New Mexico teacher develops braille code for Navajo
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – A public school teacher in a New Mexico town situated near the country's largest American Indian reservation has developed a braille code for the Navajo language.
Carol Green, who began developing vision problems as a child and is now a teacher for blind and visually impaired students in Farmington, developed a system of raised dots that enables people to read and write the Navajo language through touch, The Daily Times reported .
The Navajo braille is based off the English code but it eliminates certain letters. The new braille also adds a prefix code for vowels and how to pronounce them.
"The advantage of having this code for the reader is that they can distinguish and pronounce everything properly," Green said.
Learning the basics of the Navajo language from her grandparents, Green said that exposure started a lifelong interest in learning more of the language.
Green learned how to read and write braille in 2009 after her vision continued to deteriorate. Green said that she wanted to advance her learning of the Navajo language, so she inquired with the Braille Authority of North America in 2013 to discover a braille code for Navajo did not exist.
Green went to work and developed the first code for Navajo.
Before joining the Farmington Municipal School District in 2010, Green also taught at schools in Shiprock and Red Mesa, Arizona.
Green also created the new braille code so the Navajo students she teaches could have an opportunity to learn the language, she said.
"I thought if I am going to develop it for myself, then I might as well share it so these children have that opportunity. The same as their peers," Green said.
In a resolution approved in October 2015, the Navajo Nation Board of Education adopted the Navajo braille code to teach to blind and visually impaired tribal members.