The Canadian Braille Authority (CBA) has established standards for teachers of braille reading and writing. These standards should apply to the person who is providing direct, on-going (i.e., daily, several times a week) instruction in braille reading and writing for children and youth. The Canadian Braille Authority is committed to quality literacy instruction for students who read and write braille.
CBA recommends the following standards for braille teachers throughout Canada:
|Qualification||CBA Standard (minimum requirement)|
|University degree||Teachers of braille reading and writing must hold at least a Bachelor of Education degree|
Teachers of braille reading and writing must hold:
|Specific related coursework||
As a part of, or in addition to, courses taken for teacher certification, teachers of braille reading and writing must have successfully completed:
Canadian Braille Authority January, 2000
The following section of the standards report will serve as further explanation of the standards set forth by the Canadian Braille Authority for teachers who provide instruction in braille reading and writing. Each aspect of the standards is explained below.
The standards delineated in this report apply to the person who is providing direct, daily (or almost daily) instruction in braille reading and writing. The CBA does not address service delivery models in these standards. In other words, the standards contained in this report relate to teacher qualification, not type of service delivery. However, it is important to note that these standards apply to the person who is providing direct instruction regardless of who that person is. In some situations, paraprofessionals are given the responsibility of providing the majority of direct literacy instruction with consultation by a teacher of students with visual impairments. This practice is not acceptable given the standards in this report unless the paraprofessional meets all standards (bachelor's degree, basic teacher certification, qualifications for certification as a teacher of students with visual impairments, and successful completion of coursework).
CBA standards for a teacher providing direct instruction in braille reading and writing require that the teacher possess at least a Bachelor's of Education Degree.
Teachers of braille reading and writing must meet two levels of certification. They must hold initial certification in some area of education. Initial certification in elementary education, or special education may provide a solid basis for teaching literacy skills, however CBA standards hold that any initial teacher certificate is acceptable. In addition, teachers of braille reading and writing must meet the requirements for certification as a teacher of students with visual impairments as outlined by the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Teachers holding certification as a teacher of students with visual impairments from any certifying body (e.g. province or state) will be accepted as certified in this area.
Coursework in visual impairment may be taken as part of a degree program or as a part of specialized training. In order to qualify as a teacher of braille reading and writing, coursework must include:
Evidence of coursework will be a university transcript or certificate of completion.
The Canadian Braille Authority has worked for two years to establish standards for braille teachers. The current report is the culmination of this work. CBA established these standards by completing an extensive review of standards already in place in North America and by polling Canadian provinces about their current requirements for braille teachers. The results of this study can be found in a report titled Instruction of Braille Reading and Writing: State of the Art (Holbrook, 1999).
Following completion of this report and review by members of the Braille Teaching and Learning Committee of the CBA, a meeting was held of all committee members as well as provincial and territorial representatives from across Canada. The report was discussed and input was requested. The current standards represent the input from all sources.