Living Paintings and BBC Children in Need
17th November 2017
Supported by Children in Need, Living Paintings is able to improve the lives of thousands of blind and partially sighted children in the UK.
- 78% of blind and partially sighted children have improved confidence thanks to Living Paintings.
- 87% of blind and partially sighted children are more interested in learning after using our Touch to See books.
Ted is 8 years old and has Stickler Syndrome, a condition that caused his retinas to detach resulting in him becoming blind when he was a toddler.
Ted was interviewed for the Chris Evans Breakfast Show for BBC Children in Need 2017. He talked about his visual impairment and told listeners how Living Paintings Touch to See books have opened up the visual world to him.
“Living Paintings just help me see a lot of pictures. Imagine you’ve never seen something before and then suddenly somebody opens your eyes and you can see what it is. “
Ted also features on the Children in Need appeal show in a piece entitled, ‘Little Heroes’.
Freddy has Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) which affects his retinas. Now aged 12, Freddy has been a member of the Living Paintings library since he was 5 years old, first borrowing our Touch to See adaptations of popular children’s picture books, which helped Freddy learn braille.
“Freddy is now 12 and at secondary school and uses Living Paintings resources as a home learning activity, to re-enforce his understanding of different subjects using his tactile skills, and to relax in his spare time. Freddy particularly likes their history and science books.” Freddy’s mum
Two years ago, BBC Children in Need featured Tayen on their live appeal show. Introduced by singer Ellie Goulding, her film showed Tayen’s mum talking about her daughter’s condition neurofibromatosis or NF1, diagnosed when she was nearly two years old. The condition had caused tumours all the way down both optics nerves, into the back of her brain. Within six weeks of the diagnosis, Tayen was completely blind.
For Kali and her family, Living Paintings provided a lifeline at an incredibly difficult point in their lives.
In Kali’s words:
“Tayen used to love reading before she lost her sight, and I thought her love of reading had gone. And Living Paintings has given that back to her.”
Watch Tayen’s story below.
I want you to meet a really brave little girl called Tayen. Tayen’s condition means she has an uncertain future. Right now, it’s caused her to go blind. She has many challenges, but with a loving family around her, I can tell you Tayen’s holding up pretty well and thanks to you she can still do something that seemed impossible after losing her sight. Where should we go today? Legoland! I want to go on a rollercoaster. Reach forward, what can you feel? Whats that? It’s the camera. Hello. Tayen was 22 months old when she had a seizure. It was a big one. I felt very helpless. I wanted so very much to pick her up and cuddle her. That one thing. Doctor’s soon discovered what had caused the seizure, tumors were growing in Tayen’s optic nerves, and they were attacking her brain. She needed chemotherapy to save what little vision she had left. We were only six weeks into chemotherapy when she lost it all in a space of a week. Nearly two years on and thankfully the tumors are not causing any other problems, for now at least, but Tayen will never be able to see again. Before her illness, Tayen loved books and we’ve really felt that that love of books for her had gone with her sight. What can you feel on there?
Thanks to the Living Paintings library, a charity supported by children in need, Tayen still loves books as much as she ever did. They have raised images in them. All the pages are also brailled, which is great because Tayen now can seek out the braille. She knows that that means something and to feel the pictures, it brings the book back to life again for her. Where’s the snowman? She will seek Lucas out if she wants to do reading and they will sit down together and just it’s beautiful. A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. Living paintings has adapted over 200 kids classics lending them to blind and partially sighted children across Britain. Peppa pig, More Pants, Grufallo, Very Hungry Caterpillar. We have no prognosis for Tayen so we treat every day as it’s our last. To make those memories with the boys and us as a family, It’s amazing. Can you feel Peppa? And to encourage her love of reading books again, it’s so precious.