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Promising Practices for Transcribing Early Literacy Textbooks Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third Grades

This document is currently under revision. Many guidelines for grades K-3 transcriptions have been added into the Braille Formats Principles of Print to Braille Transcription 2011. For areas not covered please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required for guidance.

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The following must appear on the Transcriber's Note Page in each braille volume:

This volume has been transcribed according to the provisional guidelines for Transcribing Early Literacy Materials (March 2007) set forth by the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

A print copy of the special symbols and transcriber's note page will be included with each volume in a section titled Teacher Reference Materials. This section contains a Special Symbols Page and a Transcriber's Note page. The Transcriber's Note page of this section will be a print copy of the braille Transcriber's Note page with the addition of all of the transcriber's notes (tns) found in that volume. The print page number on which a tn appears will be listed followed by the actual tn.

Underlying Principles to Consider When Transcribing Early Literacy Materials

Transcribers must always consider that students who are blind or visually impaired gather information differently than the sighted students for whom the book was designed.

It is essential that a transcriber acknowledge that young children with normal vision gain knowledge and learn many things incidentally: i.e. by means of watching others and then mimicking the movements or activities they have observed. The child with a visual impairment may need direct teaching for those activities. The world of the child for whom we transcribe is experienced through direct touch, sound and/or smell and the formatting decisions the transcriber makes should reflect the learning style of the reader.

Tactile Graphics

Early literacy texts are very visual in nature. The transcriber must constantly ask himself/herself why a picture or graphic is present on a print page. The interpretation and reading of a tactile graphic is a skill that must be taught to a braille reader. Students in grades K-3 are developing skills to read tactile graphics and may need assistance in interpreting the information being presented, depending on the complexity of the tactile graphic. Descriptions of graphics are very limited by the reading level of these books. At each elevation of grade level there can be fewer limitations. It is a very difficult task deciding which graphics to include, at the lower grade levels.

The student must be introduced to tactile representation, but this must be done with assistance and in a progression from very basic to more complex. Further research and study are needed in this area in order to help establish the acceptable degree of complexity at a specific grade level.

In the interim, the Early Literacy Materials Production committee (ELMP) has determined the omission of tactile graphics that require the student to name the object depicted in a picture or drawing is necessary. Very basic shapes can be depicted in a tactile graphic for grades K-1 and more complex grids and even maps can be included by grade 3. The transcriber's note "Ask" or "Ask your teacher for help" is included before each graphic, as the student may need assistance to understand either the graphic or its purpose. We do not want to give the classroom teacher the impression that the student will understand what a tactile graphic represents, without assistance.

Emphasis or Typeface Indicators

The inclusion of emphasis symbols (italics, bold, underlining) is still under research. It is particularly important when first learning to read that the shape or "look" of a word remain consistent. To precede a word with a braille emphasis indicator changes the "shape" of the word, making the word less familiar and recognizable.

Until further research is completed, and a final recommendation made, the committee has given a gradual introduction of these symbols by grade level. When such symbols are used they need to be included on the Special Symbols page. The teacher must, teach the symbols themselves and relay what italicized, bold-faced type and underscoring are, or mean, when found within text.

Teacher's Reference Materials

One of the more unique features suggested in this document is the inclusion of Teacher's Reference Materials. These are print pages that contain information found on the Special Symbols and Transcriber's Note pages of the braille volume. A listing by print page number of each instance of the transcriber's notes "Ask" or "Ask your teacher for assistance" is given. On a new line the reason for that note is given: ie. activity omitted-verbal description or alternate activity needed; graphic omitted-model or verbal description needed; or graphic included-assistance may be needed, is included. The purpose of this information is to allow the VI teacher to plan the instruction of a special symbol, the preparation of an alternate activity or verbal description, the gathering of models that may be needed, or when his or her presence is necessary for assistance.

Note for Tactile Graphics

Some diagrams, maps, and/or graphs are presented as tactile graphics. Students in grades K-3 are developing skills to read tactile graphics and may need assistance in interpreting the information being presented.

Note for Omitted Pictures to be Named.

Throughout the volume there are several pages containing pictures for the student to identify by name. Most braille readers at this grade level are not able to identify two-dimensional drawings as objects. These pictures are omitted. It is suggested the actual item, model or a verbal description be given to the student.

Note for Workbook Not Being Brailled as Consumable

Most of the directions within this book are not appropriate for the braille reader, as he/she will not be writing in this book. The directions are brailled as they appear in print. Therefore, the braille reader will need adapted directions from the VI teacher or paraprofessional.

The ELMP committee obviously cannot supply examples of every format or activity that a transcriber may come upon. However, we do feel that with the examples and guidelines given and the consideration of the underlying principles, better decisions can be made by transcribers.

BANA Ad-Hoc Committee for Early Literacy Materials Production Members:

All items followed by an asterisk (*) are changes to this document since the last posting.

Physical Page Attributes:

Formatting:

Follow rules set forth in Braille Formats: Principles of Print to Braille Transcription, unless specified below.

There are to be no transcriber's notes in kindergarten books except the following, which is to be placed at the left margin.

Kindergarten (at left margin):

In braille: ,',ask4,'

The transcriber's note is expanded for grades 1-2 and is placed in cells 7 with runovers in cell 5 (7-5). Frequently the need for keys before tactile graphics and some tables will need to be included. The placement for keys should reflect the guidelines found in Braille Formats: Principles of Print to Braille Transcription. Preceded by the "Ask" tn.

First -Second Grades (7-5):

In braille: ,',ask yr t1*] = help4,'

Third Grade

In third grade the reason for the need for help may be added, this would also include a key for a graphic. The reasons must be written in the same language and grade level as the textbook itself.

In braille: ,',ask yr t1*] = help4 ,! activ;y is omitt$ or a tactile graphic foll[s4,'

SAMPLE PAGE
Teacher Reference Materials
Special Symbols Used in This Volume

Dot 4, 6 italicized typeface indicator
Dots 456, 46 bold typeface indicator
Dots 456, 12 blue typeface indicator
Dots 456 1235 red typeface indicator
Dots 456, 1245 green typeface indicator
Dots 6, 3 Transcriber's note symbol
Dots 6, 3 Termination symbol

Transcriber's Note Page

This volume has been transcribed according to the provisional guidelines for Transcribing Early Literacy Materials (August 2007) set forth by BANA and the American Printing House for the Blind.

A listing of the words containing part-word typeface emphasis appears prior to those chapters or sections in which part-word typeface emphasis is used.

There are no proofreading marks in braille. Draft (original) sentences are brailled first under the heading "Draft". The line numbers, with each paragraph beginning with line 1, are listed and followed by the changes to be made.

Page 9

Page 14
Ask.
     The pictures are omitted. A verbal description is needed.

Page 15
Ask your teacher for help. Pictures are omitted.
     A verbal description is needed.

Page 16
Ask.
     The writing activity is omitted. An alternate activity is needed.

Page 18
Ask.
     The pictures are omitted. A verbal description is needed.

Page 21
Ask.
     The pictures are omitted. A verbal description is needed.

Page 22
Ask.
     The lines depicting the word shape are omitted.

Page 23
Ask your teacher for help. The shapes are omitted.

Page 25
Ask.
     The pictures are omitted. A verbal description or model of the object is needed.

Page 26
Ask.
     A verbal description or model of each object is needed.

Page 26
Ask your teacher for help. The pictures are omitted.
     A verbal description or model of each object is needed.

Page 30
Ask your teacher for help. The pictures are omitted.
     The pictures are omitted. Alternate instructions or activity are needed.

Page 36
Ask your teacher for help.
     The shapes are omitted. The words are listed.

Page 39
Ask your teacher for help.
     As there are no proofreading symbols in braille the student may need assistance with the line number format used.

Formatting (cont.):

Name and Date

Frequently, at these grade levels, the words Name and Date followed by an area to be filled in appear at the top of print pages. Often, print books with this format are not brailled as expendable or consumable material. The inclusion of this format is to be considered a teaching method for emphasizing the need for ones name and date to appear on every page handed in to the teacher. Therefore, the words Name and Date are to be included in the transcriptions of these books for grades K-3, blocked in cell 1.

Activities to Omit:

All omissions are to be stated on a print Teacher Reference Materials (see Sample of Teacher Reference Materials).

Emphasis Part-Word Emphasis Photographs with captions "Draw" instructions Puzzles Footnotes Multiple-Column Lists (see Example 9): Proofreading Marks Other: Dictionary and Thesaurus format will allow more than one sub-entry level (1/5, 3/7, 5/9) (Currently the rules state levels 1/3 or 1/5, 3/5.) Additional levels will enable the use of further subentries for sample sentence or emphasized items (see Example 11).

Example 11: Sample Thesaurus

active adj. moving about; busy. He needed a rest after his active day. energetic full of strength and pep. My energetic aunt exercises often. lively full of life and cheer. the lively music kept us dancing. antonyms: lazy, slow B

Second and Third Grades
Braille used in place of the example activity (translation follows below)
active adj. moving about; busy. He needed a rest after his active day. energetic full of strength and pep. My energetic aunt exercises often. lively full of life and cheer. the lively music kept us dancing. antonyms: lazy, slow B ... (ellipsis)

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