“Listening is not literacy.

Parents

Parents

Sources of Braille Books and Resources

The following are links to online stores where you can purchase braille books, games, clothing, greeting cards and just about any other braille-related item available.

Beulah Reimer Legacy (BRL)
Offers print/braille children's picture books at an affordable cost. These books are brailled with clear plastic strips which are placed on top of the printed text.

Seedlings Braille Books for Children
Seedlings has over 1200 low-cost books for children in braille, including print/braille books for younger children. They also run several programs, including the "Book Angel Program" where registered children can receive two free braille books per year, and an "Adopt-A-Reader" program that provides sponsored children with funding to purchase braille books of their own:

Future Aids - The Braille Superstore
Thousands of braille books for children, teens, and adults, as well as toys, games, kitchen aids, software, and other products.

National Braille Press
A producer of braille books for children and adults (including print/braille board books for very young children). They also run several programs, including a children's braille book club and a ReadBooks! book bag for preschool-aged children designed to foster early literacy.

Braille Institute - Special Collection
This program, run by the Braille Institute, offers free books to children who are blind or visually impaired throughout the year, with the goal of increasing literacy and love of reading by enabling children to build their own home braille library.

Braille It
This family-run, Canadian business offers a variety of services including braille transcription, training in assistive technology, and other blindness-related services.

CNIB WebStore
The CNIB WebStore offers a wide variety of products for Canadians who are blind or visually impaired, including many braille-related products such as cookbooks, calendars, and tools for reading and writing braille.

CNIB Library
The CNIB Library offers 80,000 titles in accessible formats including braille. The library includes a digital service that allows users to download braille and audio books directly to portable devices. The service is free to all Canadians who are blind or visually impaired.

L'Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille - Comptoir des ventes

National Federation of the Blind Independence Market
A resource for blindness-related products, including an extensive collection of NFB literature of interest to individuals who are blind and their families.

Perkins School for the Blind eStore
Perkins Products sells a wide variety of blindness-related products, including a large collection of products related to braille and literacy, such as the popular Perkins Brailler braillewriter.

Royal National Institute of Blind People Online Shop
The RNIB online shop carries a variety of products for people who are blind and visually impaired, including many braille- and literacy-related products.

Bookshare
Bookshare is an online digital library with over 110,000 books available to download in accessible formats (such as DAISY, braille, or audio) to Canadians who have print disabilities. Users must register and provide proof of disability before being able to access this service.

Books for Parents

The following are books in print format written for parents of children who are, or will be, braille readers.

Fun with Braille
This book, available through the American Printing House for the Blind, contains many fun and entertaining practise activities for both children and adults who are learning contracted braille.

Drawing with your Perkins brailler
Written by Perkins Braille Talking Book Library Director Kim Charlson, this book contains step-by-step directions for creating 36 different drawings including basic shapes, various animals, and pictures with holiday and transportation themes. The actual braille pictures are included to show what the drawings will look like when completed.

Just Enough to Know Better - A Braille Primer for Parents
This book, sold through National Braille Press and written by Eileen Curran, teaches parents just enough braille to know better and to help their braille-reading child. The book contains exercises with real, tactile braille for practice.

What About Drawing?
A fun and free book available in PDF format that contains directions for creating many different drawings (both simple and more complex) with the Perkins brailler. A wonderful resource for creating braille art and also practising different contractions along the way. There are instructions for creating shamrocks, Christmas trees, sailboats, bears, angels, flags and much more.

Downloadable Publications

World Braille Usage, Third Edition
Developed with support from Perkins, the International Council on English Braille, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, this third edition of World Braille Usage attempts to document the current state of braille around the world.

Websites

The following websites have information and resources that may be helpful to parents of children who are (or may be) braille readers.

Readasaurus Kit
CNIB launched the Readasaurus Kit at the 2014 Braille Conference. The kit contains fun tips and tools to help young children develop literacy skills. It also includes tip sheets to help parents learn the braille alphabet.

AFB FamilyConnect - Literacy
This site contains articles and information related to literacy specifically for parents of children with visual impairments. The site in general offers a wealth of information, resources, and support for parents.

Paths To Literacy
This website is a joint project between the Perkins School for the Blind and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. It provides a wealth of information and resources related to literacy for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those who have additional disabilities. It is an excellent resource for both parents and teachers, and contains both original content and links to other relevant websites and articles.

WonderBaby.org
  Awebsite containing many literacy and learning related resources for parents of very young blind or visually impaired babies and young children, including those with additional disabilities. It contains a wide range of articles and resources, as well as a Q & A section for parents and ideas for activities related to pre-braille and concept development.

BrailleBug
This is an excellent resource for parents and teachers. It includes activities and games for educating sighted classmates about braille, resources for teaching and learning braille, and information about where to obtain braille books for children and other materials related to braille learning.

Braille Resource Packet for Parents of Young Children
This is an excellent packet, compiled by Penny Rosenblum, is available for download. The download contains articles, activities, instructional strategies and other resources to help parents who want to teach early braille literacy skills to their blind/visually impaired children. Some of the documents in this package include: Braille for My Baby: Six Things You Can Do at Home for your Young Blind child; Sample Menu of Weekly Family Literacy Events; Creating and Using Tactile Experience Books for Young Children with Visual Impairments by Sandra Lewis and Joan Tolla; the braille alphabet; and ideas for promoting early braille literacy:

Hadley - braille courses
The Hadley School for the Blind provides a wide variety of courses for a number of different populations (blind and visually impaired adult learners, sighted family members, and professionals within the blindness field). This link provides a list of some of the braille related courses they offer, ranging from those that introduce the braille code, to those that provide instructional strategies for teaching braille to children and adults.

Perkins Braille Webcasts
A collection of braille- and literacy-related webcasts available on the Perkins website.

Braille Activities for Children
The Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness compiled a page filled with tons of activities for teaching braille to the very young child, from tactile awareness (prebraille) to contracted braille symbols. Included in this comprehensive resource are games, activities, books and other creative ideas for teaching a number of braille related skills.

AFB resources and information for parents about braille
A collection of resources, including websites for learning basic braille, braille related videos and books for parents of blind/visually impaired children.

Tactile Vision (braille greeting cards and other children's books)
A producer of tactile/braille greeting cards for many occasions as well as other concept development resources. Cards are 5” by 7” and include a raised-line graphic with a greeting in both print and braille. They also have a line of products which include coloring books, children’s books, educational tools, maps, calendars and much more

CNIB Braille Creative Writing Contest
An annual contest for primary and secondary students in Canada. Students can submit a story or poem in any level of braille for a chance to win prizes.

Braille T-shirts and Braille Designs (sister websites)
A company offering braille jewellery, gifts and custom-made t-shirts.

Exceptional Teaching Aids
Raised line coloring books and related accessories (such as anti-role crayons that can be labeled with braille) for children with visual impairments.

Tack-Tiles® Braille Systems
Braille blocks that snap together like Lego and provide a unique learning tool. Available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian literary braille codes as well as Nemeth braille code for mathematics, braille code for music notation, and computer braille code.

ViA Apps by Braille Institute
A database of relevant apps for the visually impaired. Apps are divided into different categories, including a braille category which contains many braille teaching and learning related apps.

Feelin’ Groovy
An article that discusses how parents and teachers of students with visual impairments could develop their functional tactual skills.

Sight Connections
Lifetime Magnetic Braille Calendar.

Compact Braille Calendar from the American Action Fund
Free.