For visually impaired students, Joy Bieder provides a gateway to new learning opportunities.

Bieder teaches those students for the school district. She introduces students to braille, and recently did so for students at Daniel Webster Elementary School and Isaac E. Young Middle School. Students have been learning to operate braille machines, called a Perkins Brailler or a braillewriter. They write and transcribe their names and the alphabet, and have made some holiday designs using the machines.

Braille is a code, not a language, and it’s based on combinations of six dots. Some students may need to learn braille due to their limited vision. Others may choose to learn it as preparation for eventual job opportunities, such as becoming a transcriber or teacher, and some learn braille to communicate with someone they know who is visually impaired and reads braille. 

The photos show students at work, using both a SMART brailler (with the screen) and a manual braillewriter.