Sources for Children’s Tactile Illustrated Books and Books in Print/Braille and Braille
Accessible children’s books are available from many organizations around the world.
Below is a list of sources for books in braille, print/braille, and books with tactile (touchable) illustrations. Although print books can be shared with a child who cannot view a book’s pictures — objects related to the story can be handled as a book is read, pictures can be briefly described — the value of having books in braille and books with tactile illustrations cannot be overestimated. Learning how to handle books, to run fingers smoothly along a line of braille text, and to recognize that braille carries the words of the story, are important skills for a young child who may someday read braille. Tactile illustrations encourage tactile exploration and pave the way for understanding more advanced tactile displays used later in school, such as maps and graphs.
Tactile illustrated books use different types of illustration — textures, shapes, raised lines, and small objects fixed to the page. These are often colorful, appealing to a child with some vision, and they typically have both print and braille text. Some are designed specifically for a child with a visual impairment, others are commercially available books designed for a sighted child, but with braille added by the source organization.
Print/braille books refers to books that may not have tactile illustrations but do feature text in both print and braille. This is usually accomplished by using clear braille labels or transparent plastic sheets placed over the print text. The book’s original visual illustrations are usually visible, but some print/braille books do not include them.
Braille books refers to books that are in braille, but do not contain the print text, and may not contain tactile illustrations. These are more difficult for a print reader to share with a child with a visual impairment.
American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
Free Braille Books Program
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-659-9315, ext. 3261
www.actionfund.orgOpens a new window
Lending library (Kenneth Jernigan Library for Blind Children) loans print/braille books (Twin Vision® books) and braille books free of charge to blind children and blind parents with sighted children. Specific books may be requested or reserved. The Free Braille Books Program provides blind school-age children with a book each month from a current, popular children’s reading series.
American Printing House for the Blind
P.O. Box 6085
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
Produces a wide variety of materials for children and adults. Publishes children’s books in braille, print/braille, and large print formats. Also produces storybooks for preschoolers with print/braille text and tactile illustrations, including the On the Way to Literacy Series, Moving Ahead Series, Rolling Into Place, and Best for a Nest. The Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired is maintained by APH and can be accessed from the APH website. It contains location information for over 400,000 titles in braille, large print, sound recording, and computer file from over 170 agencies throughout the United States and Canada.
741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
www.brailleinstitute.orgOpens a new window
Braille Institute Library has thousands of books available in braille and on cassette, including recreational and informational titles for children. The Braille Special Collection program provides print/braille and braille books free of charge to blind children ages 3 to 18. DOTS FOR TOTS and Tac-Tales, kits designed for preschoolers, consist of a commercially available picture book in print/braille, descriptive audiocassette, and plastic toys representing characters in the book. New titles are available each catalog season. The Partners in Literacy program allows professionals working with visually impaired children to order books for a modest annual fee. Newbery-medal and Caldecott-award books in braille and print/braille.
Future Aids: The Braille Superstore
(A Division of MarvelSoft Enterprises, Inc.)
2190 Dolphin Crescent
V2T 3T1 Canada
Toll-Free Phone: 1-800-987-1231
International: +1 604-852-6341
Toll-Free Fax: 1-800-985-1231
International: +1 250-483-1590
www.braillebookstore.comOpens a new window
Children’s braille and print/braille books for ages 1-9. Over five hundred children’s braille books available for purchase. These books include titles by Dr. Seuss, stories about Curious George and the Bernstein Bears, Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, and many classic fairy tales. The Braille Bookstore also has braille books available for young readers and adults, a gift shop, and books about learning braille.
I Read With My Hands
Tel: +27 46 622 4354
Fax: +27 46 636 1445
Cell phone: +27 83 673 8840
www.tactilegraphics.co.zaOpens a new window
I Read with My Hands workshop produces a growing collection of fabric and board books featuring tactile illustrations with text in large print (English) and uncontracted braille. Textures, color, and interactive features are included. Books may be purchased online.
Les Doigts Qui Rêvent (Dreaming Fingers)
11 bis, rue de Novalles, BP 93
Phone 03 80 59 22 88
Fax 03 80 59 22 79
www.ldqr.orgOpens a new window
Founded in 1993 by a group of parents and a teacher of children with visual impairments, Les Doigts Qui Rêvent (LDQR) is a special workshop focusing on the production of tactile illustrated books. Books feature different types of tactile illustrations, often incorporating a wide variety of textures, color, and interactive features. Some titles are available in English; most books are also offered in a version without text, allowing customers to add text in their own language. Books may be purchased online.
National Braille Press
88 Saint Stephen Street
Boston, MA 02115
www.nbp.orgOpens a new window
Print/braille books at same price as print edition. The Children’s Braille Book Club features a different print/braille book each month. Interest level of books: preschool to grade 3. The Read Books! Because Braille Matters program distributes braille book bags to families with blind or visually impaired children, ages birth to seven. The bag contains an age-appropriate print/braille book for child, a braille primer for parents, a guide for parents on reading to their blind child, as well as other literacy items.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542
NLS: Additional Numbers:
Talking Book Line: 1-888-657-7323
www.loc.gov/nlsOpens a new window
Print/braille, braille, and audio-recorded books for leisure reading lent directly or through cooperating state and local libraries. Catalogs available for selecting books. Offers a number of magazines, such as Boys’ Life, Cricket: The Magazine for Children, and Stone Soup, for children of all ages.
Perkins School for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
www.perkins.orgOpens a new window
The Perkins Panda kit, part of the Early Literacy Program includes three sequence modules. Each unit contains a storybook with large print, braille and high contrast illustration, a cassette, activity guide, panda bear with backpack and tape player, storybox items, and resource booklet.
Braille Books for Children
P.O . Box 51924
Livonia, MI 48151-5924
www.seedlings.orgOpens a new window
Catalog of print/braille, print/braille and picture, and braille books for infants and young children. Reasonable price. “The Rose Project” allows blind students grades 1-12 to order braille translations of any article from the World Book Encyclopedia.
Tactile Visions Inc.
461 North Service Road, West
Oakville, ON L6M 2V5
www.tactilevisioninc.comOpens a new window
Children’s print/braille books with tactile images as well as print books with tactile images and an audio cassette. Also, available are the Hungry Fingers books and sets (including the Teddy Bear Set).
Volunteer Braille Service
1710 Douglas Drive
Golden Valley MN 55422
Volunteer Braille Service maintains Very Bumpy Stories, a print/braille library for visually impaired children and young adults. The catalog for the library lists over 700 bound volumes and print/braille books. Membership to the library is for all individuals, and for school districts within the state of Minnesota. Call or write for membership fees for the library.
Volunteer Braillists and Tapists, Inc
517 N. Segoe Road #200
Madison, WI 53705
www.vbti.orgOpens a new window
Children’s print/braille and braille books available from free lending library. Catalogs available for selecting books for loan or purchase.