Brandon answering a question

Photography by www.atomsportraits.com

This is where you can ask questions and I will post the answers to the best of my ability. I know that sometimes it can be difficult to find resources and answers to questions. If I don’t know the answer I will research until I find out and then post it here for you.


Where can I get information about blindness and autism?

That is a really good question.  Many times characteristics of blindness and characteristics of autism can be confused because of some similarities. At the American Foundation for the Blind you will find a book about autism and blindness and how to distinguish between autism and blindness or both: AFB.org

Autism RGB Low Rez_webAFB Press has a lot of excellent, researched-based books about blindness that we use, as professionals in the field.  They would be great resources to share with the professionals in your area.

This website provides useful information, as well: Autism and Blindness


When can kids start learning and using braille music?

An Introduction to Music for the Blind Student

If a child has already learned contracted braille, then it should be easy for them to pick up the braille music. The child could possibly start when he has learned uncontracted braille; however,  it may be a little confusing when the child starts learning the literary braille contractions. The child should be interested in learning an instrument or singing before introducing braille music. It is very important to learn braille music if the child is seriously learning to play a musical instrument, participant in band or choir, or is developing their voice for singing.

Richard Taesch has written a course on braille music that can be taught by a sighted person who has little knowledge of music or braille. I have used it and I learned quite a lot while teaching using this curriculum. An Introduction to Music for the Blind Student: A Course in Braille Music Reading is very well written and really gives the student a great foundation for reading braille music.

Dancing Dots is a website that really gives useful information for those who are blind and really want to learn more about music. Bill McCann is the founder and president of Dancing Dots. He is an accomplished musician as well as entrepreneuer and programmer. There is a listserve, called Menvi, for blind musicians, parents of blind children, transcibers, and teachers. The listserve answers questions and gleans from the experience of blind musicians who have already worked through the bumps in the road. There are also numerous articles on braille music and being a blind musician, in general, in the archives of the Menvi listserve. You can visit the Menvi website at www.menvi.org.

Here is a link to a chart of Braille Music compiled by Jennifer Dunnam.


Where can I find braille magazines for children?

Weekly Reader

There are not a lot of braille magazines available for children. However, I will give you some resources on where to find some braille magazines. The first is Braille Institute. They offer Boy’s Life, Muse, Seventeen, Spider, and Stone Soup in their children’s section. (800) 424-8567(800) 424-8567 You have to be a patron to get the magazines free of charge. You can visit their website or call 1-800-808-25551-800-808-2555. The National Library Service offers the same children’s magazines as the Braille Institute. You can contact the NLS at (800) 424-8567(800) 424-8567. You can subscribe to the Weekly Reader on the APH website. Christian Record Services offers Children’s Friend and Young and Alive. You can contact them at (402) 488-0981(402) 488-0981.

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