Welcome to the Web version of the National Literary Braille Competency Test (NLBCT)! We are using this sample version as the final exam for the Web-based Introduction to Braille course. We have chosen to use the NLBCT as the final exam for this 12-session course for two reasons:
- we believe that the NLBCT provides a thorough yet straight-forward evaluation of the basic Grade 2 braille skills offered through the Intro to Braille course;
- we believe strongly that persons involved in the production of braille should be aware of, prepare for, and participate in nationally-recognized evaluations of braille competency.
In the "About the NLBCT" reading, the test authors discuss the rationale and history of the development of the test. We should point out two key observations about the NLBCT:
- the NLBCT is currently undergoing a validation study by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), and the results may require the developement of a new exam. Until such time as that study is completed, the current NLBCT is being offered by the NLS
- this test is not a replacement for the Braille Transcribers certificate, a much more rigorous program that requires the production of a 35-page braille manuscript. This exam is designed to evaluate the braille competency of teachers of students with visual impairments, and does not certify one to become a braille transcriber.
In this Web-based version, the students should submit written braille by using the six-key entry mode of one of the braille emulators (Pokadot, MacBRL, Duxbury, Edgar, etc.). Since the online Intro to Braille course does not teach or evaluate braille skills with the slate and stylus, the student is not required to complete the slate and stylus portion of the written exam. We do, however, strongly encourage those of you who will be challenging this exam to purchase a slate and stylus and practice using it. We will evaluate your braille work created by slate and stylus (sent via postal mail) if you would like that feedback.
Good luck with your "final exam", and good luck, should you choose, as we hope you do, to challenge the National Braille Literacy Competency Test!