Inclusion is what we all strive for. I always think back to sitting with a student when I worked with a young child in a gen ed classroom years ago. The class was learning letters and were doing an activity with a coloring sheet. Of course, the student would have access to braille during those times, but I thought why not have a sheet similar to that of the peers? We work with students on recreation and leisure and what small child doesn’t like coloring? Why should our students be limited when we can give them access to the opportunity to access the activity?
We also work with students on looking at raised line images, yet I don’t often see lots of materials with raised line images for younger students. Occasionally I will see a coloring/activity page but with my recent use of Procreate I thought why not allow other young students like the one I worked with access to a rec and leisure and a couple of compensatory skills. I created these alphabet sheets with a large braille letter above an image of an animal or object that starts with that same letter. SimBraille is also at the bottom so that the student may see what the letter will look like when reading tactually as well.
Another important aspect we also forget with something as simple as these alphabet sheets, is the social opportunities for our students. You may think it’s an alphabet sheet, what’s that got to do with social skills? Imagine being a young child and never having anything that is like your peers? No opportunity for your peers to say, “Hey what color did you color your umbrella?” or the opportunity for the child to discuss at lunch how they have a pet cat like on the letter sheet they colored today.
I hope these coloring sheets not only help our students with learning braille and giving them access to tactile images but also the opportunity to interact with their peers.
Editor’s Note: These alphabet sheets can be downloaded and printed on a copy machine for low vision students who are being exposed to braille and/or can be run through a thermal image enhance machine (e.g., PIAF machine) to create tactile images for students who are blind. Interested in ‘reverse’ inclusion? Share these braille alphabet worksheets with the entire class – including students who do not have a visual impairment!