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Contracted Braille. Amanda Bowdoin. Braille Literacy Movement. Occurred during the 1930’s. Raised-printed letters. When were raised-printed letters used? This really sort of begs information on Louis Braille and his role, doesn’t it? Very difficult to produce

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Contracted braille

Contracted Braille

Amanda Bowdoin

Braille literacy movement
Braille Literacy Movement

  • Occurred during the 1930’s

Raised printed letters
Raised-printed letters

  • When were raised-printed letters used? This really sort of begs information on Louis Braille and his role, doesn’t it?

  • Very difficult to produce

  • Were read very slowly by touch

  • During the movement there was a resistance to change.

Contracted braille

  • 1st part of the 20th century

    • Uncontracted Braille was called Grade 1 Braille

    • Contracted Braille-Grade 2

Contracted braille

  • Grade 2 Braille was used by Bob Irwin Was he the very first? Have you ever heard of the “War of the Dots?” You might Google it and find out more.

    • Bob Irwin

      • President of the AFB

      • Provided a Braille reading code

      • Showed that Grade 2 Braille

        • Save money

        • Use less paper

          ** This occurred while the US was recovering from an economic depression in the 1930’s

From 1910 50
From 1910-50

  • Grade 1 Braille

    • included alphabet only

    • Was taught during the first three years [of what? The literary education of the student? .

From 1910 50 cont
From 1910-50cont

  • Grade 1 ½ Braille Is this supposed to be Grade 1 1/2?

    • Alphabet

    • Plus 40 one-cell contractions

    • Was when? taught during the next three years

From 1910 50 cont1
From 1910-50cont

  • Grade 2 Braille (contracted)

    • Alphabet

    • Plus 189 one cell and two cell contractions

    • Taught in year 7

      Using this method made good braille readers. How do we know this? Is there research?

      During the last 20 + years since being mainstreamed, many of the students who are now adults have great Braille Literacy Skills which have allowed independent interactions in our society. Hmmm.. I would think that most DON’T. What do you base this theory on?

Unified braille code ubc
Unified Braille Code (UBC)

  • Committees composed of members from several countries create Braille system for the English-Speaking Countries. When did this start? Why hasn’t the UBC been actually approved and instituted?

  • Responsible for a selection of recommended list of Braille Contractions to be incorporated into the revised Literary Code What is the Revised Literary Code?

Braille literacy movement in the us
Braille Literacy Movement in the US

  • Has two major groups:

Establishment movement
Establishment Movement

  • Included

    • Governmental Agencies

    • Private Agencies

    • Braille Code Specialist

    • Braille Transcribers

    • Braille Embossing Houses

      They need to keep up with the changing of technology. Have they NOT kept up? Again, how do you know? Is there research that suggests this?

Consumer educator driven movement
Consumer/Educator-Driven Movement

  • Members represent:

    • Teachers

    • Parents

    • Blind consumers of all ages

      They support teachers and consumers who have quietly made changes in the Braille Literacy code and its uses. Such as…?

Stop the press





Braille committee ii
Braille Committee II

Recommends deleting:






and by

Contracted braille

A growing number of educators are wanting to eliminate 4 groups of contractions in addition to the others that were recommended by Committee II

The four groups
The Four Groups: groups of contractions in addition to the others that were recommended by Committee II

  • Whole –word lower contractions








    These are not easily read by many students

Contracted braille

2. Double-letter lower contractions groups of contractions in addition to the others that were recommended by Committee II







3. Two-Cell Contractions that begin with Dots 5 and 6.









** there are confusion between letters proceeded by the letter signs

Contracted braille

4. Two-cell contractions that begin with dot 6 groups of contractions in addition to the others that were recommended by Committee II




These are often interpreted as capital letters rather than contractions.

Contracted braille

Some ideas to recommend
Some ideas to recommend readers to identify short phrases

These were made by the committee

  • Deletion of certain contractions

  • Limitations on the uses of short-form words

  • The code should be uniform as much as possible throughout the world so that materials may be shared and understood.

  • Beginning Braille students should have one-to-one correspondence and given the printed materials to the sighted peers so that they can interact in the regular ed classroom

  • 2-cell contractions should be used when the blind learner has mastered basic reading and spelling

Braille literacy crisis in the us
Braille Literacy Crisis in the US readers to identify short phrases

  • Fewer than 10 percent of the 1.3 million people who are legally blind in the United States are Braille readers

    There has also been a decline in Braille Literacy

Closure readers to identify short phrases

This was a poem written by Dr. Phil Hatlen for Sally Mangold who died on Jan. 29 ,2005.

Below are my words about Sally when she received the Migel Award from the American Foundation for the Blind.


From Phil Hatlen

(To the tune of Daisy, Daisy)

Sally, Sally, give me your answer, doI'm half crazy, is it Grade 1 or 2?It won't be a simple answerBut I know what you say will be trueBraille will prevailIt will not failAnd it's all because of you... This is WONDERFUL! A perfect way to end your presentation.

References readers to identify short phrases

  • American Foundation for the Blind. “Estimated Number of Adult Braille Readers in the United States.” Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness 90, no. 3 (May/June 1996): 287

  • Mangold, Sally S., “The Braille literacy movement: A dichotomy of action,” Getting in Touch with Literacy, 1997, p.9


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