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RE: Braille Literacy and Technology Access

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RE: Braille Literacy and Technology Access

WHEREAS, research has shown that Braille literacy is crucial for success in education and employment; and

WHEREAS, access to books and other reading materials is necessary in order to practice reading skills; and

WHEREAS, research also shows that during the summer, all K-12 students’, whether they are blind or sighted, will have decreased reading skills in the fall if they don’t spend a significant amount of time reading during the summer; and

WHEREAS, hardcopy Braille books are expensive, bulky, and difficult for the average blind student to obtain; and

WHEREAS, it costs $75 for a student to sign up to receive Braille books from the Utah Braille library, resulting in students being discouraged from signing up for the program; and

WHEREAS, Arizona schools serving blind K-12 youth take away the students Braille notetakers and Braille displays during the summer; and

WHEREAS, a Braille notetaker or electronic Braille display enables a student to access thousands of free electronic Braille books available from Web Braille, Bookshare, and other sources; and

WHEREAS, Many schools serving blind K-12 students don’t have any type of hardcopy Braille book fair or distribution program; and

WHEREAS, one of the reasons given for taking away students’ notetakers over the summer is that the units go out for repairs then, even though it is unlikely that all students’ notetakers need repairs or that these repairs will take all summer. NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona in Convention assembled this 12th day of September, 2010, in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, that this organization urge all schools serving blind K-12 students in the state allow their students to keep their notetakers and electronic Braille displays to use over the summer; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization insist that K-12 students be permitted to take and use their notetakers at home, vacation, summer camp, or anywhere else the student may spend his/her summer break; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization support a policy in which if a student’s electronic Braille technology does need repairs over the summer that the student may have access to his/her notetaker during the time that the unit is not being repaired.

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