SAL System: A New Era in Braille Instruction

Presentation by Helene Holman

Dr. Sally Mangold had a dream to enable students who are acquiring Braille skills to have independence in their learning experience. Dr. Mangold wanted students to feel in control of their learning. She developed SAL - so that students could work at their own rate and as often as they choose.

SAL - is a dramatically different technology used for teaching and learning literary and Nemeth Braille. It is a stand-alone interactive Braille learning station for blind students of all ages. Using SAL - , students can acquire new Braille skills and enhance their Braille reading and writing.

It is important to know that the SAL - System was never designed to replace teachers. It is intended to augment lessons that have been introduced to the learner by a teacher who knows how to teach literary and Nemeth Braille. SAL - does not replace a Perkins Brailler, notetakers or talking computers.

Description of Product

This unique stand-alone Braille learning station weighs only 6 lbs. It is 16 - from front to back, 13 - from left to right, and 1 - - thick.

The top of the unit consists of a smooth, pressure sensitive platform. There is an electronic Braille keyboard in front of the platform between the stereo speakers.

SAL - is also equipped with a compact flash, a standard disk drive, an earphone jack, a volume control, a speech rate control, a foot pedal, and a rechargeable battery.

Place a paper Braille worksheet on the pressure sensitive platform, insert a data disk into SAL - that contains a copy of the Braille worksheet and SAL - becomes a portable, interactive Braille learning station.

Each paper Braille worksheet has Braille on the front and a bar code on the back that enables SAL - to recognize the page and immediately voice appropriate directions.

There are no commands for the student to learn. Simple keyboard commands allow the teacher to change the writing mode, speech, choice of language spoken, or enter record keeping.

Children and adults smile when they discover that one light press of the finger directly on the Braille causes SAL - to voice the word or the math symbol that they are touching.

A second press lets them hear the word spelled, the Braille contraction announced or the math symbol described.

If choices are required on the worksheet and the correct answer is pressed, SAL - voices an encouraging response such as - excellent - . If the incorrect answer is pressed, SAL - voices a message such as, - not correct - .

Students receive immediate feedback regarding the accuracy of their writing when they use the electronic Braille keyboard.

More About SAL -

There is a wide variety of curriculum currently available for use with SAL - , including a selection of reading books, beginning Braille instructional programs, and math and literary tracking books for faster and more accurate Braille reading.

Teachers who want to create their own materials can do so using SALSA - , the SAL - authoring software.

The independence and flexibility that the SAL - System and SALSA - software provides to students with visual impairments and their teachers is something that professionals have long been looking for when teaching Braille literacy skills.

For more information about the SAL - System contact:
       Exceptional Teaching Inc.
       (800) 549-6999