Research Ideas

Dear NCLVI Community,

I am the AER Representative for Braille Authority of North America (BANA) and am also co-chair of BANA's Ad Hoc Board Committee on Research along with Frances Mary D'Andrea.  Over the past few years, BANA has collected a set of questions that have been developed from a variety of sources related to the Braille Code.  I am sharing these with you in the event that some of you might be interested in doing research that would answer some of these questions and help contribute to the knowledge base on the Braille Code that is desperately needed.  With the enrichment topic for next year being "research" it seemed that this list might be a good one to post these on. 

I am including the questions at the end of this message.  If you would like further clarification of the questions, or if you are interested in doing research that might answer some of these questions, or if you just have comments about the questions themselves, please feel free to contact me at dwormsley@salus.edu  or 215-780-1502. 

Sincerely,

Diane P. Wormsley, Ph. D.,
Co-Chair NCLVI Program Director, PCO

BANA Research Questions on the Braille Code

1. What code aspects/changes effect reading speed and fluency?

* What is a Braille "chunk"?  Do spaces help readers "chunk" Braille (increase fluency and readability) or not?

  1. Does it take more time to read a space vs. a symbol? (related to the issue of math format, as well as general materials) Issue of density of a code as opposed to one that is less compact--is one faster to read than the other?
  2. As we get more difficult text would character count for UEBC increase accordingly? If so, what effect does this have on speed and fluency? (related to Marie and Robin's assertion that books with higher  reading levels might have more characters).

* What is the impact on readability with "looser" rules on syllable bridging? (related to questions raised at last BANA meeting about foreign language, as well as at ICEB in regards to BANA/BAUK rules and the UEBC).

* Math reading questions: 

  1. How are college students accessing mathematics? Related to this are questions regarding geometry, trigonometry, charts, etc.--how are these accessed and in what form?
  2. What is the display for math? (Linear or Braille page)
  3. How do blind adults use math in technical work--e.g., hard copy, electronic, auditory, personal coding, etc.? How many blind adults currently feel proficient in Nemeth code?
  4. Other issues related to upper or lower numbers, such as other combinations of symbols (content analysis).
 2. What code aspects/changes effect reading comprehension?

* Is there an impact on comprehension with "looser" rules on syllable bridging?

* What role does various format rules have on comprehension of materials?

  1. format issues for materials used by young children?
  2. format issues for materials used by new Braille readers who had been print readers?
  3. format issues for complicated visual displays (such as the "whisker" graphs, etc.)?

* How many Braille readers encounter unfamiliar math and technical codes in "general" reading? (relates to the question of when CBC is no longer a "new" code)

* Is there an impact on comprehension related to the density of a code as opposed to one that is less compact? Is there an increased perceptual load for comprehension of a dense code or a less compact one?

3. What code aspects/changes effect writing speed and production?

* Is there an impact on Braille writing (time it takes, etc.) with the UEBC?

* As we get more difficult text would character count increase accordingly, and if so, what effect would this have on production and personal writing?

* Is there an impact on production in learning one code (UEBC) rather than three (current practice)

  1. for producing educational materials?
  2. for preparing certified transcribers?
  3. or preparing teachers?