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Why Braille?
Print? Braille? Or Both?

When in doubt, it's best to expose your child to both!

Your child is never too young to start learning braille.

Photo of a little girl exploring a print-and-braille book
Photo of a visually-impaired child exploring one of Seedlings' Print-and-Braille books
Start Now ... Start Today.
Create a literacy rich environment.
Embrace the world of reading by touch!

braille to your child from day one. The younger they are, the easier it is for them to learn!
Expose your child to both print and braille to prepare them to be dual readers!
Watch as your child begins to associate the bumps with words!
Establish a connection between braille books, bumps, and language!
Enjoy the togetherness that comes from braille reading together!

Braille Reading = Literacy, Independence, and Success.

Grab a hold of a book and let the magic begin ...

Contact Seedlings [email protected] or 800-777-8552 for more information.

Ideas for Creating a Literacy Rich Enviroment:

Photo of Kat exploring a Print-and-Braille Book with her mom
Photo of Kat exploring a Print-and-Braille book with her mom

It is important for all children to be raised in a literacy rich enviroment. Print can be found in abundance, but visually impaired children also need to be surrounded with braille materials!

Here are a few ways to add braille to your child's world:

Have lots of Print-and-Braille books available and explore them daily with your child.
    Start your collection by registering for 4 free books through our Book Angel Program!
    Order more books and ask your family to give them as gifts by going to our online catalog.

Make story bags that contain real objects to feel, and use them when reading some of your child's favorite books.

Add clothing items and toys with braille on them to your household.
    Seedlings offers braille shirts, jewelry, & playing cards, for example in our gifts section.
    You can also try other great sources like

Photo of the Hooray for Braille Kit
Photo of the Hooray for Braille Kit available from Seedlings
Find a used Perkins Brailler on ebay ...
or buy an inexpensive slate and stylus from The National Federation of the Blind so that you and your child can experiment making braille dots, letters, and then words.

Label everything in the house with braille using a slate & stylus, a Brailler,
    or a labeler like this one from Independent Living Aids.

Learn the braille code yourself:
    by buying a "Hooray for Braille" Kit from Seedlings ...
        which comes with Print-and-Braille Alphabet flashcards, and a book called "Braille for the Sighted";
    by buying "Just Enough to Know Better" from the National Braille Press;
    by exploring the Braille Bug website;
    by downloading the braille apps for your iphone or ipad;
    by taking a correspondence course from Hadley School for the Blind.

Photo of Torrie reading one of her books from Seedlings
Photo of Torrie reading one of her books from Seedlings

Why Braille is Such an Essential Skill

"If braille becomes a part of the child's life early, it becomes a part of the child's life forever! The best gift you can give your child is the opportunity to learn braille as soon as possible."
    --Merry-Noel, Teacher of Visually Impaired Children

"I am thrilled that braille is around, and that our daughter can be taught it by me! I also have heard the "technological" reasons for not teaching braille, but both my husband and I are firm believers in braille for our daughter. She is struggling with print. Why would you continue to make her struggle, fatigue her eyes, stress herself and have her behavior reflect that frustration? Why would you do that when there is a simple solution -- teach her braille now!"
    --Doreen Franklin, parent of a kindergarten-aged visually impaired child

Photo of Jim enjoying his book from Seedlings
Photo of Jim enjoying his book from Seedlings
"From the beginning it is important that your child is exposed to a literacy rich environment. Many visually impaired children are able to see some of the letters or pictures but still benefit from braille and tactual books. Using books that have both print and braille along with other tactual adaptions allows your child to become a dual reader as they explore with their hands along with their eyes."
    --Johanna Anand, Teacher of Visually Impaired Preschoolers

"Why not give him the tools that will let him be on target with his peers? That answer is braille."
    --Holly Miller, parent of a 10-year-old visually impaired child

"If you are not sure whether your child should learn braille, we would highly recommend it ... not because we are in the business of making braille books, but because eye conditions can become worse as a child gets older, and children who use large print find it harder to keep up with school work when the print gets smaller. Audio books can be a useful tool, but they will never be an adequate replacement for the written word, especially for learning spelling and grammar! Many blind adults have told us that they wish they had become fluent in braille when they were young, so we would urge you to start early! Braille is a wonderful tool, and when you give a child the gift of reading, you give them the thrill of imagination and the power of education!"
    --Debra Bonde, Seedlings' Founder and Director

Contact Seedlings at [email protected] or call 800-777-8552 for more information.

"More than any other time, when I hold a beloved book in my hand my limitations fall from me, my spirit is free." --Helen Keller

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© 2005 Seedlings Braille Books for Children P.O. Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924 • (734) 427-8552 or (800) 777-8552 [email protected]

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