[Pibe-division] Questions about Braille instruction - A Parent’s Perspective

DrV pumpkinracer at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 00:10:58 CST 2010


Hi Jackie,

You have gotten some great advice.
I agree with Gail, Brandy, Mary, and others – it is crucially important to
provide young kids with a firm foundation in braille as early as possible. I
am a parent of 2 braille readers. The older one is now in 7th grade, the
younger in 2nd. Both are mainstreamed & both are doing well in school.

As has already been pointed out, kids are learning the alphabet and words in
kindergarten. Braille reading students should be reading & writing to the
same degree as their sighted classmates.

In kindergarten, both my kids were using both English & Lithuanian braille.
They would write what the other kids were writing & read what the other kids
were reading; it’s just that they did that in braille. Importantly, there is
typically a big leap forward within a week of starting first grade & so
students need to already have an established foundation in braille or they
will be struggling with braille basics as the other kids move forward.

My youngest son started keeping a nightly journal on his BrailleNote in
kindergarten – he continues to add a few sentences every night before he
goes to bed, highlighting the day’s events – he has not missed a single day
in nearly 2 years! It is pretty cool to think that he will have his own
written record of the highlights of his life :-)

I love the story of a lady by the name of Kim Boshart in Nebraska who
started teaching preschoolers to write with the slate and stylus "because
she didn't know they couldn't learn it" that young. Guess what? They did
learn! That comes from Ramona Walhof's 1993 NFB National Convention address
entitled "BRAILLE: A RENAISSANCE" - it is definitely worth reading (
www.nfb.org/Images/nfb/Publications/bm/bm93/brlm9310.htm).

In preparation for IEPs at the beginning of each school year, as a barometer
of were each child should be performing, I have made it a habit of looking
at the district & state education standards for the current & the upcoming
grade level every year. California is the first state to adopt formal
Braille Reading Standards (
www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/fd/documents/braillereadstand.pdf) and Braille Math
Standards (www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/fd/documents/braillemathstand.pdf). These
standards have already served our family in very real and practical ways.

Jackie, you mentioned you were a beginning braille teacher. As a parent of a
blind child (well actually 2), if I could deliver a single message to
educators & administrators (general ed or blindness ed) it would be a
request to truly adopt a paradigm of equal, age-appropriate expectations. My
wife & I have tried to live up to this paradigm. If you are interested in
how at least one family’s story, I invite you to read Equal Expectations: A
Belief Paradigm or a Politically Correct, Feel-Good Phrase? (
www.nfb.org/images/nfb/Publications/fr/fr27/1/fr270107.htm).

Best wishes on a rewarding, fruitful, & impactful career.

Respectfully,

Eric Vasiliauskas (a Dad)

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On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 1:01 PM, Jackie Anderson <jackieanderson54 at yahoo.com
> wrote:

>
> Hello,
>
> I am a beginning Braille teacher.  I was wondering where can I find
> information about time line for braille instruction?  By the end of
> kindergarten, what should the a student be expected to have covered?
> *Jackie Anderson*
> **
> *A long journey begins with one step*
> *There is a literacy crisis in America.*
> *Only 10% of children who are blind are *
> *taught to read Braille. *
>
>
>
> --- On *Tue, 2/16/10, pibe-division-request at nfbnet.org <
> pibe-division-request at nfbnet.org>* wrote:
>
>
> From: pibe-division-request at nfbnet.org <pibe-division-request at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: Pibe-division Digest, Vol 21, Issue 6
> To: pibe-division at nfbnet.org
> Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 6:00 PM
>
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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. 40 New Books from Seedlings Braille Books! (Lee Truslow)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:43:03 -0600
> From: Lee Truslow <specialcritters at hotmail.com<http://us.mc573.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=specialcritters@hotmail.com>>
> (by way of David
>     Andrews    <dandrews at visi.com<http://us.mc573.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=dandrews@visi.com>
> >)
> To: david.andrews at nfbnet.org<http://us.mc573.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=david.andrews@nfbnet.org>
> Subject: [Pibe-division] 40 New Books from Seedlings Braille Books!
> Message-ID: <auto-000139518235 at mailfront2.g2host.com<http://us.mc573.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=auto-000139518235@mailfront2.g2host.com>
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> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Seedlings Braille Books for Children
> Announces: 40 New Low-cost Braille Books Now Available!
> February 2010
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
>
>
>
> Seedlings' 2010 Catalog Update is ready!
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> We are very excited to announce that our 2010
> Catalog Update will be in the mail to you very
> soon, but you don't have to wait. The new books
> are already listed on our website and are ready to be ordered!
>
> New Print-Braille-&-Picture Books in Uncontracted Braille:
>     Baby's Very First Touchy-Feely Book
>     Clifford's Bedtime
>     Let's Eat--Vamos A Comer (in English & Spanish)
>     Little Quack Loves Colors
>
> New Print-Braille-&-Picture Books in Contracted Braille:
>     First Picture Nursery Rhymes
>     Mama's Right Here
>
> New Print-and-Braille Easy-Readers (no pictures):
>     Caps for Sale (in uncontracted braille)
>     Barack Obama: Out of Many, One (in contracted braille)
>
>
>
>   New Braille Fiction in Contracted Braille
>     (no print or pictures):
>
>
>     Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls Book One: Moving Day
>     American Girls: Happy Birthday, Molly!
>     American Girls: Happy Birthday, Samantha!
>     American Girls: Julie Tells Her Story
>     American Girls: Thanks to Nicki
>     Animal Rescue: Charlie the Home-Alone Kitten
>     The Blind Outlaw
>     Boxcar Children #25: The Amusement Park Mystery
>     Boxcar Children #37: The Mystery of the Lost Village
>     The Breadwinner--An Afghan Child in a War Torn Land
>     Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy
>     Dear America: When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
>     The Egyptian Box
>     Goosebumps Horrorland #1: Revenge of the Living Dummy
>     Hardy Boys #59: Night of the Werewolf
>     Igraine the Brave
>     The Jungle Book
>     Junie B. Jones Is a Party Animal (#10)
>     Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch (#19)
>     Junie B., First Grader: Cheater Pants (#21)
>     Lady Grace Mysteries: Conspiracy
>     Magic Tree House #9: Dolphins at Daybreak
>     Magic Tree House #37: Dragon of the Red Dawn
>     Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: The Zoo Crew
>     Robinson Crusoe (Junior Classics edition)
>     A Swiftly Tilting Planet
>     Three Stories from Winnie-the-Pooh
>     Wayside School Is Falling Down
>     The Window
>
> New Braille Poetry in Contracted Braille (no print or pictures):
>     Where the Sidewalk Ends
>
> New Braille Nonfiction in Contracted Braille (no print or pictures):
>     First Kids: The True Stories of All the Presidents' Children
>     Growl! A Book about Bears
>
> You don't have to wait for your flyer to arrive.
> Check out our 1,000+ braille books right now on
> our accessible website: Seedlings' Online Catalog
>
> For a list of the new books with authors and
> prices, see the What's New section.
>
> To download a textfile version of Seedlings'
> Catalog with the new books added, please click
> this link: Seedlings' Catalog--Textfile Version
>
> Seedlings' books are always "on sale": we sell
> them for only a fraction of what it costs to make
> them, and our prices have not been raised in 25 years!
>
> "The road to knowledge begins with the turn of the page."
> Order some books today!
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
>
> 2010 Book Angel Program ... Register Now!
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
> Seedlings' Book Angel Program is open to
> visually-impaired children who live in the US,
> and through this program each child can receive 2
> free Seedlings' books (you list 4 books from our
> catalog and we will send 2 of them.)
>
> To register, just fill out the form on page 52 of
> the 2010 catalog, or better yet, fill it out
> online right now by clicking here: Seedlings' Book Angel Program
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
>
> An Easy Way To Help ... Use GoodSearch & GoodShop
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501(c)3
> nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing
> the opportunity for literacy by providing
> high-quality, low-cost children's literature in
> braille. The services we provide are completely
> dependent upon the generosity of our supporters.
>
> You can help in a very simple way:  you can earn
> money for Seedlings every time you search the
> internet or shop online! Just go to
> www.goodsearch.com and type "Seedlings" in the
> "Who do you GoodSearch for?" box. Be sure to
> bookmark the page and use it for all your searches and online shopping.
>
> If you go through GoodSearch to your favorite
> online stores (there are over 1,000 stores ...
> everything from Amazon to Walgreen's), a
> percentage of your total will be donated to
> Seedlings by the vendor!  It doesn't cost you
> anything extra and the dollars donated to Seedlings add up quickly!
>
> As always, we deeply appreciate all of your help
> and support! We couldn't do what we do without you!
>
> With gratitute,
> Debra J. Bonde, Director
> Seedlings Braille Books for Children
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Quick Links...
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Seedlings' Website
> Seedlings' Online Catalog of Braille Books & Gift Items
> List of New Books (with authors & prices)
>   Special Projects (like our Book Angel Program)
> GoodSearch & GoodShop
> To Donate to Seedlings
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
>
> Seedlings' Contact Information
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> website: www.seedlings.org
> phone: 800-777-8552
> fax: 734-427-8552
> email: info at seedlings.org<http://us.mc573.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=info@seedlings.org>
> mail: PO Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924
> visit: 14151 Farmington Road, Livonia, MI 48154
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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