Tack-Tiles: Building a better braille instructional aid

Teachers and parents who are in search of a fun yet effective braille teaching tool might want to explore the Tack-Tiles Braille System--a growing collection of instructional aids for anyone interested in learning braille. Tack-Tiles owe their origin to a parent who was seeking a way to teach his young son braille. One day he noticed the similarities between a typical plastic Lego-like block and a braille cell. He modified a set of blocks to represent each letter in the braille alphabet and created a sheet onto which his new invention, Tack-Tiles, could be affixed.

That moment of inspiration has become a multi-faceted instructional tool. A typical Tack-Tile is printed on the forward vertical surface with that Braille character's most commonly used visual code(s). For example, the Tack-Tile with dots 1,4 is labelled [ c/3 ]; Tiles bearing dots 3,4,5,6 are marked [number sign/ ble ]; those with dots 2,5,6 present are labelled [ dd/dis/.] and so forth.

Every Tack-Tile Braille System Set contains 320 tiles, four large support slates (each holds eight rows of 20 tiles), four small slates (four rows of 10 tiles) and a carrying case. Tack-Tiles currently offers the following sets:

  • English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German literary Braille
  • Nemeth Braille for mathematics
  • Braille for music notation
  • Computer Braille

In addition to its standard kit, Tack-Tiles also produces a Calendar Kit. The calendar slate has a magnetic-backing so it can be affixed to any metal surface. It includes enough specialized calendar tiles to display two months at the same time as an aid in teaching calendar concepts, transitions and comparisons. The upper right hand corner of each tile is radiused for proper Braille orientation.

For some imaginative methods for using Tack-Tiles visit the company's web site and follow the link to the Forum.

Tack-Tiles Braille Systems, LLC
PO Box 475
Plaistow, NH 03865-0475
Toll Free: 800-822-5845
Phone: 603-382-1904
Fax: 603-382-1748
Email: braille@tack-tiles.com
Web: http://www.tack-tiles.com

Contributor: Malcolm Turner

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