Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Concept Flashcards: Tactile Images and Braille Labels

Student examining braille flashcards

We often give young children flashcards to learn new words that have images on them. Why not my students? I was looking at APH's Word Associations Print-Braille Labels product and it created an idea in my head. I have two students who have just begun learning braille and one student who is in life skills and has been working on learning braille for a couple of years.   I looked at the list from the APH (American Printing House for the Blind) product and created my own list of 85 words.

Word list of Concept Flashcards

I looked to see how hard it would be to find an image to pair with that word.  I felt that words like "basement" would be too hard for a beginning student who's also being introduced to tactile images at this time. Perhaps in my next batch of concept flashcards? 

Creating the Flashcards

I started my search by looking for a free editable flashcard template and found one on twinkl.  I then looked for images in APH's Tactile Graphic Image Library.  If they didn't have it,  I searched for images on Google using the term "____ color page", which pulls in line drawings.   Having just the black lines of the image enabled me to run them through the PIAF (Pictures In A Flash).  Once all the images were found and the flashcards were made tactile, I then added braille to the bottom of each card.   

Flashcard of spoon with braille label and tactile image  Concept flashcards with braille and tactile images

Ideas for Using the Cards in Lessons

In addition to practicing reading the braille words and matching the words to the images, the cards can also be sorted into categories, e.g. kinds of fruit, musical instruments, things you find in the bathroom.   The speech therapists that work with my students and I have ideas to expand on what I've started, and they can also use these cards in their therapy sessions.  Talk about a win win!

I am making additional cards for my students with low vision using just the images, without running them through the PIAF.   The words on these cards are in large print and not braille. 

Concept flashcards  Concept Flashcards

Concept flashcards

I am still looking for a line drawing of a Perkins brailler, so please let me know if you have one!


Collage of Concept Flashcards

Posted on October 10, 2020
Updated on: October 13, 2020