New Program Available!

The new Kester Braille Program, Braille Lessons For Sighted People, is now available.

The purpose of this manual is to give a comprehensive overview of literary braille to any person involved in teaching the visually impaired. I believe it is important to understand the complete scope of braille in order to be effective. These lessons have been updated to meet the UEB code. While this manual doesn't cover every rule and symbol in UEB, it introduces the most common ones.

About The Program

The Kester Braille Reading Program is designed to fill the need for non-visual materials to teach specific skills to beginning readers in the same sequence that these skills are taught to their sighted counterparts. Designed by Louise Johnson, a retired teacher of the visually impaired, the two Level set is designed to teach alphabet, numbers, three letter words with the short vowel sound, writing sentences, and basic punctuation through reading and writing. The Levels have been written as a script to make it fun and easy for parents and teachers of visually impaired readers to teach beginning reading in braille, and to make it easy for a parent or a teacher to pick up a manual and teach without hours of preparation. Because visually impaired readers don't always benefit much from pictures, to keep the program interesting and fun, familiar songs which use the sound of the letter being studied have been added. Beginning readers love to play with new sounds!

Research, Scope and Sequence

Kester Braille is designed to provide compensatory skills to support the literacy requirements of the core curriculum through Braille. The strength of this program is that it can be used side by side with whatever program is being used in the regular classroom. The same research used to develop literacy goals for sighted children is valid, as the material in Kester Braille is similar to a literacy curriculum for sighted children learning print. In accordance with the expanded core curriculum, additional instruction in compensatory skills is given, such as the use of the braille writer and learning basic literacy skills without pictures. Because there is such a small research base for the visually impaired, Kester Braille relies on anecdotal evidence from people who have used the program. (See the Feedback section for more information.)

The Kester Braille Reading Program is comprised of two levels, both examining different parts of the learning process. The Teacher's Guides, included in the volume sets, are in print, while the workbooks are in braille.

Level 1: Teaching Alphabet And Beginning Sounds In Braille

Level 1 covers alphabet, braille symbol identification, and the ability to track a line from left to right. The Level 1 program goals are to have the student understand and demonstrate:

  1. A clear understanding of the difference between braille and print.
  2. The ability to track a line from left to right.
  3. The use of the braille writer, using proper fingering.
  4. The ability to identify braille symbols.
  5. The ability to read and braille all letters of the alphabet.
  6. An understanding of alphabet letter beginning and ending sounds.
  7. Basic phonological awareness.
  8. The ability to produce braille letters on a swing cell and a brailler.

Level 2: Three-Letter Words With Short Vowel Sound,
Writing Sentences, And Numbers 0 To 20

For Level 2, the student moves into numbers and syllables. The program goals for Level 2 include:
  1. The ability to read simple high-frequency words in braille.
  2. The ability to read and braille simple sentences.
  3. Understanding of basic punctuation.
  4. The ability to braille upper-case and lower-case letters of the alphabet.
  5. The ability to read and braille simple one-syllable high-frequency words.
  6. The ability to read and braille numbers from one to twenty.
  7. The ability to read and write cvc words.

The reading program has been written to teach reading and writing at the same time, and has been structured to teach beginning reading through braille for children ages 4 to 8, but can be used for any beginning braille reader.

To order, please see the ordering page.

About The Author

Award winning teacher, Louise Johnson, who retired in 2002, taught visually impaired students in Utah for 20+ years. After experiencing some difficulty organizing curriculum for the students in her classroom, she began to develop what would become the Kester Braille Reading Program to coordinate with the curriculum being taught in the mainstream clasrooms. Read more...