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1/20/2017 Grade1andGrade2Braille

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whatisbraille
Braille is a system of raised dots arranged in cells. Any combination of one to six
dotsmayberaisedwithineachcell,andthenumberandpositionoftheraiseddots
information
within a cell conveys to the reader the letter, word, number, or symbol the cell

represents. There are 64 possible combinations of raised dots within a single cell. President'sMessage
Due to the varying needs of Braille readers, there are three different grades of Officers
Braille. Committees
Constitution
Braille was developed by Louis Braille in the beginning of the 19th century. 6 dot ByLaws

Braille letters, common punctuation marks, and a few symbols are displayed as Awards
raised6dotBraillecellpatternsreadbyusingafingertiptofeeltheraiseddots.The Events
6 dot Braille alphabet, the method for representing Braille numbers, and some Newsletter
Braille punctuation marks are used in all languages that share the Roman alphabet. NewsandPressReleases
There are variations of 6 dot Braille in various Roman alphabet languages. HelpSupportTCB
Representation of punctuation marks and differences in the meanings of other 6 dot GetInvolved

Braille cells are commonly used to represent special characters and/or common
lettercombinations.
whatwedo

LegislationEfforts
UpdatedonDecember18,2008
EducationalOpportunities
AdvocacyEfforts

grade1braille SpecialEvents

In the first of the grades of Braille, grade 1, each possible arrangement of dots
blindawareness
within a cell represents only one letter, number, punctuation sign, or special Braille
composition sign it is a onetoone conversion. Individual cells cannot represent FAQ
words or abbreviations in this grade of Braille. Because of this grade's inability to WhatIsaVisualDisability
shorten words, books and other documents produced in grade 1 Braille are bulkier WhatIsBraille
andlargerthannormallyprintedtext.Grade1Brailleistypicallyusedonlybythose AGuideforSightedPeople
who are new to learning the grades of Braille, but as of the early 2000s a new TennWhiteCaneLaw
movement was in place among elementary school teachers of Braille to introduce WhiteCaneHistory
children with sight difficulties to grade 2 Braille immediately after teaching the ThePerkinsBrailler
basicsofgrade1Braille. MailingFreeMatter

resources

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ResourceLinks

NationalAffiliation

statechapters

MidTennesseeCouncil

MemphisCouncil
VISGroupofCumberlandCounty

EastTennesseeCouncil

UpdatedonDecember29,2008

grade2braille

Grade 2 braille was introduced as a spacesaving alternative to grade 1 Braille. In


grade 2 Braille, a cell can represent a shortened form of a word. Many cell
combinations have been created to represent common words, making this the most
popularofthegradesofBraille.Therearepartwordcontractions,whichoftenstand

in for common suffixes or prefixes, and wholeword contractions, in which a single


cell represents an entire commonly used word. Words may be abbreviated by using
asinglelettertorepresenttheentireword,usingaspecialsymboltoprecedeeither

the first or last letter of the word while truncating the rest of the word, using a
doublelettercontractionsuchas"bb"or"cc",orremovingmostorallofthevowels
in a word in order to shorten it. A complex system of styles, rules, and usage has
beendevelopedforthisgradeofBraille.

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UpdatedonDecember18,2008

grade3braille

The last of the grades of Braille, grade 3, is essentially a system of Braille

shorthand. Because it has not been standardized, it is not used in publications.


Instead, it is typically used by individuals for their own personal convenience. It
contains over 300 word contractions and makes great use of vowel omission. In
addition,theamountofspacingbetweenwordsandparagraphsisdecreasedinorder

to shorten the length of the final document. It also sometimes substitutes


combinations of punctuation symbols for words. For a list of grade 3 symbols, click
Here.

UpdatedonDecember19,2008

slateandstylus

A slate and stylus is a tool for writing Braille, a tactile reading and writing system
usedbytheblind.

There are numerous tools which can be used for writing Braille, but a slate and
stylus could be considered the most basic, and also the oldest akin to a pad and
paper for sighted people. This writing tool is also very inexpensive, making it

accessible to the blind in regions of the world where funds for more expensive
Braillewritingtoolsliketypewritersarenotavailable.

The stylus in a slate and stylus is designed like an awl, and it punches small divots
into a piece of paper. By punching out a specific pattern, the user can create a
Braille letter although the use of a stylus to take down notes might seem time

consuming, people get the hang of it very quickly. The hinged slate is designed to
hold a piece of paper steady while the user punches it, with a bottom half to punch

againstandaguideontoptoassisttheuserincreatingBraillecharacters.

Each Braille letter is formed in a cell which has six possible spaces for a dot,

creating a myriad of combinations. To read a letter, the user places his or her

fingertipontopofacellBraillereaderscangetquiteadeptwithpractice.Theslate
has a series of cells with scalloped edges to guide the stylus into place for the

purpose of creating letters. Depending on the design, the slate may only have one

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rowofcells,ormanytheslateismountedonahingesothatpapercanbeslipped

betweenabackingsheetandthecelltemplate.

Inordertouseaslateandstylus,thewritermustworkbackwardsfromrighttoleft

sothatwhenthepaperisflippedover,thedotscanberead.Insomecases,astylus

is hollowed out so that it creates a raised dot on the front of the piece of paper,
allowingtheusertowritefromlefttoright.Whilelearningtouseaslateandstylus

can take time, this writing tool can be incredibly useful for the blind. It is cheap,

highly portable, quiet, and easy to use once you are accustomed to it many blind
people also enjoy using a slate and stylus because it gives them a sense of

independence.

Manycompaniesmanufactureslateandstylussets,oftenatverylowcoststomake

them accessible to all. In schools for the blind, students are often taught to use a
slate and stylus along with other assistance tools like Braille keypads. For blind

students who are attending general schools, or people who have been blinded later

inlife,charitableorganizationsoftenofferclassesinusingassistancetools.

UpdatedonDecember18,2008

manualbraillewriter

BraillewritersaretheBrailleequivalentoftypewriters.Unliketypewriters,theyare
stillgoingstrongdespitetheadventofthepersonalcomputer.Manyindividualswho

doasignificantamountofwritinginBrailleprefertouseabraillewriter.

One noticeable difference between a Braille writer and a typewriter is that a Braille
writermayhaveasfewassevenkeys,oneforeachdotofasixdotBraillecellplus

a space key. Like typewriters, Braille writers come in manual and electric versions.

InamanualBraillewriter,dotsareembossedonthepapermechanicallyasadirect
result of the typist's pressure on the keys, while in an electric model the keys

require only light pressure to send an electrical signal that causes the machine to

emboss a dot. Some people prefer the lighter touch allowed by an electric Braille
writer,whileotherspreferthesolidfeelingofamechanicalkeyandfindthatitistoo

easytopressthewrongkeyonanelectrickeyboard.

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Most Braille writers use 8.5 by 11 inch Braille paper, which is fed into the machine

one sheet at a time. Braille paper comes in heavy and lightweight grades, both of
which are heavier than ordinary ink print paper since Braille paper must be sturdy

enough to retain raised dots as many readers move their fingers over them. The

heaviergradeofpaperisrecommendedforusewithaBraillewriter.

Braillewritersgenerallyhaveapaperguidethatcanbemovedintopositiontohold

smallerpapersizesinplace,includingnotesizepaperorindexcards.Somemodels
are designed for extrawide paper (e.g., 11 by 11 inch). Other special models

includethefollowing:

LargecellBraillewriters,whicharedesignedtoproducejumboBrailleforindividuals

whohavetroubledistinguishingthedotsofordinaryBraille.

Onehanded Braille writers, with keys arranged to make onehanded operation

possible,includingmodelsforlefthandedandrighthandeduse.

Models with longer keys for use by individuals with limited dexterity. It is also

possibletobuyextensionkeystoconvertastandardmodel.

Some electric braille writers have editing functions and the capacity to store

electronicfileversionsofdocumentsthathavebeenwrittenonthem.Thesefeatures
may be quite welcome to blind students who are asked to rewrite their papers, and

tootherswhogothroughseveraldraftsinwriting.

UpdatedonDecember18,2008

electronicbraillenotetakers

Braille notetakers are small, lightweight, portable devices with Braille keys for

entering information. Braille notetakers are much like a computer, except that they
have a fraction of both the cost and the memory. Braille notetakers use a speech

synthesizer,ifsomeonewouldliketohearwhathasbeentyped,oraBrailledisplay,

whichcanthenbereadtoseewhathasbeentypedintotheBraillenotetaker.

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The Braille notetaker user also has the option of entering the information onto the

Braille notetaker, and then can transfer it to a larger computer with more memory.
This is why some students may like using a Braille notetaker in the classroom. In

addition, this can be used in a reversed manner. If a professor downloads

information (ie: handouts) onto the Braille notetaker, the student can read the
handoutswiththeRefreshableBrailleDisplayorspeechsynthesizer.

In reviewing information, a Braille notetaker can use a speech synthesizer or


Refreshable Braille Display When printing, the user can opt to print the information

onto either a Braille printer or, if there is a program installed on the computer that
canchangeBrailletoEnglish,printontoaregularinkjetprinter,sowhattheuserhas

typedcanbereadbythosewhoreadprint.

TheBraillenotetakercanalsoprovidebasicorganizationaltasks,suchasacalendar

and they can also be used to send/receive email messages. There are also

accessories that can be bought for Braille notetakers, depending on what type of
Braille notetaker you purchase. Such accessories include a graphing program or

internetaccess.

OnemajordownfallwithBraillenotetakersisthattherecanbeerrorswhenchanging

fromBrailleontheBraillenotetakerintothecomputer.Onewouldneedtousevoice
outputtomakesurenoerrorshaveoccurredandtomakeanyneededcorrections.

AnotheroptiontoBraillenotetakersarenotebooks,whichhaveastandardkeyboard
with Braille on the keys. This is a lightweight notebook that has the ability to type

into the notebookss memory and then the user hears what has been typed through
speechoutput.ThereisnoBraillereadbackoption.Thisismuchlikeacomputerin

that spell check is available, along with basic organizational tasks, such as a
calendar, calculator and address book. Information can be downloaded through
anothercomputerhookup,orthroughadisk.

UpdatedonAugust10,2010

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