ERIC Number: ED207267
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluation and Research Program for the Portable Braille Recorder (PBR). Volume I. Final Report.
Ashcroft, S. C.
An evaluation and research program was designed to determine user satisfaction and the practicality, reliability, and maintainability of the Digicassette (or Portable Braille Recorder--PBR) and to study the braille reading and writing functions. Ten PBRs were placed with 14 students and 14 adults. Products of the research program included training manuals, journal articles, and quarterly reports. Multiple baseline and other research designs were employed to obtain data on braille writing using measures having demonstrated validity and reliability. Data were also obtained from teacher observations, interviews, and user self report devices. A program of formative and summative evaluation was provided for continuous assessment and final appraisal for the evaluation and research program. All students readily accepted the Digicassette and quickly learned to use it. For the most part, students used the Digicassette for notetaking in classes, since reading materials in cassette braille form are limited. A minimum of maintenance problems occurred throughout the study, due in part to the detailed instructions in troubleshooting equipment problems that the students received prior to data collection activities. However, inconsistencies in the battery life of the 12 cell Digicassette demanded the frequent use of an external power supply. The oral reading and reading error rates and the writing error rates of eight blind students in Ohio and 16 blind students in Tennessee were evaluated. It was found that all Ss read with the Digicassette at about 50% of their oral reading rate with equivalent paper braille. However, reading accuracy as measured by the number of reading errors committed did not differ between the two reading conditions. Mechanical constraints of the Digicassette, such as the 12 cell reading line, the lack of hyphenation, and the inability to reread the text one line at a time, are hypothesized to be major factors in the slower reading rates with the Digicassette. Writing rates and writing error rates were virtually identical to writing rates using the Perkins brailler for all students. In summary, the Digicassette was demonstrated to be a viable addition to the standard methods of braille reading and writing. (Author/SB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC. Media Services and Captioned Films Branch.
Authoring Institution: George Peabody Coll. for Teachers, Nashville, TN. Dept. of Special Education.