Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Deciding Between Print and Braille

Boy wearing glasses reading braille

Parents and teachers often wonder whether a child should be taught print or braille. A number of factors should be considered when making this decision, and a teacher of the blind and visually impaired should be closely consulted, along with other members of the team. Some children learn both print and braille, and this is known as Dual Media.

Factors to consider include the following:

  • How much vision does the child have after best correction?
  • What is the child's eye condition?
  • Is the amount of vision the child has likely to change?
  • What is the child's preferred learning style? In other words, does the child explore new materials, people, and places visually or tactually?

A Learning Media Assessment should always be done by a qualified professional to help to answer these questions.

For more information about this question, see:
Early Literacy: Braille and the Young Child
By Mary Jane Sanspree, Ph.D. Research Professor & Director of Community Low Vision
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Schools of Education and Optometry