SENATE BILL 5284
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senator L. Smith.
Read first time January 28, 1991. Referred to Committee on Education.
AN ACT Relating to opportunities for instruction in braille; adding a new section to chapter 28A.320 RCW; and adding a new section to chapter 28A.405 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 28A.320 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Each school district in the state and the Washington state school for the blind shall provide the opportunity to receive instruction in braille to blind students attending school within the district. The instruction shall be provided in a manner that teaches the usefulness and benefits of braille as a system of reading and writing for persons who are blind.
(2) Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this section.
(a) "Blind" means:
(i) Having a visual acuity of not more than 20/200 in the better eye with correction;
(ii) Having a central visual field that subtends an angle of not more than twenty degrees in the better eye with correction;
(iii) Having nystagmus in at least one eye; or
(iv) Having an eye condition that may develop into a condition meeting either (i), (ii), or (iii) of this subsection (a).
(b) "Braille" means the system of raised dots commonly used for reading and writing by the blind in the versions approved by the braille authority of North America including but not limited to the following codes or revisions of codes adopted by the braille authority of North America:
(i) Standard english braille, grade two;
(ii) The Nemeth braille code for mathematics and science notation, 1972 revision;
(iii) The revised international manual of braille music notation 1956 and the 1975 American addendum; and
(iv) The code for computer braille notation, 1987.
(c) "Instruction in braille" means instruction in reading braille by touch and in writing braille using the slate and stylus, Perkins braillewriter, and when appropriate, computer software and hardware.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 28A.405 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Within two years after the effective date of this section, certificated instructional staff holding certificates or endorsements qualifying them to provide special education services who are providing instruction to blind students in reading or writing shall demonstrate competency in braille.
(2) As used in this section, "competency in braille" means having written proof of successful completion of:
(a) The course in literary braille for braille transcribers administered by the United States library of congress;
(b) Any test created or endorsed by the United States library of congress to certify proficiency of educational personnel in braille;
(c) A course for braille transcribers administered by the Washington state regional library for the blind; or