[Pibe-division] Braille for beginners...

Anita Adkins asadkins at frontier.com
Sat Jan 17 13:46:05 UTC 2015


My name is Anita Adkins, and I am currently a Braille teacher in WV. Before 
working here, I worked at Blind Industries and Services of MD in the 
Rehabilitation Department. In that position, among other things, I taught 
Braille to blind adults. I would be happy to assist you in learning Braille 
perhaps one evening a week. If interested, please email 
asadkins at frontier.com so we can exchange phone numbers, or so we can discuss 
further. Another idea is to consider attending a training center, such as 
the one at Blind Industries and Services of MD or an NFB training Center, or 
taking a college course in Braille.

However, should you wish to learn on your own, I will place some potentially 
helpful information below.

This link will explain the Braille alphabet to you and is a good starting 
point. The arrangement of the Braille cell is composed of six places, which 
can be full or empty, depending on the Braille character you are forming. In 
order to keep track of each place, we name it using the dot number it would 
represent if it were full. In the upper left is dot 1, left middle is dot 2, 
and bottom left is dot 3. On the right top is dot 4, right middle is dot 5, 
and right bottom is dot 6. If using a Braille display, it is also possible 
to have dots 7 and 8 with dot 7 being below dot 3 and dot 8 being below dot 
6. The link to learn more is:


If you do not have a Braillewriter, and even if you do, you might want to 
purchase a slate and stylus as they are relatively inexpensive and are 
reliable when technology fails, are portable, and can also help in learning 
Braille. The NFB store sells them as does other places. Also, as a beginner, 
you might want to get the VB reader and VB Writer apps for your iDevice. The 
apps have a Braille cell on the screen. When you touch the given placement 
in the cell in VB Reader, you will here a beeping and feel a vibration if 
using an iPhone to let you know it is full. Also, VoiceOver will say the 
name of the cell, for example, dot 3, so you know your location with in the 
cell. In this app, you determine which places are filled and then do a 
2-finger swipe right. Now you are given the alphabet and must choose the 
letter that matches the cell. In VB Writer, you are given a letter and you 
then move around the cell and double tap to fill each dot until you have the 
Braille letter formed. Then, when you do a 2-finger swipe right, it will 
tell if you were correct or not. Note that the Braille cell on these apps is 
obviously much larger than actual Braille you would read on a page.
VB Reader link:

VB Writer app:
These are both by Mobile Accessibility.

To ensure you  begin using appropriate reading techniques from the start, 
please take a look at "
Helpful Hints About Teaching Braille Reading" an article written by Sally 
Mangold, Ph.D in Future Reflections way back in 1987, but still very useful. 
The link:

And finally, for further information about Braille, go to

Hope this helps. Good luck! Anita

-----Original Message----- 
From: Rick Reed via Pibe-division
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2015 10:24 PM
To: pibe-division at nfbnet.org
Subject: [Pibe-division] Braille for beginners...

Hello all,

I have only been blind for about 4 years now and am just getting around
to beginning my Braille education. I went to get signed up with Hadley
and saw that they are not offering any beginning Braille classes until
further notice while they focus on the shift to UEB.

My question is this: Do any of you know of any other resources for
learning, or at least beginning to familiarize myself with, Braille in
the meantime?

I really want to get going with this and am kind of twitching at the delay.

Thanks in advance!

Rick Reed
WYOAssist Low-Vision Specialist
President, National Federation of the Blind of Wyoming
Certified Assistive Technology Specialist
iOS Accessibility Advocate

(307) 315-3648




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