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Winter 2001 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Follow the Braille Trail

Reprinted with permission from the American Foundation for the Blind

Braille is endlessly fascinating for elementary school children who read print, especially for those who have a classmate who reads braille. The Braille Trail is the new packet from the American Foundation for the Blind to celebrate Braille Literacy Month, which was January 2001. The text was written by Anna Swensen, author of the popular book, Beginning with Braille (AFB Press, 1998), and was designed specifically for sighted elementary school children who want to learn about braille reading, writing, and math. The materials are introduced by Kyle Belanger, a student in New Hampshire who is an avid braille reader. He invites readers to learn more about this "secret code" of braille! The Braille Trail includes background information about the code, including basic explanations about braille contractions and the Nemeth code, and photographs of common types of braille technology devices. Activities in simulated braille such as scrambled words, matching columns, and riddles are included for added fun. Lists of kid-appropriate websites, and picture and chapter books are included to give children additional opportunities to read more about braille and people who are blind. In addition, a copy of the special edition Weekly Reader produced by the American Printing House for the Blind is included. There's even a "secret message" written in uncontracted, embossed braille! The entire packet is colorfully and cleverly designed to capture a child's interest and imagination. Packets are free of charge. Due to anticipated demand, only one copy will be sent per request.

Since the materials were designed for sighted elementary school children and have a high graphic content, the packet is available in print only. However, because we want blind children and teachers to also share these materials with others, we will make available, upon request, the text content of the materials in braille with a description of the graphics on each page. To request The Braille Trail, contact the American Foundation for the Blind National Literacy Center, 100 Peachtree St., Suite 620, Atlanta, GA 30303; phone: (404) 525-2303; toll-free: (800) 232-5463; e-mail: literacy@afb.net.

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Last Revision: September 3, 2003