Webinar 1: Concept Development

How does concept development influence the development of tactile literacy skills?

Have you ever assumed a learner understood a basic concept, only to find out later they did not? Please share your experience and what you learned from it.

the more a student knows about a concept, the more he will be able to represent and have a representation of it for tactile recognition

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the student must have a basic understanding of the concept before they are shown a tactile graphic. If the graphic is being used to further the concept development, it should be explained to the student while they are exploring the graphic.

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concept development can reinforce the development of tactile literacy skills. the two skills can reinforce each other.


Students need to understand tactile concepts to generalize to literary or tactile graphics. Otherwise confusion, assumptions or lack of knowledge can lead to misunderstanding.

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Concept development influences the development of tactile literacy skills by bringing a background of information with which the student can form a full picture of what they’re touching.

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With tactile knowledge of a concept and/or object, the braille student has a better understanding of his/her environment and the concepts he/she are learning within the educational setting.

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I’m new to the district and realized my student does not have a basic concept of the clock set up. This has required me to teach the clock prior to using it as a reference for other things they experience

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The ability to explore is the foundation for tactile literacy skills. The child will need opportunities to explore, ask questions and communicate about the object/s.

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I was discussing the shape of a cone with a student in math. The 5th grade classroom teacher was comparing it to an ice cream cone. The student I worked with didn’t understand. She had always been given ice cream in a dish, never on a cone because the parent thought it was too messy.


When using rich descriptive language, it gives more information as well as a feel for the concept and lead into understanding the graphic. The more descriptions, the more angles of the concept that the student learns.

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They have to have concept development or the tactile graphics won’t be decipherable or meaningful.

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Children have to develop strong tactile skills while they are growing in their concept knowledge, and these skills are also necessary for gathering new information through tactile literacy and tactile graphicacy

I had an experience when teaching about a zoo. I had assumed that my student understood the what a zoo was only to find out that the student had no idea. He knew that animals could be found at a zoo but he thought that all animals roamed around the zoo together and that people walked around the zoo.

If concepts are absent or incomplete, tactile experiences may not be accurately interpreted or associated with incorrect language. Learners may also be reluctant to touch if concepts and language are not fully understood. Delays in language & concept understanding can also impact social interactions with peers.

Thought student understood vehicles, such as car or bus. Student never had the opportunity to see the whole vehicle only getting into it.


example: on a field trip at a baseball game someone yelled “duck”. My student responded “Quack quack”. I bet you can guess we had a lesson on another meaning to the work duck, and on how to duck.


The student needs to have some sort of idea to understand what is being presented . If they have no concept development they cannot understand tactile information

I find sometime the EOG’s assume basic concepts. There was a reading question once about an abandoned house and that the wallpaper on the stairs had faded sections. The question was something about what that implied…my blind student had no idea!!