How to Make Accessible Jotters (Video)
Presented by Elaine Brackenbridge, Head Teacher, Royal Blind School
One of the first things I noticed within the early years classroom was the teacher would ask the children to perhaps take out their yellow jotter or their red jotter and when I was working with the child who was going to be a braille user, they didn’t have a jotter, they had braille paper and it was kept in a folder. So that was one of my first tasks was to work out how can I make a jotter for that child and make it accessible for them. So that was one of the first things that I set about to do.
So I’m going to show you how to make a jotter. So the materials we need for this are some card, you would need some braille paper. You would be lifting about ten sheets and putting them together with, we’ll make it a red jotter today. Before binding you would laminate your outer pages to protect the jotter from wear and tear. We have binders that come in small, medium and large and today because it’s a small jotter, I’m going to use a small binder. So now we have our front cover which would be laminated on top of the braille paper. So we’re going to put the jotter into the binding machine and slide it along to the left til it doesn’t move any further. We’re then going to punch holes in to the jotter and it does need a lot of strength. Out comes the jotter and you can see that the holes have been punched. You’re going to put on the plastic binder. It’s going to be holes up. Next you’re going to push the arm as far as it can go forward and it releases the spikes for you to put the jotter onto and then you’re going to pull the binder towards you. It’s very easily lifted off and you’re going to snip off each end so that you have a neatly formed jotter. Before you use your jotter, you need to label it. I’m going to use firstly some sticky back plastic. I’m going to insert it into the Perkins brailler, roll the paper in and braille the pupil’s name. I’ve got the pupil’s name here and now I’m going to use some scissors to cut out the label which will be stuck onto the top left hand side of the jotter. Next to that we will write the pupils name in print. Staying on the left hand side of the jotter you would come down and write red jotter. We’ve also prepared a label using clear sticky back plastic that when placed over the written word the sighted person will be able to read the word red jotter and the braillist will be able to read the braille. I have these coloured buttons so depending on the colour of the cover of your jotter before the child is able to read the braille, you would want to put the appropriate coloured button on. Because we’re using a red jotter, we’re going to use the red cross, so we place that in the bottom right hand corner to help the child identify which jotter it is because they can’t see, that it is the red jotter and they may not be able yet to read the words red jotter. So now the jotter is ready for use. So we’re going to take a page of the jotter, insert it into the brailler as you would any other piece of paper, opening the levers and you’re going to stop rolling when the binder meets the brailler and you can then start brailling. Roll the paper, opening the levers, now we can remove it from the brailler and it’s ready to be put in the marking tray.
As you can see there’s quite a few strategies that you can use to facilitate inclusion within the mainstream classroom and the key points to remember are:
- Use labels for sighted and blind users
- Add coloured buttons for pgae orientation
- Keep jotters in a familiar place