Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

The ABC Braille Study: Results and Implications for Teachers

A girl reads a braille book.

By Anna M. Swenson; unpublished article (2011)

While the ABC Braille Study suggests that early introduction of contractions correlates with stronger reading skills for students without additional disabilities, its more important finding is the failure of many elementary-aged braille readers to achieve grade level expectations in reading vocabulary and comprehension. The researchers concluded that instruction must focus not just on the braille code (which most study participants seemed to master with relative ease), but on basic reading processes. It is this author’s belief that teachers of visually impaired students need to do more than teach the braille code to beginning readers. They also have a responsibility to incorporate reading processes into their instruction, monitor student progress along with the classroom teacher, and be ready to take the lead in seeking further assessments, resources, and interventions if students start to fall behind.

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