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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In the Effort to Become Braille Certified

Oh so many years ago, leading up to my braille certification, I killed a LOT of trees in the process. I would braille hours every night after school and after work in order to learn that code. Using 11 x 11 paper and a great deal of it.

Today, things have changed tremendously. People who want to learn how to braille can download Perky Duck, which is free and is a minor program compared to its parent Duxbury, which is a very powerful and superb braille to print, print to braille translation program, but cost money. I also use the Library of Congress Braille Handbook and many supplements for my adult students to work from. They six key in their work, then email it off to me for correction. In this process, we save hundreds of trees. When there are too many students, I have them sign up with the Library of Congress, which the National Federation of the Blind has taken over in the correction and helping mode. They too are set up to receive everything through email and they respond using email also, with a grade and or corrections that need to be made.

When taking the Braille certification test, you can use your reference manuals. When I take them through the lessons, I have them mark the sections and underline the areas they are struggling with, so when the test comes and they are unsure, they can quickly turn to the answer in their book. A great supplement to the classes is the Braille Enthusiast's Dictionary. It has every word and contraction you can think of that may be in text.

When my students are preparing for the test I have them braille it out in Perky Duck or Duxbury to get an electronic copy. Then they move to the brailler and braille another copy out. Next, they compare their hard copy to the electronic copy. Proofreading your own work is one of the hardest things for students. It was for me too, so it is great with these new techniques to use to double check your work. If they are really in doubt, they rebraille another copy on Perky Duck or Duxbury. When they are practicing their proofreading or slate n stylus, once again, they can use Perky Duck to braille out all the different options they believe it to be.

I have had more people pass their braille certification quicker using these methods versus not using them. Using everything at our disposal gives us a better idea of how to help our students too. Many methods, mean more success, for more people.

1 comment:

Nette said...

Very informative.It is a fact that this school brings literacy to many people.A Braille translation enable a blind person to obtain, store, retrieve and communicate information.Especially in the ever faster moving world of globalized business, successful information and technology transfer within multinational businesses can make the difference between win or lose.