[blindkid] Braille writer

Jen and Bill O'Neill jenbilloneill at cox.net
Wed Feb 4 17:26:03 UTC 2009


Our daughter, Camille, is now 4 years old and she has taken off with her 
Braille on a Mountbatten Braillewriter this year.  We love it for her.  She 
is a peanut as she was a micropreemie, so lacked the strength to push the 
keys on a typical Perkins.  Her hands are very small as well, so the key 
positioning on a traditional Perkins was not ideal...yet we knew she was 
cognitively ready to go full speed ahead with it.  To make things more 
interesting, she has a limited amount of vision in one eye and loves to try 
to use it.  Even though she can read large print now, it is face to the book 
and in my opinion, will not be reliable or efficient enough for her to use 
as her main medium AND writing print is nearly impossible at this point as 
visual motor skills are hard due to her spotty vision.  We were very set on 
getting her started on Braille with technology that was appropriate for her 
so that she would be willing to use it as much as she wants to try to read 
print and keep her at the reading level we know that she is capable of.  The 
Mountbatten has served that purpose very well.  It is electronic, more 
ergonomically suitable for little fingers, and has many advanced functions 
that will allow for some growing room as your son gets into elementary 
school.  Additionally, it has speech feedback, which I love as it is so fun 
to watch Camille participate in incidental learning by listening to what 
she's typing and it has the capability to communicate with a PC and has a 
screen so a non-braille reader can tell what is being typed in braille.  The 
drawback---it's expensive.  The entire Mountbatten learning system is around 
$4000.  Maybe a good time to approach your TVI or see if there is a loan 
program in your state.  Camille doesn't go to a school for the blind, but if 
you have one in your state, they often have every kind of technology and may 
be able to let you try one out as well or at least show it to you. 
Appropriate technology at this age is a big debate still, but don't be 
afraid to push for it if you think it's appropriate.  It has made a 
difference for Camille in the speed with which she has been able to pick up 
learning Braille.

The website is www.mountbattenbrailler.com

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Meng, Debi" <Meng at sccompanies.com>
To: <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 7:10 AM
Subject: [blindkid] Braille writer

> Jonathan will never read print so it is imperative that we get him
> started learning Braille.   We currently have the old metal Perkins
> brailler.   This is very hard for our 3 year old to press the keys.
> Are there other Braille writers available for very young beginners?
> Debi
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