The impact of early exposure to uncontracted braille by students with visual impairments
AdvisorErin, Jane N.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe current study sought to discover the impact of uncontracted braille in early stages of learning compared to contracted braille. Eight students who began learning uncontracted braille participated, and an informal reading inventory test was administered to determine their reading level, word recognition skill, and reading comprehension. Two pages of braille writing samples generated by the students were collected to find out types and frequencies of braille errors. Eight students who began learning contracted braille were matched with those who began learning uncontracted braille on four variables: school setting, gender, current levels of reading on students' Individual Education Programs (IEPs), and chronological ages. In addition, five students who began learning uncontracted braille and five teachers with experience teaching uncontracted braille from the beginning were interviewed by telephone. Using an independent group t test, it was found that the students performed equally well in reading speed, types and frequencies of braille errors, and word recognition skill whether they began with uncontracted or contracted braille. In addition, it was demonstrated that the students who began learning uncontracted braille exhibited better comprehension skill than those who began learning contracted braille Five students interviewed for the current study indicated that they began learning braille before they entered elementary school. They reported that transition from uncontracted to contracted braille took different lengths of time. Uncontracted braille was a motivational factor for family members to acquire braille skills. On the other hand, five teachers who were interviewed reported that professional journals and contact with professionals were the sources supporting teaching in uncontracted braille. Teachers were motivated to teach uncontracted braille because they believed it would be helpful for students with visual impairments who had additional disabilities to acquire braille skills for greater consistency. Two braille teachers reported that the use of uncontracted braille was helpful in collaboration with the classroom teachers because the students could receive prompt feedback from the classroom teachers. Overall, the use of uncontracted braille from the beginning of braille instruction did not present statistical differences among variables. It was found that interviewed individuals had positive experiences regarding the use of uncontracted braille.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology