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A2001-02: Regarding Support for Contracted Braille

Adopted in: 2001

Topics: Braille

WHEREAS, for many years, contractions in braille have been the standard for the English-speaking countries of the world and are valued for the space they save and especially for the increase in reading and writing speed they allow; and

WHEREAS, the vast majority of braille books are currently produced in contracted (grade 2) braille; and

WHEREAS, there has recently come to be a feeling among some educators of blind children that these children might be best served by learning and using uncontracted (grade 1) braille for a time before beginning gradually, if at all, to learn the contractions of grade 2 braille; and

WHEREAS, advocates of this approach speciously claim, among other things, that grade 2 braille is too complex for many students to learn and blame this alleged complexity for declining braille literacy; and

WHEREAS, the collective experience of thousands of blind readers over many decades resoundingly refutes this claim; and

WHEREAS, given this experience, it is clear that increasing the commitment to teaching braille rather than watering down the standards is ultimately a more effective approach to improving literacy among the blind; now, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this 28th day of October, 2001, in the city of Bloomington that this organization support access to the highest standards of literacy in grade 2 braille for the blind children of Minnesota; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization offer as a resource to educators of blind children our collective and individual experiences related to learning, teaching, and using braille.

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