[bct] learning braille on the web.

  • From: "Lisa Hall" <lhall10@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2006 18:00:36 -0600

Hi Rick and everyone,


I have been reading several threads on the topic of braille.


On my web site located at 




I have a page on my site in reference to learning braille.

I have listed reference materials that is available for learning braille,
links to NLS publications regarding braille, and have placed several
articles in reference to improving braille reading speed for those who
already know braille.


Several years ago while working at Louisiana Association for the Blind from
1986 to 1994, I did several things there. I did braille transcription,
taught braille to about sixteen adults and 1 child on an individual basis,
taught computers to clients in our training program, and performed other
tasks where needed.


When teaching braille I used a variety of materials and techniques for
introducing each letter or sign. I have created individual alphabet card
with each letter on a card with dymo tape with the symbol in braille. I used
3 by 5 cards for this method.

I also used six golf balls and half of an egg carton as a model for
introducing each letter.

I tell the student the dot pattern being learned. I asked the student to
tell me the dot pattern. If the student gets it incorrect, I will give them
another chance.

Sometimes I will show them the letter on the model to help jog their memory.

I also used the 3 volume set of the braille series originally written in
1960 but was revised in 1990 I believe.

The first volume is for grade 1 with each letter on a new page and the
practice of the letters on that page. It is double-spaced and single-sided.

Grade 2 braille covers the next 2 volumes. Each of these can be purchased in
braille from our Aids and Appliances store at National Federation of the

We have several other materials as well as an online course to help anyone
who is interesting in learning braille.

We have an online course called Introduction to Braille which is $89.00 

Information about the course is given below.



Course: NFB 102-Introduction to Braille


Description: This course is designed to provide students with knowledge and
understanding of the uncontracted Braille code and the utility of Braille
from the user's perspective. This provides a solid foundation for students
interested in going on to learn the full contracted Braille code. Students
will learn:


A. The key terms related to Braille and the utility of Braille in a variety
of settings;


B. The history of Braille, why Braille has often been controversial, and the
development of, and consumer response to, the Braille literacy crisis in the
United States;


C. How Braille is produced using low and high tech devices and the impact
technology has had on Braille and its production;


D. The uncontracted Braille code including the alphabet, numbers,
capitalization, and punctuation; and


E. Critical points for children or adults seeking to develop good Braille
reading skills.


Objectives: Upon completion of this course, each student will be able to:


Understand the commonly held misconceptions about blindness and Braille and
be aware of the definitions related to blindness;

. Understand the utility of Braille and the basic factors which need to be
considered in deciding who should learn Braille;

. Identify the central issues sparking the Braille movement and the laws and
policies impacting the provision of Braille and Braille instruction;

. Understand how Braille is produced in a variety of different ways and the
impact of technology on Braille users;

. Understand the structure of the uncontracted Braille code;

. Identify the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation in uncontracted Braille;

. Understand the key principles for reading Braille by touch effectively and
resources related to teaching Braille.



NOTE: This course is designed primarily to teach people who are sighted.
While the course is fully accessible to the blind, the National Federation
of the Blind does not believe that blind people can most effectively learn
Braille without practicing the recognition of characters by touch. Because
sighted people generally read Braille with their eyes, the online format
provides a good avenue for learning. Blind people wishing to take this
course should contact the NFB Jernigan Institute Coordinator of Educational
Programs, or send an email to

OnlineEducation@xxxxxxx, to discuss ways to maximize the instruction
presented in the online format.


Availability: Open


Designation: Professional Development (PD)


Who should take this course? Regular education teachers, parents, and others
interested in getting a better understanding of Braille and its history, as
well as, learning the uncontracted (basic) Braille code.


Registration fee: $89.95


Estimated course completion time:

6 hours


Credit Hours: .6


I would advise that any blind person who wishes to learn braille work with a
mentor in their home area if possible to provide reinforcement and
encouragement as you go through this stage.


Hadley School for the Blind have several courses of braille that is taught
by mail.


One of the important things to consider is good sensitivity in your fingers.
Being able to trace a straight line and distinguishing how many dots for
each individual cell or space.


All of the courses being offered through Hadley is free to the blind.


If anyone whishes to contact me off list for one-on-one instruction by phone
or e-mail, I'd be happy to help in that area if needed.


The National Federation of the Blind published a book called The World Under
My Fingers.

It is located online at 



This book is available in print for purchase online through our Aids and
Appliances store.


There are many resources out there.


Be warned, if you want to read books and magazines, you'll need to learn
contracted Braille for this purpose.


Check my site out for more information about what I have to share.



Lisa Hall,

Former Consultant for Adaptive Technology for Northwest Vista College, a
college of the Alamo Community College District. 

Web page: http://home.satx.rr.com/lisahall

Phone: (210) 829-4571

E-mail and MSN I.D.: lhall10@xxxxxxxxxxx







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  • » [bct] learning braille on the web.