Guide to Braille Resources

Guide to Braille Resources

A Comprehensive Guide with Resources for Teachers, Parents and Users of Braille

Introduction

Braille – a tactile writing system used by people who are visually impaired – is a useful tool for many and a fascinating topic. It is also all around us. Whether you are a parent hoping to teach your blind child braille, a teacher wanting to teach your sighted students how to read braille, or a vision-impaired adult who is looking for ways to enjoy reading, the following resources should provide you with exactly what you need. Read on to find some 40 individual Braille-related resources on the Internet.

General Braille Resources

Braille is an incredible tool and a fascinating subject. These links talk about the history, modern usage and other fun facts about Braille.

All About Braille

This is a great resource if you want a good overview of the basics of braille, its history, and the various forms it takes.

AFB Online Museum

Learn about the history of Braille, from the life and times of Louis Braille and the legacy of the system he created.

Dotless Braille

This website offers a 5-minute introduction to Braille, plus more in-depth information for a beginner.

DOTS for Braille Literacy

Check out this regular newsletter by the American Federation for the Blind to keep up to date on the latest news in the world of Braille.

Moon

Moon is an alternative to braille that uses raised shapes, rather than dots, to represent letters and words. Some consider it easier to learn than braille, especially for those who lose their sight later in life or with learning difficulties.

Braille Institute Podcasts

This is a huge library of podcasts covering all aspects of braille and other visual impairment topics.

The National Braille Week Blog

This blog carries articles about Braille and other accessible formats, “from the basics of how it works to its more weird and wacky uses.”

World Braille Usage, Third Edition

Described as the “Braille Bible,” World Braille Usage is a reference guide that documents the current state of braille around the world.

Braille Learning Resources

Whether you are vision-impaired and want to learn Braille, or a sighted person who is curious about the language, the links below will help any learner on the path to Braille literacy.

BRL: Braille Through Remote Learning

This site offers tons of Braille resources, from online dictionaries to free self-led courses. There are also tutorials on specialized code for subjects such as chemistry and music Braille.

The Hadley School for the Blind

The Hadley School is the largest distance education school for people who are blind and visually impaired worldwide. It offers a free Family Education Program (FE) for English-speaking people who are a direct family member of a blind or severely visually impaired child or adult.

Braille Cheat Sheet

Print out this handy “cheat sheet” to help yourself become familiar with the basic letter and numbers in Braille.

Learn and Practice the Braille Alphabet

When learning to read and write in braille, this handy keyboard provides a great way to practice your new skills. There are also braille excerices and a tool to see your name written out in braille.

The ABCs of UEB

Use this guide to quickly grasp the specific changes during the transition from English Braille American Edition to Unified English Braille (UEB) in the United States, effective in 2016.

UEB Quick Reference Sheet

Print out this reference sheet and keep it handy to remind yourself of the changes in UEB.

Braille Teaching Resources

Teaching Braille to both blind and sighted students needn’t be difficult if you use the wealth of resources available on the Internet. Here are just some great tools to help teachers out.

Strategies and Resources for Teaching Braille to Adults

Teaching braille to adults is different than teaching it to children. The AFB has listed here some helpful strategies and hints to help adult learners get a grasp on braille.

UEB Ain’t Hard to Do

Do your students learn best through song? Play them this catchy jingle by Judy Matsuoka of Hadley School for the Blind. It lists the 9 contractions that went away when UEB became the standard Braille code.

UEB Curriculum for Braille Readers

A great resource for teachers helping students make the transition, this curriculum is a series of ten lessons designed to teach students who are already braille readers about the changes.

Feeling Groovy

This article talks about ways that parents and teachers parents and teachers of students with visual impairments can develop their own functional tactual skills.

Games and Worksheets

Great for teachers who want to teach sighted children the basics of braille, this is a list of fun and simple educational tools to bring into the classroom.

Braille Resources for Children

Teaching a blind or vision-impaired child to read Braille opens them up to a whole new world of literacy. Follow these links to find great tools, information, and more to help teach any child the basics of Braille.

Braille Bug

The American Federation for the blind created this great site to help sighted children learn about braille. It has fun games and riddles, and a biography of Louis Braille to teach children more about the history of braille.

You’ve Got Braille

This is a great introduction to Braille for kids. It features the famous PBS character Arthur, and includes a neat braille translator.

Slate Pals

For a child the wishes to improve his or her Braille writing and reading skills, the NFB has this program that connects children who wish to correspond.

Braille Virtual 1.0

This bright and fun online course uses flash animation and a series of “games” to teach the Braille system to those who can see. It is specifically geared towards younger learners.

Braille Made Easy through Clip Art

This downloadable guide makes learning braille easy and accessible for kids to grasp.

Free Accessible Children’s Magazines

Get your kid reading in Brialle by searching this database and signing up for free Kids Magazines that are available in audio, large print, or braille.

Technology Resources for the Blind

There is a great range of technology available to help and enhance the lives of the blind and vision-impaired. Below are some resources about how to find and use these fantastic technological tools.

Product Database for People Who Are Visually Impaired

The AFB hosts this comprehensive database of all products for the visually impaired. Search by category, manufacturer, or task.

Access Technology Blog

Head here for product information on access technology, and for first-hand stories about how to use it.

Access World

Access World is a monthly online magazine focused on reviewing of technology products and online resources for people with vision loss.

NoteTaker Instruction

There are some great, high-tech tools available to for those who are blind or visually impaired, allowing them to access and produce braille anywhere. This article covers the different types of handy braille equipment available.

Writing Products

Here is a long list of available technology products to assist the visually impaired in the task of writing.

Laptops, Braille Displays, Screen Readers & Screen Enlargement – Assistive Technology for the Blind

This short video, by the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, shows techonologu such as laptops, refreshable braille displays, screen readers, and screen enlargement devices can be used by blind and visually impaired students.

Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD)

This is a federally funded center offers a ton of useful resources and information, with the goal to help families and providers have access to effective assistive and instructional technology (AT/IT) services and devices.

Braille Literacy and Book Resources

Braille literacy depends on access to reading materials, which is where these great resources come in. Check out the many ways below that you can get access to free Braille books and magazines.

Bookshare.org

Bookshare is an accessible online library for people with print disabilities. It is free for qualified U.S. students of any age as well as schools.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)

The NLS administers this free library program that circulates braille and audio materials through the mail. Anyone who is blind or visually impaired in qualified to enroll in the free program.

Free Braille Books Program

The American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults is working to help blind children build their own book collections by sending books to enrolled children and placing copies of books in regional libraries for the blind around the country.

ReadBooks!

This program distributes free braille book bags to families with blind and visually impaired children, from birth to age, across the U.S. and Canada. The bags contains a children’s book in print and braille, a braille primer for parents, a toy, and more information about braille literacy.

Braille Library & Transcribing Services, Inc.

This organization has a library with over 2000 braille titles, all of which are available for free to anyone who requests them throughout the USA and Canada. They also offer transcription services of just about anything.

Braille Special Collection Reading Program

Also called Dots for Tots, this is a braille literacy program that provides free children’s books a few times a year.

Braille Tails Program

The American Printing House for the Blind and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library have partnered up to provide six free print/braille books per year to children under six.

Magazines in Braille

Here is a helpful list of popular magazines that are made available in braille format.