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Reading Braille Words Checklist

You can use this list to check your reading technique.

Paying attention to reading technique can make reading easier and more pleasurable.

This checklist contains 7 items.

  1. Is your touch nice and light?
    If not, just let yourself lighten up. You might be surprised to find that this helps.

  2. Are your hands, arms, and shoulders relaxed?
    If not, stop and do whatever helps you to relax and take it easy. Relaxed hands are more sensitive.

  3. Are your hands warm, soft, and dry?
    If not, stop and do what you can to fix this. Here are some suggestions:
    Warm your hands. Warm water, a hair dryer, and exercise can help.
    Soften your hands. Lotion or a little massage can help.
    Dry your hands. Keep a towel handy if you need to.
    Helpful exercises: Give your hands a little shake; open and close your hands a few times; spread your fingers out away from each other as far as they will go and then bring them together; and with your arms still, make little circles with your hands.

  4. Are you able to read the letters in words without moving your fingers up and down on each one?
    If you tend to scrub up and down, check the position of your fingers. As you glide along from left to right, make sure that you can feel the top and the bottom dots of each letter. Practice with words that you already know.

  5. Are you able to read the words with very little backtracking?
    If you need to backtrack, you are probably going too fast. Try to find the speed at which you can recognize the letters the first time your fingers pass over them. However, don't demand perfection. Backtracking once in a while is fine.

  6. Do you find yourself making many reading mistakes?
    If so, make sure to keep your fingers straight. If your fingers sometimes point to the right corner of the page and sometimes to the left, it will be hard for you to read accurately. So try to keep your fingers pointing towards the top of the page. Keep them parallel to the sides of the page.

  7. Does your mind wander to worries or concerns as you read?
    If so, relax. As soon as you notice wandering, gently bring your mind back to the feel of the braille letters and words under your fingers right now.

We hope you find these suggestions useful. As always, if you need help or have any questions, please contact your Hadley School instructor.

(Submitted by: Martha Pamperin; Last updated: September 14, 2009)

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