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by Learning Hub - Friday, 17 March 2017, 11:55 AM
Anyone in the world

Sally Paterson from the Royal Blind Learning Hub is attending the VIEW Conference in Birmingham on 16th & 17th March,

View is the biggest annual gathering of the vision impairment education workforce in the UK.


[ Modified: Friday, 17 March 2017, 11:56 AM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 13 March 2017, 11:12 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Up."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

[ Modified: Friday, 17 March 2017, 11:46 AM ]
 
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Don't Want / Don't Like."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

[ Modified: Monday, 6 March 2017, 9:54 AM ]
 
Anyone in the world

I-M-ABLE: Individualised Meaning-Centred Approach to Braille Literacy Education

By Diane P Wormsley, AFB Press 2016

Reviewed by Sally Paterson, Learning Hub Manager

This approach to braille education has been developed for what Diane calls ‘at risk’ learners. It is a teaching method designed to support braille literacy for those pupils with visual impairment and other learning difficulties. It is also suitable for students of any age switching from print to braille, students learning English as a second language and those who may have suddenly lost their vision.

It is built on 4 principles- motivation, engagement, individualisation and success.

Reading begins with whole words not individual letters and focuses on words that are relevant and meaningful to the pupils. The teaching and learning strategy is designed to account for gaps in the student’s experience. It also continues to support decoding, comprehension and fluency skills.

The strategy is pupil centred and employs diagnostic teaching by, ‘continually trying a variety of instructional strategies and materials based on the current needs of the student’, (p.5).

The Appendix includes a comprehensive selection of data collection forms and checklists giving plenty of guidance for assessment and planning.

I-AM-ABLE really is a straightforward, no nonsense, alternative approach for teaching braille. Its step by step, clearly explained strategies make it easy to follow, giving you a comprehensive but flexible structure. The book uses an excellent mix of real life dialogue, teaching guidance and recording forms.

The book covers all aspects of teaching braille literacy including how to incorporate phonics and letter recognition within the ‘whole word’ approach. The teaching of writing using braille includes a comprehensive guide on the workings of a Brailler and finger positions.

I-AM-ABLE is a great addition to any visual impairment teacher’s toolkit!

Available from AFB Press

Find the book on Amazon

[ Modified: Thursday, 9 March 2017, 9:42 AM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Tuesday, 28 February 2017, 9:34 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Good."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

 
Anyone in the world

By Lauren Lockhart, Languages Teacher, Royal Blind School.

Read part 1 of the blog.

Braille

I then came stuck again. How could my pupils remember the words I was teaching them, with the knowledge that the majority of us are visual learners; that 80% of learning is visual and that memory recall is much stronger when the thing to remember has been seen? They would have to 'see' the word written down, understand how it is put together and link it to the pronunciation. For some pupils, I would only have to enlarge the font for them to be able to see it. For others, I would have to rely on Braille. Having never studied Braille, this was yet another challenge. Teaching French is much easier as the pupil must only know Grade I Braille, which is a letter-to-letter transcription. F is f for example. So, I would get to know Grade I Braille and transcribe any new vocabulary, on this...

A finger points at some braille produced on a Perkins brailler

And then came the BrailleNote. Oh, thank you the IT gurus of this world for developing something which is accessible to people who are visually impaired. I knew you would think of something! Why should we be downloading apps and bluetoothing pictures from one device to another when people with a visual impairment are, without doing an injustice to the Perkins Brailler, essentially using typewriters for the blind? It would not have been right. So, I am now using this: A BrailleNote.

Fingers type on a braille note

Learn more about how pupils use the BrailleNote and assistive technology.

[ Modified: Monday, 20 March 2017, 11:18 AM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 20 February 2017, 10:00 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Finished."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 13 February 2017, 2:59 PM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Drink."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

 
Anyone in the world

The first in our series of blogs written by Lauren Lockhart, Languages Teacher, Royal Blind School.

The beginning

I am a French teacher and I have come into the world of visual impairment (VI) from mainstream education. I have moved from classes of minimum 25 to classes of maximum 4, but with more adults in the room than I have ever had because ratios have to be higher here. The classrooms are smaller and I have to think about accessibility of information. Is it any use putting up beautifully presented displays of French words in pretty fonts and colours when the majority of the students won’t be able to see them? Probably not. Can a wheelchair move easily around the room? Is everything at the right height for a wheelchair user? There is no point putting up photos of French markets and Eiffel Towers in this school. What is important is that the essential information is accessible to all.

I was first told that teaching learners with VI was about choosing to teach only what is necessary so that information does not become cluttered with unnecessary back stories, something which we teachers love to do!

My classroom is therefore relatively sparse with labels in a large, legible font and transcribed in Braille. Putting up a display has thus become a work of large proportions! But the reward is knowing that every child here can access that information.

A programme of study

I then began to think about my curriculum design. How would I go about teaching new words for family members when I could not use flashcards, whiteboards or pictures, essentially, any of the materials I would have used before? I would have to focus on hearing and touch. I could tell the pupil what the word was in English, I could describe my own family and have them guess what the word for mother was etc. or, thinking more creatively, I could create sound bites that would mimic the typical sound of family members. How does “Wheels on the bus” go? Mums go natter, babies cry and grandmas knit (or in the most recent version, they text – brilliant!) Or I could get puppets or dolls of a typical family, say the Simpsons? This seems to sum up my experience so far. You MUST think creatively to work in VI education. So, is this a teacher's dream?

And on it went, I would bring in cereal boxes, pasta, fresh vegetables so that the pupils could smell and touch the word I would give them in French. How relevant and engaging would that be! Pupils would role-play a visit to the market with real fruit and vegetables! So much better than listening to a woman form the 80s asking which way to the market in French.

[ Modified: Wednesday, 8 February 2017, 10:09 AM ]
 
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by Learning Hub - Monday, 6 February 2017, 9:36 AM
Anyone in the world

This week's sign is "Eat."

On-body signing is a technique used to communicate with people with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh developed a form of on-body signing called Canaan Barrie.

A different sign will be posted on our blog each week. Come back next week to see a new sign.

[ Modified: Monday, 6 February 2017, 9:38 AM ]
 
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