Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

About Braille Brain

Braille Brain was created by the following people:

Cheryl Kamei-HannanCheryl Kamei-Hannan, Ph.D. is a Professor and researcher at California State University, Los Angeles. A leading expert in the field of visual impairment and blindness, her research agenda focuses on language, literacy, and access technology. She is co-author of Reading Connections: Strategies for Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, and co-editor of the textbook series, Foundations of Education (3rd Ed.). As primary investigator on several grant funded projects, she has led the development of interactive apps to support braille literacy including the iBraille Challenge (iBC) and Reading and Writing Adventure Time Mobile Apps, funded through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Stepping Up Technologies; Braille Brain, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), and PolyPad, a joint project with the University of California, Los Angeles, funded by the National Institute of Health. Her most recent intervention study integrated a multi-sensory storytelling approach with storytelling to enhance language and literacy skills of young children with visual impairments (Kamei-Hannan, Chang, and Fryling, 2020). Dr. Kamei-Hannan earned her Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) at the University of Arizona with a specialization in Visual Impairment and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Special Education, along with credentials in Visual Impairment and Blindness and Orientation and Mobility from San Francisco State University. She has worked in the field of visual impairment and blindness for over twenty years as personnel preparation coordinator, researcher, reading specialist, middle school language arts classroom teacher, itinerant teacher, and a resource room teacher of students who are visually impaired.   

Kim BlackwellKim Blackwell has taught a wide variety of students over the last 25-years. She has taught bilingual education, at-risk intensive classes, reading resource, and she specializes in teaching the visually impaired. Her passion is bringing others into the VI field in order to make the biggest impact on students who have blindness or a visual impairment.  Kim has participated as a content writer for the iBraille Challenge (iBC) and Reading and Writing Adventure Time Mobile Apps, funded through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and for Stepping Up Technologies; Braille Brain, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). She received her Education Specialist Credential in the field of visual impairment, a BCLAD multiple subject credential, a Master of Arts in the teaching of reading, and a Reading Specialist Credential. 

Gina MichellGina Michell is a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments in Southern California and an Faculty Lecturer at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA).  Gina draws on her prior experience as a general education teacher to build comprehensive and meaningful programs for her students with visual impairments.  Her passions are teaching reading and the expanded core curriculum (ECC).  During her time at Cal State LA, Gina has taught classes for the teacher credentialling programs in visual impairments and early childhood special education as well as undergraduate courses in special education.  Gina’s grant projects include content editor for the iBraille Challenge (iBC) and Reading and Writing Adventure Time Mobile Apps, funded through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), project manager for Stepping Up Technologies; Braille Brain, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), and online course development grants through Cal State LA in partnership with Quality Matters (QM).  Gina earned her general education teaching credential from San Diego State University and her Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairments and Master of Arts (MA) degree in Special Education from Cal State LA.  She has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years as a classroom teacher, education specialist, faculty lecturer and contracted assessor.

 

This project was funded by the US Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), 84.235E Special Projects and Demonstrations for Providing Vocational Rehabilitation Services to Individuals with Severe Disabilities.  The project is titled: Braille Brain: A Braille Training Program for pre/in-service Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TSVI), paraprofessionals, and other educational team members (H235E190002).