Books that promote shared experiences with classmates
15th September 2020
Books that promote shared experiences with sighted classmates
Sarah, a QTVI (Qualified teachers of children and young people with vision impairment) works with two children in a mainstream setting. In this article Sarah very kindly shares her experience of using our books and resources.
“The books and topic packs provided by Living Paintings are fabulous. They allow children with vision impairment to access the same books as their sighted peers and to share them with their school friends, siblings and families. The added bonus of the CD/USB stick with the descriptions, or the story, mean that the children can also access them independently. The two children I have used them with most recently are both in primary school.”
Developing a love of exploring pictures
“The younger one (aged 6) is now in year 2 in a mainstream school and she has used the books occasionally over the last two years. She has a congenital condition achromatopsia which means that she has significantly reduced visual acuities, blurred vision, monochromatic vision, photophobia and manifest nystagmus. She is a braille user and also accesses print at font 65. She likes choosing familiar books and having them in braille. She isn’t always able to read them herself but she enjoys the fact that they are available in braille and that they look like the print versions of the book. She loves exploring the tactile pictures and working out what they are before she looks at them.”
Enabling access to the pictures sighted children learn from in class
“The older child is now in year 6 (age 10) in a mainstream school and has also been accessing the books for a couple of years. She has experienced rapid sight loss in the last 3 years and is now blind. She reads through braille. Her sight loss is part of a recently diagnosed wider condition which impacts on her mobility and learning too. She really enjoys receiving the boxes with the books in and is always excited to open them and find out what is inside. She has benefited from some of the topic boxes such as the Tudors and loves listening to the CDs with the descriptions and explanations of the images. She listens to them carefully and follows her way round the tactile pictures. The topic boxes are particularly useful for her, as it gives her greater understanding of the images that the other children in her class are using. And although they may not be the same, they reflect the topic well. On the audio guide it is great how a character from the era narrates the descriptions and explains how the object was used in their time.”
Helping the school community to learn about the joys of Braille
“She also really enjoys the story books. I often choose stories with which she was familiar when she could see and she is delighted to receive them. She enjoys reading the braille and exploring the images. She has also read one or two of the books to the children in reception class so they can see the braille and the tactile pictures too – which helps the wider school community to understand how braille allows her to access books. The child also likes to take the story books home to listen to the CDs and follow the story in braille. She enjoys doing this as her younger sister can share them with her as well. In addition, the books can be the starting point for a piece of work, where other tactile resources or objects can be incorporated into her enjoyment of the books.”
Thank you Sarah for sharing your experiences.