Monday, December 18, 2017
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  • Resources for the Blind, Inc. (RBI)


    Improved Braille Literacy Among Adults with Visual Impairment

    To promote and facilitate braille literacy and better employment options for blind adults in conflict-affected areas
    Cotabato City, Zamboanga City, Lanao del Norte, and Tawi-Tawi
    300 visually impaired students, 40 braille instructors in
    2 Vocational Rehabilitation Centers (VRCs) and
    3 Alternative Learning System (ALS)
    2 years

    Currently, most of the training in braille literacy for young adults takes place in five Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Vocational Rehabilitation Centers (VRC). These VRCs are located in Quezon City, Dagupan City, Cebu City, Zamboanga City and Cotabato City.

    Based on the assessment of the current braille literacy modules developed by RBI, most of their students fail to achieve full braille literacy due to low learner motivation and teachers’ lack of experience in teaching adult braille literacy. There is no standardized assessment tool and adult braille literacy curriculum for teachers. In addition, none of the instructors have access to, or training in, new technology which could greatly enhance braille learning. The same challenges are faced by other adult braille literacy teachers nationwide mostly based in local government units’ Persons with Disabilities Affairs Offices (PDAO) and in sites of the Department of Education’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS).

    USAID, through the Philippine-American Fund, supports RBI in producing braille literacy assessment tools to measure current and future results of adult braille literacy courses. USAID also supports RBI in acquiring new braille technology and developing an Adult Braille Literacy Module (ABLIM).

    Selected DSWD-VRCs serve as pilot sites for the proposed module. Strategies include development of modules, training of trainers, provision of hardware and software for curriculum development and provision of equipment needed to implement the module. RBI uses braille teaching modules to remove cultural, structural, or physical barriers experienced by blind children with learning disabilities.

    Since the project began, RBI has assisted a total of 52 blind adult learners. Among these blind adult learners, only 15 completed the module. They are now continuing their studies under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd).  

    The project also conducted two sets of Training of Trainers (TOT) to equip more teachers in the use of the Braille Literacy Module. The first set of the TOT was participated in by 18 Braille Instructors from selected PDAOs and other service providers in the six regions of Mindanao. The second set was participated in by 21 ALS teachers from selected areas in Mindanao. The activity provided participants information on handling blind adults who would like to learn reading through Braille. Participants were also trained in motivating adult learners and making the learning process more effective.

    One of the project highlights was the assessment of the current status of braille literacy in the Philippines in partnership with stakeholders involved in the creation of the Braille Network Group. The group, composed of seven board members representing different braille stakeholders, helps in the promotion of Braille literacy throughout the country.

    During the quarter, RBI was able to organize the first quarterly meeting of the Braille Network on Jan. 21, 2017. The group is now officially called Philippine Braille Accessibility Network (PBAN). They are planning to register the network to have its legal identity. The network will help in advocating for the adoption of the braille modules in DepEd’s ALS programs nationwide.