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Activity and strategy

Braille Word Board

This hands-on activity allows braille readers to build sentences using braille word cards

During one of my last courses in college, we had to create tools to use with students. This was made with assistance from my father. It is a braille word board.  APH didn’t have anything like this and I wanted a way for students to quickly create sentences without the hassle of a braillewriter. I’m not sure if APH has anything like it now, come to think of it!

This idea was originally inspired by the “sentence builder” activity in Teaching Aids for Blind and Visually Limited Children by Barbara Dorward and Natalie Barraga.

braille word board





  1. Similar to magnetic words many use on refrigerators for children with sight. I brailled Dolch words, punctuation symbols, and unique braille symbols (capital dots) on aluminum sheeting from APH. Then I cut them out. I ran a line across the top to help orient each word.writing on back of word cards
  2. The aluminum wasn’t strong enough to maintain shape, so I cut a thin cookie sheet with tin snips, sanded all edges so they were round, and then superglued the aluminum to these cookie sheet pieces.
  3. On the back of each I wrote the print word to assist others with the braille, and then attached the ‘male’ side of velcro.
  4. The wooden board was sanded, polyurethaned, and then I superglued the ‘female’ side of velcro in strips to mimic sentence lines. This was a labor of love but it has stood the test of time (20+ years!).

braille word board

  • Have students create a sentence using the words.  They can create the sentence for another student or for the teacher.
  • Have the student read a sentence that the teacher has created.
  • Have the student copy a sentence from the board onto a piece of paper using a braillewriter or slate and stylus.…

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