Vision Impairment (VI) Service – Teaching Braille
A small number of children with severe visual impairment in Essex mainstream primary and secondary schools will need to learn to read and write in Braille.
How Braille is taught
- teaching begins in the early years with pre-Braille skills – children learn to develop their tactile skills through play
- Braille is then introduced by the VI Specialist Teacher. Children are also supported by the County Braille Instructor who works with pupils and trains school support staff in learning Braille.
- the pupils’ skills in Braille are developed through their school life as they progress through primary school, and then onto secondary school
- the skill of reading tactile diagrams and pictures is also taught
Specialist equipment and ICT skills for my child with VI in school
Children begin learning Braille on a manual Perkins Brailler. After this, they might move onto a specialist computer Brailler – this is usually in the upper years of primary school.
The VI team provide this equipment for pupils to use in school. School staff are trained by the VI team on this equipment.
Specialist ICT skills are taught alongside Braille. These include touch-typing and access technology as needed.
How parents can support
It is helpful for parents of braille-users to try to learn braille themselves. The RNIB have highlighted three main online sites and support groups for parents of children with vision impairments in their article about why parents should learn Braille.