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{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy2476\absw4449\absh252\f5\fs22 Ascend steps on all fours by creeping or scooting.\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy2908\absw5887\absh252\f5\fs22 Make stair ascending movements with support from Mom or Dad.\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy3340\absw5097\absh252\f5\fs22 Ascend steps alternating forward foot (one foot per step).\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy3772\absw4653\absh264\f5\fs23 Descend back door steps on buttocks by scooting.\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy4204\absw4322\absh252\f5\fs22 Make stair descending movements with support.\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy4636\absw9352\absh505\f5\fs22 Descend front door steps one at a time ( both feet on each step) then progress to using alternating forward foot (one foot per step).\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy5356\absw1861\absh264\f5\fs23 Locate the top step.\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy5788\absw2052\absh264\f5\fs23 Descend 5 step stairs.\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy6220\absw3621\absh252\f5\fs22 Stop at the front/back door stair landing.\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy6652\absw4886\absh252\f5\fs22 Make running movements, while holding his/her hand.\par}

{\phpg\posx1440\pvpg\posy7084\absw2537\absh252\f5\fs22 Run together, hand-in-hand.\par}

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{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy7972\absw10110\absh1206\f3\b\fs21 Kate\rquote s Corner{\b0 - continued from page 1} \par\sb0\fi0 \b0 level of calendar usage. It also provides information about how a calendar can serve as a tool not only for scheduling, but more importantly for building receptive and expressive language and conversational skills. I am very excited about this book. I think parents will find it easy to understand and quite helpful in getting a calendar system going with their child.\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy9772\absw10523\absh1768\f5\fs22 \fi287 Another event the gang here in Outreach is looking forward to is having Holly Cooper, our new Technology Specialist, join us in August. Holly has been an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired in Lewisville ISD and Dallas ISD, a classroom teacher of children with multiple disabilities in Ft. Worth, and has had experience with deaf and deafblind students as a teacher aide and interpreter in Mesquite and as a graduate assistant at Callier Center for Communication Disorders in Dallas. Holly has long had an interest in assistive technology and augmentative commu- nication systems. She also served on the assistive technology team in Lewisville ISD. We are glad to have Holly join us and know that you will be glad to see her out and about in Texas this next school year.\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy12076\absw10451\absh758\f5\fs22 \fi287 Sharon Nichols, our other Technology Specialist, is thrilled to have a technology partner with Outreach next year. She is looking forward to working with Holly and having her support in meeting the technology needs of the staff and students in the local ISDs.\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy13228\absw10512\absh1263\f5\fs22 \fi287 Please take time to complete the annual SEE/HEAR and Outreach survey included in this edition of SEE/HEAR. Your feedback on the newsletter and other Outreach activities is very important to us as we plan for the coming year. We really do read every one of them and many of the changes made to SEE/HEAR have come from the feedback you sent to us. We also utilize this information in planning new workshops and other training activities. So, before you sit down to read SEE/HEAR, please take a few minutes and fill out the survey.\par}

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{\phpg\posx6180\pvpg\posy14946\absw300\absh275\f5\fs24 22\par}

{\phpg\posx3038\pvpg\posy758\absw6794\absh345\f4\b\fs30 Reading for Everyone: Expanding Literacy Options\par}

{\phpg\posx3345\pvpg\posy1135\absw5861\absh620\f7\fs27 \fi381 By Cyral Miller, TSBVI, Director of Outreach and Ann Rash, Teacher Trainer, TSBVI, VI Outreach\par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy2092\absw10485\absh2274\f5\fs22 \fi287 Instruction in the use of alphabetic braille has become a hot topic across the state and nation. Also known as uncontracted or Grade 1 Braille, the term refers to a braille code made up of the letters of the alphabet, punctuation symbols and the number sign. It has 180 rules. In contrast, contracted or Grade 2 Braille consists of the alphabet plus 189 one cell and two cell contractions representing various combinations of letters. Contracted braille, with 450 rules, is a more complex system of letters plus whole word and part word contractions. Grade 2 Braille is regarded as the standard form of literacy for blind individuals. It is endorsed for its space-saving properties and for increased reading speeds achieved by accomplished readers. Since the 1950s most published materials from the American Printing House for the Blind and other braille producing organizations have been produced in Grade 2 Braille, and most instruction provided to braille reading students in both local and specialized schools has been in the contracted form.\par}

{\phpg\posx1079\pvpg\posy4972\absw10523\absh3285\f5\fs22 \fi287 The VI Outreach Team at the TSBVI became interested in alphabetic braille as a way to increase literacy options for students with visual impairments. There is a national search for strategies to help more blind and visually impaired students develop competence in reading and a sense that many students who could and should be readers are not mastering braille. During on-site visits to schools and in conversations with teachers of the visually impaired (TVI\rquote s), we have encountered students who struggle for reading competency despite adequate levels of specialized services. Other students are not offered braille instruction because additional disabilities are thought to limit their ability to read braille contractions. We became familiar with {\i One is Fun: Guidelines for Better Braille Literacy}, by Marjorie Troughton, written in 1992. In that Canadian publication (available to download from the TSBVI website at ), Ms. Troughton reviewed research on approaches to teaching braille literacy, comparing instruction in contracted and uncontracted braille. She put forth compelling arguments to reconsider the current practice of introducing braille with Grade 2 contractions. We invited Dr. Linda Mamer from British Columbia, Canada to present \i One is{\i0 }Fun{\i0 materials at the Texas Focus conference in El Paso. She reinforced the idea that introducing braille with} \i0 uncontracted systems may offer greater literacy opportunities for many of our students.\par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy9004\absw10206\absh505\f5\fs22 \fi287 To further explore this issue, we surveyed selected professionals with expertise in braille literacy and looked for written documents. There were four questions on our survey:\par}

{\phpg\posx1413\pvpg\posy9940\absw7988\absh252\f5\fs22 1. Have you had experience teaching or observing the instruction of uncontracted braille?\par}

{\phpg\posx1413\pvpg\posy10372\absw9748\absh505\f5\fs22 \li252 \fi-252 2. What students, in your opinion, might be good candidates for short-term instruction in uncontracted braille (to be followed by instruction in contracted braille)? Why? Let us know how you define short-term.\par}

{\phpg\posx1413\pvpg\posy11092\absw9735\absh505\f5\fs22 \li252 \fi-252 3. What students, in your opinion, would be good candidates for long-term instruction in uncontracted braille (and won\rquote t switch over)? Why?\par}

{\phpg\posx1413\pvpg\posy11812\absw9902\absh505\f5\fs22 \li252 \fi-252 4. Please share with us your knowledge of research relevant to practitioners making decisions on which type of braille instruction is appropriate for specific students.\par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy12748\absw10227\absh1448\f5\fs21 \fi287 We received responses from 16 individuals, including Tanni Anthony, Dr. Anne Corn, Francis Mary D\rquote Andrea, Dr. Cay Holbrook, Dr. Alan Koenig, Dr. Linda Mamer, Dr. Sally Mangold, Dr. Dixie Mercer, Debra Sewell, Anna Swenson, Nancy Toelle, and 5 TVIs from California and Colorado. All 16 respondents had experience teaching or observing instruction in uncontracted braille, thus confirming widespread use of this technique. We have included many of their survey comments below along with what we have learned from reading and discussions. In a presentation on this issue at the 2001 Texas AER conference, many participants acknowledged using this method with students. We\par}

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{\shp{\*\shpinst\shpfhdr0\shpbxpage\shpbypage\shpwr3\shpfblwtxt1\shpz1\shpleft11360\shptop4340\shpright11859\shpbottom4340{\sp{\sn shapeType}{\sv 20}}{\sp{\sn fFlipH}{\sv 1}}{\sp{\sn lineWidth}{\sv 25907}}{\sp{\sn lineColor}{\sv 0}}{\sp{\sn lineDashing}{\sv 0}}}}

{\shp{\*\shpinst\shpfhdr0\shpbxpage\shpbypage\shpwr3\shpfblwtxt1\shpz1\shpleft11859\shptop4340\shpright11859\shpbottom7899{\sp{\sn shapeType}{\sv 20}}{\sp{\sn fFlipH}{\sv 1}}{\sp{\sn lineWidth}{\sv 25907}}{\sp{\sn lineColor}{\sv 0}}{\sp{\sn lineDashing}{\sv 0}}}}

{\shp{\*\shpinst\shpfhdr0\shpbxpage\shpbypage\shpwr3\shpfblwtxt1\shpz1\shpleft11360\shptop7899\shpright11859\shpbottom7899{\sp{\sn shapeType}{\sv 20}}{\sp{\sn fFlipH}{\sv 1}}{\sp{\sn lineWidth}{\sv 25907}}{\sp{\sn lineColor}{\sv 0}}{\sp{\sn lineDashing}{\sv 0}}}}

{\phpg\posx5820\pvpg\posy14946\absw300\absh275\f5\fs24 23\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy748\absw10441\absh505\f5\fs22 were interested to find that several admitted to feeling guilty at trying alphabetic braille, because they had been taught that {\i real} braille is Grade 2 (contracted) Braille.\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy1612\absw10366\absh758\f5\fs22 \fi287 There are a variety of students for whom the short-term teaching of alphabetic braille should be considered. Most survey respondents suggested that beginning readers and adventitiously blinded students in particular would benefit from learning braille introduced in uncontracted form.\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy2764\absw10059\absh2069\f5\fs20 \fi287 Beginning readers in early elementary classrooms typically are taught with phonics-based instruction. In Texas, the Texas Reading Initiative, a research-based program developed in 1997 and implemented statewide, relies heavily on phonics for early instruction. Jennifer Dorwin, a home counselor with The Blind Babies Foundation in California noted, \ldblquote Many young sighted readers use the method of phonics to decipher words and learn how to read. I think it is only fair \par\sb0\fi0 that we do not deprive our braille readers of the same processes.\rdblquote Other survey responses also highlighted the correspondence between alphabetic braille and regular print. For example, Debra Sewell said, \ldblquote Students in a general education classroom using a skills-based phonetic approach to reading\rdblquote would be good candidates for beginning with alphabetic braille. Alphabetic braille is a direct parallel to print, with letter-by-letter reading and writing, so phonetic \par rules are the same for both. In Grade 2 Braille, contractions frequently combine syllables and groups of letters into one sign.\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy5644\absw10519\absh1010\f5\fs22 \fi287 Nancy Toelle shared an experience of teaching Grade 1 Braille to a kindergarten student, who learned to read and write at the same rate and using the same methods as her peers. In addition to direct instruction by her TVI, all other classroom activities throughout the day incorporating the language arts were performed alongside her classmates using the same materials in Grade 1Braille.\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy7084\absw10358\absh1768\f5\fs22 \fi287 Students who lost their vision in later years and needed to switch from print to braille were also seen as good candidates for learning alphabetic braille, at least initially. \ldblquote Most adults who have read print need to experience successful reading in braille as quickly as possible in order to maintain the motivation to learn. Uncontracted braille allows them to read adult literature soon after learning the alphabet,\rdblquote wrote Sally Mangold in her response to our survey. As Harley noted, \ldblquote A most important factor in the braille reading program for the late newly blinded is the provision for success in reading since newly blinded persons are generally insecure and are very sensitive to failure.\rdblquote (Harley et al, 1987)\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy9388\absw10220\absh2413\f5\fs21 \fi287 Many survey responses also indicated that alphabetic braille is a good choice for a population of students who were described variously as having additional disabilities, learning disabilities, lower cognitive abilities, or as learning at a functional academic level. Carson Nolan concluded in 1974 that comprehension and reading speeds with contracted words were more difficult for students noted as \ldblquote slow learners.\rdblquote (Lowenfeld, 1969) Based on studies conducted with contracted braille, \ldblquote the evidence of the study strongly suggests that for students whose IQ is below 85, braille is an extremely inefficient medium of communication and the necessity of mastering it may constitute an additional education handicap.\rdblquote (Nolan & Kederis, 1969) The assumption seems to have been that because the complexity of contractions makes Grade 2 Braille hard to read, instruction in braille for students with additional disabilities should be limited. In \i One is Fun{\i0 , Ms. Troughton stated that by removing most contractions and simplifying the necessary rules, these} \i0 populations became more adept at reading and more successful in braille literacy.\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy12556\absw10114\absh1206\f5\fs21 \fi287 Frances Mary D\rquote Andrea described a student who had a brain tumor removed. \ldblquote Prior to my trying uncontracted braille with her, she had been unsuccessful in learning to read, although she had memorized the alphabet. She had very good auditory and phonological skills. By the end of the school year, she was reading a number of little books that I had made up for her. She moved away at the end of that year, and called me the next year to tell me that she was now reading Grade 2 Braille books.\rdblquote \par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy14284\absw10297\absh505\f5\fs22 \fi287 In {\i Instructional Strategies for Braille Literacy }we found an example of a young student, Tony, who was having difficulties learning to read braille. His TVI had taught him the alphabet using the Mangold program . She used the\par}

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{\shp{\*\shpinst\shpfhdr0\shpbxpage\shpbypage\shpwr3\shpfblwtxt1\shpz0\shpleft380\shptop4340\shpright879\shpbottom7876{\sp{\sn shapeType}{\sv 1}}{\sp{\sn fLine}{\sv 0}}{\sp{\sn fBehindDocument}{\sv 1}}{\sp{\sn fillColor}{\sv 16777215}}}}

{\phpg\posx6180\pvpg\posy14946\absw300\absh275\f5\fs24 24\par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy748\absw10355\absh758\f9\i\fs22 Patterns{\i0 series, but he had problems remembering the vocabulary words from one day to the next and even from one} \i0 hour to the next. The teacher tried numerous other strategies and then decided to consult with the teacher of students with learning disabilities (LD) in Tony\rquote s school.\par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy1900\absw10257\absh1263\f5\fs22 \fi287 The recommendation from the LD teacher was to use a linguistic approach. He guided the TVI teacher in using word families, such as the \lquote at\rquote family (fat, cat, sat, and mat), to create stories that Tony could read. The TVI also created games and used other strategies that had been tried before, but this time with Grade 1 and the new reading strategies. Tony\rquote s self esteem improved and his reading level increased. He later became a Grade 2 reader and was on level with his peers by fourth grade. (Wormsley, 1997)\par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy3628\absw10458\absh1263\f5\fs22 \fi287 The Outreach survey asked for other categories of students who may initially need to use uncontracted braille. Students who are learning English as a second language were mentioned. These students rely on their knowledge of a written language they have already learned, and may become confused by needing to master new symbols and writing rules in addition to the new vocabulary. For some of these students, alphabetic braille was described as a gateway to literacy; a successful entry point from which they could move on to fully contracted Grade 2 Braille.\par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy5356\absw10161\absh1930\f5\fs21 \fi287 Some students may learn alphabetic braille and not switch to Grade 2. Debbie McCune from Colorado noted that this category includes students with \ldblquote cognitive limitations and students who do not have a need for heavy reading.\rdblquote Tanni Anthony added, \ldblquote There may be students with memory challenges who would need to stay on this type of system, or kids who need continual reinforcement of the braille code in their environment and as such, need to have everyday people around them understand the braille code.\rdblquote Dixie Mercer also identified students who are unmotivated to use braille and whose primary literacy need is for a functional labeling system. A simple alphabetic code might be the most successful system for this type of student. Frances Mary D\rquote Andrea stated, \ldblquote To me, the test would be: Is it functional? Is it practical? And does it contribute to the student\rquote s sense of accomplishment as a reader?\rdblquote \par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy7948\absw10178\absh1206\f5\fs21 \fi287 Linda Mamer and others mentioned that students who are deafblind and learning many language codes, including finger spelling, might stay with alphabetic braille. All respondents stress ongoing assessment, keeping the possibility of Grade 2 Braille always in mind. Sally Mangold stated, \ldblquote There may be students who learn slowly and have certain learning disabilities who may function best in uncontracted braille for years. The determination as to whether to keep them in uncontracted braille should be made on an evaluation of their level of success where they are.\rdblquote \par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy9676\absw10526\absh2021\f5\fs22 \fi287 Many educational practitioners rely more on folk art and instinct than formal studies. Alan Koenig and Cay Holbrook both noted that there is very limited research on the use of uncontracted braille other than {\i One Is Fun}. In many cases, instructional strategies may be based on what materials are available. Marjorie Troughton wrote, \ldblquote When these decisions were made (to have all books published in Grade 2 Braille) it was not possible physically or financially to publish books in two different codes. However, with today\rquote s technology, computers, scanners and printers, it is no longer impractical. The reasons for only one code are no longer valid. The reasons for two codes are very evident. It is time that a larger percentage of possible braille users be given the opportunity to have a code that is useful to them.\rdblquote (Troughton, 1992).\par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy12268\absw10249\absh1206\f5\fs21 \fi287 Anna Swenson summed up our exploration of this topic well by stating, \ldblquote I continue to feel that there is no \lquote right\rquote way to teach braille, given the many variables involved. Teachers should select the approach that best meets the needs of \par\sb0\fi0 an individual child in a specific educational setting. There are certainly anecdotal success stories on both sides of this debate. While further research may clarify best practice in certain situations, expanding, rather than narrowing, the range of options will enable teachers to make the best instructional decisions for their students.\rdblquote \par}

{\phpg\posx1080\pvpg\posy13996\absw10557\absh758\f5\fs22 \fi287 Overall when we looked at texts commonly used by vision professionals, the international work on developing a Unified English Braille Code, the Texas Reading Initiative, survey responses and dialogue with teachers of the visually impaired, several questions kept surfacing:\par}

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{\phpg\posx5820\pvpg\posy14946\absw300\absh275\f5\fs24 25\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy748\absw10525\absh505\f9\i\fs22 \li287 \fi-287 1. What are the most important skills young braille readers need to acquire reading in the braille medium? \par\sb0\fi0 \i0 The Texas Reading Initiative has shown that young readers must make a connection between sounds and individual\par}

{\phpg\posx720\pvpg\posy1360\absw10550\absh1768\f5\fs22 letters. They need to associate and manipulate sounds to form words. They need to write about their experiences and be able to read back that information. Reading consists of many skills, including letter discrimination and use of meaningful vocabulary. For many reasons, young braille readers often do not have adequate reading readiness skills in the early elementary years. Research has shown that the tactual discrimination skills of first grade blind children, and their recognition of common household objects by touch, may vary widely. (Nolan and Kederis, 1969) Early instruc- tion must maximize successful movement from oral to written language experiences, focusing on connections between sounds, letters and real life experiences.\par}



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