Monday, November 19, 2012

Braille Letters from Santa

Your child can get a letter in Braille from Santa with the help of the National Federation of the Blind.

Between November 19 and December 17, parents can go online at and fill out a Santa Braille Letter request form. The form can also be printed and faxed to (410) 685-2340. Beginning November 27, the Braille letters from Santa will start going out to blind boys and girls around the country. The Braille letter will also be accompanied by a print copy (for mom and dad to read). Requests for letters must include the writer’s name, the child’s name, birthday, gender, mailing address, a telephone number, and e-mail address in case Santa’s helpers at the National Federation of the Blind have questions.

For more details visit:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Braille is not scary.. `

I can still remember the day that I found out Abby was going to need to learn Braille. I was petrified. I didn't understand braille.  How was I going to help her learn? Is there anything more strange and odd than braille a bunch of bump that some how equal letters??  It seemed like I was going to be denied the chance to help my daughter become a reader.  I was so sad.   I love reading. Our son learned to read spontaneously but I was so excited about helping Abby to read.

Abby loves to read. alt text: a girl is reading braille from a book

I think its a common misunderstanding that a parent who doesn't read braille can't help their blind child to learn to read. That they can't help their child with homework.  You would be surprised how much I have picked up though the last two years with out even trying. I do know most of the alphabet.   I also have developed a pretty good understand when a word will have a contraction in it.  I may not know the contraction but I understand there is a contraction(s) in the word. I can write my daughter a small note using letter and contractions guides but Abby calls that cheating.  

In the early days I would work with Abby every night to help her learn the alphabet and work on her tactile sensitivity. (flashback: )

Braille is NOT a different language.  Its just the tactile version of print.

Its wonderful when a parent learns braille but its also very important that the parent doesn't hold a child's reading back because they are behind.  Most kids are going to learn a lot faster then their parents because kids are sponges that soak things up. Just wind the kid up and let them go.

I was so happy when I realize the school was going to send home print versions of homework with the Braille ones.  I have never felt like I was unable to help my daughter with her homework at all.

When we read together and she comes upon a word she struggles with I can tell if its a contraction holding her back or an issue reading the word.
There is lot of print/braille books out there that helps A LOT with beginning readers.  I used to be so scared of the stage when the braille books don't have print at all.  I thought it was an end than I realized I just had to find a print version of the book. It also showed me there would be a time SOON that Abby wasn't going to need my help with reading at all.

Its not scary. Braille is fun.  I love learning more about. Its truly beautiful. I love running my fingers over a page of Braille and I love trying to read it.  I am determined get my Braille skills up but I also know that even as a novice I can still help Abby become a strong reader.

Braille I Like It

Monday, November 12, 2012

I want some Questions..

Does anyone have any questions?  I have answers.. Ask any questions. About me? Abby? My son Sam? Parenting a blind child? About the condition that runs in our family that caused Abby's blindness?   Ask away.. Do you have ideas for a future blog post? Here is your chance.  I promise I will be posting some more blogs soon I have at least three three half written in my head already.  Ask your questions in the comments if for some reason you have issues leaving a comment please feel to ask them in twitter @penny_nh or email them to me penny  . Some of the comment asked I may use in future blog posts.
Abby at the NFB Independence Market,,, because the Independence Market is cool... alt text: cute school age girl with a yellow shirt and blue skirt holding long white cane with shelf of merchandise behind her.