The international peer-reviewed journal of record in the field
of vision loss
Special Issue on Literacy
Abstract: Emergent literacy, a process in which the child constructs concepts about the functions of symbols and print, is based on experiences and meaningful language facilitated by interactions with adults. This article presents a literature-based overview of emergent literacy and explores the fit between emergent literacy and the learning needs of children who are blind or visually impaired.
Abstract: This article describes the whole-language philosophy of teaching reading and writing and its application to teaching braille reading. It presents examples of activities that are an effective vehicle for enhancing the development of early reading behaviors in children who use braille and that integrate the critical components of literacy learning with the special skills that are necessary for reading by touch.
Abstract: The Braille Readiness Skills Grid is designed to help those who work with young children who are blind or visually impaired identify, in a systematic manner, activities and skills that will foster braille readiness in children who are potential braille readers. Three intended benefits of the grid are (1) to increase parents' confidence in interventions that foster braille reading readiness, (2) to encourage adults to engage potential braille readers in systematic braille readiness activities from infancy, and (3) to renew the confidence of teachers, parents, and children who are potential braille readers and to foster the children's enthusiasm for reading.
Abstract: This study of the frequency and nature of parental support for the emergent literacy of 264 visually impaired children found differences in support based on the primary literacy medium and presence of additional disabilities. These differences were in the areas of literacy opportunities at home and parents' expectations of and priorities for their children's literacy development.
PERSPECTIVES ON BRAILLE
S.H. Wittenstein, M.L. Pardee
Abstract: This article presents the selected comments of a nationwide sample of teachers of students who are blind or visually impaired. The teachers responded to a survey that asked them to express their attitudes about braille literacy for them and for their students. Their comments, gathered incidentally to the quantitative data, reveal that teachers hold strong opinions and care deeply about the literacy skills of their students.
Abstract: In this qualitative research, case study interviews were conducted to provide an in-depth examination of the meaning of braille in the lives of eight legally blind adults. Issues of self-esteem, self-identity, and the "stigma" of being a person with a disability were found to be integrally intertwined with the subjects' expressed feelings about braille.
Abstract: This study compared a number of outcomes for congenitally legally blind adults who learned to read braille or print as their original reading medium. It was found that those who learned to read using braille had higher employment rates and educational levels, were more financially self-sufficient, and spent more time reading than did those who learned to read using print.
M. Knowlton, R. Wetzel
Abstract: This study of the cognitive processes of braille reading compared the reading of 23 adult braille readers in four different reading conditions: oral reading, silent reading, studying, and scanning. The findings provide support for the idea that braille reading is process driven and that reading rates vary, depending on the purpose of the reading task.
Abstract: This article reports on a study of the reading competence of 25 visually impaired pupils in Sweden, who were followed from 1988 to 1991. Neither visual acuity, reading media, optical aids, nor reading distance were clearly related to reading competence. Rather, good readers were pupils who scored higher on verbal cognitive tests and had a greater interest in reading as a leisure activity.
THE BRAILLE CODE
Abstract: This article reports on a study of a unique method for calculating the space-saving capacity of all Grade 2 braille contractions and the literary braille code as a whole. The study found that, contrary to the widespread belief that contracted braille saves 31 percent over print, the actual text reduction is about 20 percent.
G. Kapperman, A. Heinze, B.B. Hawkins, S. Ruconich
Abstract: The Computerized Braille Tutor is an interactive software tutorial, accompanied by a manual, that sighted persons can use to learn the literary braille code or to refresh their braille skills, either independently or under the supervision of an instructor in a braille course. The software presents 15 lessons that address different aspects of the literary braille code and include braille-translation and proofreading exercises and graded self-evaluation proficiency tests.
L. Jones, K. Wolffe
Abstract: The Texas Commission for the Blind's (TCB's) braille literacy initiative is an agency-based program designed to enhance the braille skills of teaching staff and hence to improve braille instruction to and the braille literacy of clients. In addition, TCB has established dedicated braille-production stations in 30 of its district offices and offers technical assistance to regional rehabilitation personnel.
E.J. Rex, C. Richesin
IN THIS ISSUE
M.M. Uslan, R. Shen
Reviewed by S.E. LaVenture
C. Burtis, J. Scott
The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB)--the international, interdisciplinary journal of record on blindness and visual impairment that publishes research and practice
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