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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Interview with Anna M. Swenson, Author of Beginning with Braille

Anna M. Swenson
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Listen to Anna M. Swenson, author of the new 2nd edition of Beginning with Braille: Firsthand Experiences with a Balanced Approach to Literacy



Transcript for Anna M. Swenson Interview

Narrator: AFB Press presents an interview with Anna M. Swenson, the author of the new second edition of Beginning with Braille: Firsthand Experiences with a Balanced Approach to Literacy.

Anna: Well, I wrote the first edition of Beginning with Braille and I wrote it for teachers and the new edition also is, is primarily for teachers although there may be some parents who would also be interested in it.

Those who have the first edition, and when they look at the second edition they'll see it's almost twice as long. So I have significantly increased some of the original chapters. For example the chapter on "Teaching Children with Diverse Needs," I've added quite a bit more to that. I have a whole section on dyslexia, "Teaching Children with Dyslexia Who Are Also Braille Readers." I have a new section on teaching children who speak English as a second language.

There's also a chapter on dual media. In the 1st edition there was only a paragraph and now we have a whole chapter. I think more and more are looking at students conducting functional vision learning media assessments and determining that for a variety of reasons print may not be the most efficient medium for them although they will use it for some things. And so these dual media students benefit from having two different media, two different tools in their toolbox.

The big thing is that initial braille instruction needs to be meaningful and motivating. And you can do this by individualizing your approach based on the student's interests and what motivates the student.

Narrator: The new 2nd edition of Beginning with Braille: Firsthand Experiences with a Balanced Approach to Literacy is available in print, eBook, and online subscription. Order now in the AFB store or call 1-800-232-3044.

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