Thursday, March 15, 2012

Braille Notebook/Index Cards for Children with Multi-disabilities

This is a project I promised a teacher of a multi-disabled student in a class for severely disabled children. The wonderful  teacher goes through the alphabet, the days of the week and the months of the year every day and needed a way to present the same info to the blind child.

I gathered index cards which I cut in half, a Sharpie marker, stick paste, poster letters, a manual Perkins braille writer. Everything here except the brailler came from one of the good VI supply stores: Dollar General. :)
I also found this notebook of index cards. 

Since the poster letters have three of each letter I made two sets of loose alphabet cards and one set I pasted onto the unruled side of the cards in the notebook to the far left on each card. I used a pen  write what each letter means as it stands alone in braille where applicable; Example "b" means "but"; "m" means "more." For a list of braille contractions CLICK HERE.

Next I stuck each card, as well as the cards from the notebook (they rolled in as far as I needed while still attached) and brailled each letter on each card on the lower right side.
The notebook has enough cards for me to write the other items the teacher needs to present. This child needs days of the week, months and daily schedule words. The yellow tabs inside are removable so I was able to label them with my Sharpie and move them around. After I wrote the words I needed. I  brailled the words beneath the printed words using grade two braille. The reason I did not use puffy braille or grade one braille is to keep in realistic for the student. The child is impaired enough not to become a reader of novels and newspapers but I want her to have survival braille that will look like what is found in the environment. She will learn the words by shape and not letter-by-letter, sign-by-sign.
The notebook comes with a plastic insert so a teacher can label this set of cards however she wants. 
This photo shows the notebook of cards standing. The letter is shown in large print so that a low vision child can use it or the teacher can present before the small groups class then allow the child with the VI to see the braille letter. Textured glue like puffy paint or glitter glue can add more texture for low vision, cortical blindness and other perceptual differences. 

If your student does not need texture on the print letter but you would like more durability on the loose cards, have them laminated before they are brailled. 

For folks working with students on my caseload: After you make your cards and you'd like braille on them contact me and I'll get that done ASAP. The same for labels around your classroom.

Sorry, I'm delivering this one today for the child involved and the loose cards for another. But now that I have posted directions for making them you can make some inexpensively for your self. 

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