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Beginning with Braille: Literacy Instruction for Young Braille Learners with Anna Swenson

Event Description

What should braille literacy instruction look like for the a young braille learner?  Come join the Kansas Instructional Resource Center (KIRC), Kansas State School for the Blind & TASN as we host Anna Swenson to discuss how to teach braille!

Date & Time: April 13, 2023 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Working lunch provided
Location: Bishop Professional Development Center, 3601 SW 31st Street Topeka, Kansas 66614
Format:  Meet In Person 7.0 Professional Learning Contact Hours

Learning Objectives

A solid foundation of literacy skills is important for all young children, whether they read print or braille.  When working with braille learners in kindergarten or the primary grades, teachers of students with visual impairments (TSVIs) are not just teaching the braille code; they are also teaching reading and writing, often in partnership with a classroom teacher.

This presentation will provide attendees:

  • Overview of current best practices in teaching beginning literacy skills
  • Discussion of strategies, activities, and materials unique to braille instruction
  • Emphasis will be placed on research-based learning that is individualized and motivating


KIRC Training Objectives
Participants should be able to do the following:
1. Summarize the results of the ABC Braille Study and discuss their implications for teachers.
2. Explain why it is important for young braille learners to read and write connected text at the same time they are learning about letters, sounds, and words.
3. Provide scaffolded support to children as they read orally.
4. Analyze children’s writing samples and plan instruction based on the stages of writing development.
5. Select and/or create instructional strategies, activities, and materials for teaching beginning braille reading and writing that meet the needs of their own braille learners.
6. List three strategies for adapting classroom materials simply and efficiently for children who use braille or dual media learners.

Anna Swenson smiling for the camera with short hair and glasses.About the Presenter:

Anna Swenson is a retired teacher of students with a visual impairment who is currently a consultant for the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).  During her teaching career, she worked with numerous young braille learners in both itinerant and resource room settings, developing a passion for teaching reading and writing in braille.  Anna has published articles on teaching in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness and is the author of Beginning with Braille: Firsthand Experiences with a Balanced Approach to Literacy from AFB Press.  For the past 10 years, she has been part of the writing team that is revising Building on Patterns, the braille literacy program from APH.

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Event Details

Date: April 13, 2023

Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Bishop Professional Development Center, 3601 SW 31st Street Topeka, Kansas 66614

Registration Required? Link

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