Share This Page

Chartiers Valley students get eye-opening look at reading Braille

| Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Submitted photo
Chartiers Valley sophomore Noah Lorenzato helps teachers and students with Braille lessons at CV High School.

An assignment on Kurt Vonnegut Jr. had Chartiers Valley High School students learning to read all over again.

The 10th-grade English class began reading “Harrison Bergeron” as an assignment from teacher Denise Bohn. In the story, the government forces equality onto citizens through a handicapping system.

Bohn thought the perfect introduction to the story was learning about Braille. Sophomore Noah Lorenzato, who is in the class, is legally blind and uses the Braille system for his English assignments.

The lessons started for several reasons.

“First, to give Noah's peers an understanding of how he reads, learns and writes using the Braille system,” she said.

She said Noah's vision instructor from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit put together the presentation so Noah's classmates — and other teachers and administrators — could become more familiar with Braille.

“During the presentation, the students and teachers became very interested in learning more,” she said.

“We decided to have ongoing lessons throughout the year to learn the basic tenets of Braille.”

The lessons consisted rotations through different learning stations, including books on exploring Braille, decoding Braille riddles and other activities.

Bohn said the learning stations were a success.

“Everyone enjoyed the activities and learned how to recognize and understand the Braille system in a fun and exciting way,” she said. “Noah enjoyed helping his peers and teachers and was very proud of himself.”

“I got to teach my classmates stuff they didn't know,” Lorenzato said. “I felt happy that I accomplished something so important.”

Lorenzato's classmate, Halie Pattison, said the lessons were eye-opening.

“Reading normally is different than reading Braille,” she said. “I realized how much effort reading Braille takes and how much more Noah works on reading than an average student does.”

Bohn said the lesson goes further than that, though.

“The lesson helps build tolerance and acceptance of those with disabilities,” she said. “If students can develop an understanding of one another, they may be less likely to bully each other.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.