National Braille Press Launches Pilot Program to Provide Tools and Resources for Teachers of the Visually Impaired
Free “TVI Braille Ignition Kits” Include Resources on Braille, Tactile Graphics, Assistive Technology, Math and Science
(Boston) March 2, 2022 – National Braille Press (NBP) today announced a pilot program to provide educational resources for Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs) to help them teach students who are blind and have low vision. NBP will begin shipping the free “TVI Braille Ignition Kits” to TVIs beginning today, coinciding with National Read Across America Day.
The pilot program is made possible through support from the Gibney Family Foundation and the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation.
“It’s National Read Across America Day and we want to ensure that teachers of students who are blind and low vision have access to more educational resources. That is why we developed the ‘TVI Braille Ignition Kits’ with the generous support of the Gibney Family Foundation and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation,” said Brian Mac Donald, President, National Braille Press. “Learning braille is an essential skill for blind and low-vision individuals and we hope that these additional resources will go a long way toward increasing braille literacy.”
“Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation has a rich history of collaboration with National Braille Press, especially with pilot programs,” said Dianna Kelly-Naghizadeh, Grant Program Manager at the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation. “These collaborations have yielded great outcomes, and we are confident that NBP’s latest pilot program, TVI Braille Ignition Kits, will also be positive and successful in bridging the resource gap that TVIs experience daily, which will improve their students’ productivity and independence in their education.”
There are four different “TVI Braille Ignition Kits” available including materials to support braille literacy.
- Braille Resources Kitincludes UEB Brief Symbols List; Because Books Matter; Because Pictures Matter; Braille Alphabet Cards (packet of 35 cards); Just Enough to Know Better; the Braille Spelling Dictionary; and a slate and stylus.
- Tactile Graphics Kitincludes a new best practices guide for creating tactile graphics for students; Because Pictures Matter; and several books and products that use tactile graphics in different ways (Tactile Alphabet and Numbers, Humpty Dumpty and Other Touching Rhymes, and The Tactile Book of Dinosaurs)
- Assistive Technology Kitincludes large print reference guides to operating systems (iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows 10); and the Windows Screen Reader Keystroke Compendium (large print edition.)
- Math & Science Kitincludes UEB Reference Sheets for Math (large print); Out of Sight Science Experiments (large print/braille); and a tactile caliper.
The kits also include coupons for teachers to obtain free braille copies of various titles from NBP’s bookstore. All TVIs or paraprofessionals working in the blindness field in the U.S. are eligible for a free “TVI Ignition Braille Ignition Kit” and may apply online at www.nbp.org.
Janet Ulwick-Sacca has been a TVI for over 35 years. When hearing about the program, she had this to say: “The National Braille Press has done it again! Their newest resource, the TVI Braille Ignition Kits, provide free braille and tactile literacy materials to TVIs and Paraprofessionals working in the blindness field. Sharing resources provides critical support for itinerant teachers who often don’t have daily connections with professionals in the field. Thank you NBP!”
For blind people, braille is an essential tool that aids in the process of becoming literate. Braille literacy plays the same key role in a blind person’s life that print literacy does in a sighted person’s, by increasing opportunities for employment and academic achievement. Over 70% of working-age blind people are unemployed and depend on support such as disability income benefits. Of the 30% of blind people who are employed, the majority are braille readers. It is estimated that the lost productivity due to blindness and eye diseases is over $8.0 billion per year in the United States.
About National Braille Press
National Braille Press is a non-profit braille publisher and producer of braille products. NBP creates products and programs to support braille literacy in the blind community and to provide access to information that empower blind people to actively engage in work, family, and community. For more information visit www.nbp.org