensive and diverse collection of print and electronic materials covering all aspects of partial sight and blindness. Contact us Call RNIB’s Helpline on 0303 123 9999 Email: shop@rnib. Telephone: 020 7391 2052 Email: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) provides information on publications regarding braille teaching methods and braille research.

uk Website: www. Email: Revised January 2013 Techno-Vision for information on Focus on braille music by Lisette Wesseling.