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Video transcription Aksinja Kermauner

Tactile Rebus as Inclusive Approach to Literacy in Braille

AKSINJA: Hello, everybody. I'm Aksinja Kermauner from Slovenia, I live in the capital town Ljubljana, but I work in Koper, from Ljubljana in the middle of the state. The Koper on the beach of Adriatic Sea is only 100 kilometers. Slovenia is a really small country. I am so sorry that we can't really meet each other in this beautiful city of Oslo. But we still have the technology. I was teaching Slovene language and art, at Center Iris Institute for blind and partially sighted children in Ljubljana. Now I'm professor at the Faculty of Education University Primorska. I teach an object on inclusive, inclusive pedagogy, methods of work with visually impaired children. So, the children have a lot of picture books in their surroundings, bookstores and libraries. Really-really beautiful picture books. We have a lot of books in Braille at the library for visually impaired people and print disabled persons Meters and meters of interesting books in Braille. And a lot of talking books. That means the books in audio and the text recorded on CD. We know that a child with blindness has less incentive to develop, explores less and learns less through imitation. So, we need to help him with certain methods and aids to catch his or her sighted peers. Literacy for children with blindness due to the use of a Braille is different from that of sighted peers. So, preparation for literacy is very important. One of the methods of literacy for blind children is a tactile picture book. Such a book must have text in Braille and haptic illustrations. We made a lot of them with my students, for example, master’s degree. Clothes, tactile picture books, collage books, toy books, books for education, small books, books for playing, even a comic for blind 100 of them, but with usually only one or two items. So, they are original, usually handmade, except few books. Here is the spaghetti. Siggy goes to the wild world of spaghetti. Siggy is the real Romell. They are printed in three thousand items by well-known Slovene publishing house, Mouse the Mouse. This year, with the help of the main library in Koper, teachers of the Italian school and prisoners in Koper, we managed to make one hundred twenty tactile picture books entitled real and different Results. Fingers find the intruder or find the odd one out. Find the way through the maze, for example, which animal can enter its house or count different shapes. For example, how many circles are there in the picture on the right or find to equal scores? Then help the butterfly find a way to the flower and so on. We are very happy with this success. The books were given to small blind children in Slovenia. We also translated them into English, Italian and German. Blind children play with the book and enjoy the riddles, just like their sighted peers. These tactile riddles help blind children, which with early literacy in Braille and vocabulary, development, orientation and coordination, development or tactile skills with systematic tactile stimuli, the sensitivity on the finger pads increases. Tactile Rebuses are also very suitable for this. So, we made a few of them. What exactly is Rebus? The simple text to insert a picture instead of a word. The Slovenian very famous writer for small children, Anna Stefán has created many beautiful fairytales in rebuses. Our student, Susanna Panitch, adapted them in a tactile way. In the tactile rebuses or replace it with a tactile image or a concrete object. Little blind children love this book, so my daughters and I did a synthesis of play on early Braille literacy with two small tactile books named Tactile Rebuses one and Tactile Rebuses two. The first book is simpler. On the left is a black and large print and the Braille and instead of the word is a concrete object. For example, flower, leaf, snowflake, button. On the right, the child must find the same object. as on the left. The object on the right is very different. So, identification is easier. In the second version, we made it difficult to identify objects. On the left side, we also put a black and large print and Braille with the instruction, for example, find a concrete object among similar ones. On the right, however, we now have very similar object objects, so the child has to work harder to recognize them. So, the aim of the tactile rebuses is to play recognizing Braille letters and at the same time practicing a sense of touch of a blind child, which is very important for later reading Braille. Tactile rebuses are a good reading motivation tool as tactile illustrations in the text, encourage children with blindness to follow the content together with their parents, and to participate in pronouncing words only through systematic work and the earliest possible comprehensive treatment will the blind child be able to reach his or her sighted peers in the field of literacy as well. Thank you and have a nice day.