Monday, February 20, 2012

Braille and the iPad

You may not be aware but you can read braille  on an iPad.  You did need additional hardware.  You will need a compatible bluetooth refreshable braille display.  Abby uses  Refreshabraille 18 from APH with her iPad.   Its small and has both a braille display and braille input keys.   It can be a bit tricky to learn to pair it with the iPad (once you learn the tricks its not that hard at all). It really is surprising how well it does Grade 2 braille.  There is all kinds of uses. Abby is currently using it as a way for her to read and write email.
Abby using the refreshable braille display with the IPad.
 Abby can use it enough already to read her emails (in braille) and respond back (in braille). Its a great motivator for her. She thinks its a lot of fun.  Since she is still learning I watch on the iPad screen and I can help if she needs help.

Abby loves to write
Abby checking her work.

I think the jury is still out if the iPad will replace a Braille notetaker for Abby down the road but its a great tool for her NOW and its a LOT less expensive solution over a braille note taker.  

We are both still learning the ropes. If you have any links or advice to share that would be great and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. 

help links:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Adventures In Reading: Brave Norman

Abby has been reading a book a week for her reading for homework.  This week she read "Pets to the Rescue: Brave Norman" . Abby loves stories about animals so I ordered it when I was doing a Seedlings order. Its a great story.  Its a beginning reader so it was perfect for Abby. The story line was great and I really recommend the story to everyone.  Its a TRUE story about a dog named Norman that goes blind.  Norman saves a girl who is drowning.

Abby loves adventures.
Abby loved hearing Norman's story. She related to Norman a little too.  She is really seeing how reading can be fun.

Brave Norman at Seedling in contracted braille

Print version of Brave Norman at Amazon

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The spark of reading has become a flame.

Abby reading. tonight
It was almost a year ago that I announced Abby was reading. Now the level she was reading at was VERY beginner. Every letter was a struggle. The fight through the past year has been very hard. Many times I saw no hope in sight. The past few weeks Abby's spelling has gotten better and her fluency has gotten a lot better. She is reading more complicated books (relatively). She is picking up contractions a lot quicker now.  She reads grade 2 braille (braille with contractions) almost exclusively.

We had great time reading Dr Seuss a few weeks ago and now we are going into more developed stories.  The most important thing is she KNOWS she is getting better and is getting motivated. She is starting to see that reading can be fun and is not just a chore. I am so happy and so proud.

So if you have a child who is struggling to learn to read there is hope. Keep at it and know it will come. Its very important to state Abby has a great team right now that are all rallying around raising Abby's reading skills.  Its a true group effort.  Abby's reading team is her TVI, classroom teacher,her parents, her 2 paras and a special education teacher.  We are all working together to give Abby what she needs.

There are blind children TODAY who are still being denied braille instruction or not getting enough.  If you need an example who rediculous that is just look at Abby's story.

 Abby started learning  her braille letters 14 months ago. 
Abby reading. The picture is fuzzy but look at that smile.