Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Read Books! Because Braille Matters

The National Braille Press is delighted to continue the distribution of free braille materials to young potential braille readers an their families through the expansion of their "Read Books! Because Braille Matters program.

NBP has produced attractive Braille Book Bags for distribution to families of young blind children, at no cost to a school, or the families. The contents of the book bags include:

  • An age-appropriate print/braille book (in English or Spanish)
  • A colorful print/braille placemat
  • Braille-large print magnetic letters
  • two guides for parents, "Because Books Matter" and "Just Enough to Know Better"
  • A coupon that parents can redeem for either another free print-braille children's book or a set of braille-print playing cards.

The program goals are to:

  • Foster a love of reading at an early age;
  • Expose parents of preschool blind children to braille as an effective method of reading and writing;
  • Encourage parents to learn just enough braille to help their child;
  • Introduce visually impaired children to a means of reading independently
  • Prepare parents to advocate for braille instruction when their blind child enters school;
  • Promote an early expectation of personal achievement through literacy.
Instructions for Schools

In order to receive these free Braille Book Bags, NBP asks you to:

  1. Identify the numbers of blind children who are potential braille readers (birth through age seven, sorry no exceptions) and their families in your area. There are three age-appropriate book bags (0-3, 4-5, 6-7). They need to know how many you need in each age group (English vs. Spanish);
  2. Check with potential recipients to ensure that they have not already received a book bag, as NBP distributes directly to parents and through multiple organizations and can provide only one bag per child;
  3. Personally deliver the book bags or be willing to give NBP a mailing address for identified families;
  4. Return the postage-paid tag on the outside of the bag that will indicate to NBP you have delivered the bag (NBP assumes all costs);
  5. Encourage parents to fill out and return the coupon on the inside of the book bag;
  6. Help to evaluate the program by sharing your reactions and observations after presenting these bags to families;
  7. If you find this program valuable, write a letter of support that NBP can use to obtain additional funds to provide book bags to other families across the country;
  8. Encourage parents to write to NBP about their experiences using the bag and its materials.

To place an order or for further information, please use the contact information below: Amy Ruell National Program Manager ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters National Braille Press 88 St. Stephen St. Boston, MA 02115 (888) 965-8965 Ext. 34

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