Helping your child learn braille
Your child may need to learn braille if they:
- have little or no vision
- prefer to learn through touch
- can’t see well enough to use large print books
Braille is a tactile code which enables blind and vision impaired people to read. It uses the alphabet and numbers but your child reads with their fingers. It’s based on 6 raised dots in 2 columns of 3.
You can support your child to prepare to learn braille by:
- developing fingertip sensitivity, for example playing with lots of different textures
- building strong fingers, for example popping bubble wrap, squeezing Playdough
- developing independent finger movement, for example playing with a keyboard
You can help your child learn braille by labelling things around your house in braille with a braille label maker.
Find out more about braille:
- Ask your child’s QTVI. They will support you and your child to learn braille. Once your child is at nursery and school, the QTVI will give advice on what the school needs to provide. This advice is free to parents.
- As advised by the local QTVI, your older child may also benefit from learning to touch type.
Learn braille yourself
You may decide that you want to learn braille yourself as another way to communicate with your child.
It also means you can help them learn to read and write braille.
Your child’s QTVI can advise you on this.
If your child is learning braille, you can get equipment to help. These include:
- plastic braille overlays for books
- braille writers – like a typewriter with special keys to create braille
Look at the RNIB website for more on what is available
Before buying any expensive equipment, work with your child’s QTVI to understand what they will need, and what will be provided by their school.
RSBC’s Family Support Service can help you with:
- practical advice about your child’s development
- support when you feel overwhelmed
- understanding your child’s vision impairment better
- living as a family and being supportive of each other
Call 0203 1980225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: December 2017