Braille instructor Julie Brannon (left) demonstrates a refreshable braille display to student Keri Brent (right)The Lighthouse Braille Training Program instructor meets with students once a week, expecting intense personal study of braille from the students. This is experimental in that other programs meet more frequently with students.  This model allows for less staff time, and this process will assess the ability of students to learn braille and signifigantly improve braille skills from instructor directed self-study. This aspect of braille training will be an evaluated factor also, which can easily be transferred to other braille training programs, significantly saving on staff time, participant training time, and overall program cost.

We currently do pre-, mid-, and post-term assessments. Assessments will be done  with students who have completed the entire Braille Training Program and have continued using their braille skills; within 3 month, 1 year, and annually thereafter to establish the value of Braille reading and writing ability in regard to upward mobility, job duty expansion, enrollment in community education programs, and personal life satisfaction. This information will assist in evaluating the effect of braille training for Lighthouse employees which will be transferable to what can be expected outcomes in similar braille training programs.

Nature and Scope of Curriculum

The Braille Training Program for Lighthouse employees who are blind or visually impaired is continually evaluated to assess if student goals and objectives are being met through the training provided that is provided. Braille Training curriculum at Seattle Lighthouse centers on the McDuffy Reader, by Sharon L. M. Duffy.  The McDuffy Reader is a manual for teaching braille to adults who are blind or have low vision, and is a program offered by The National Federation of the Blind. The Seattle Lighthouse also has a Braille Blazers Reading Club, that gathers weekly to read articles on current events in braille. This group exercise helps braille learners practice in a relaxed group setting, maintaining and polishing their growing braille skills. In addition, the Lighthouse provides Braille Training Weekends off-site to encourage new learners in a group setting, to get an introductory overview to Braille in a supportive environment.