Tag Archives: Braille


March Book of the Month

This month we feature some brilliant books which have been donated by Dorling Kindersley (DK) and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

We are often asked for Braille books by our partners, who seek to provide library services for people with visual impairment and blindness but often libraries are unable to obtain these resources locally. Assistive technology such as text-to-speech software is also often beyond the budgets of many libraries and individuals. Library books printed in Braille are vital to provide people affected by sight loss with the opportunity to support their education, enhance their skills and knowledge and read for pleasure.


DK Braille counting book



These Braille books from Dorling Kindersley are part of a series designed especially for blind or partially sighted children and their parents and caregivers. As such, they are perfect for helping children who are affected by sight loss to learn about the world around them.


Tactile images in DK Braille book


Each book has tactile illustrations alongside text printed in both English and Braille. A sighted adult can read aloud to a child, who can in turn read along with them in Braille whilst also experiencing the texture and shape of a furry kitten or fluffy cloud.

As Jemma Westing from DK’s Braille Concept Development Team says: “words and pictures will reach out to them and will inform them of some of the pretty amazing things about our planet. Sighted readers will be able to feel the images too and it will be a more interesting, exciting, and immersive experience. Both audiences can learn the same things by reading and sharing the same book.”

The books donated by the RNIB cover a wide range of topics and categories from biographies of inspirational people such as Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama to classic novels like To Kill a Mockingbird, plus children’s favourites including Harry Potter.


Box being packed for shipment


Soon, some of these books will be going on shipments to our partners in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.


Rosa and her friends


In Ethiopia, they will be enjoyed by people like Rosa and other secondary school pupils (pictured above) who use the Finote Rehabilitation for Women with Disabilities Association (FRWDA) resource centre in Addis Ababa. Click on the link below to learn more about the FRWDA resource centre and how it is supporting visually impaired pupils like Rosa. People affected by sight loss across Zimbabwe will also soon be making use of these books in their local libraries, supported by the Dorothy Duncan Braille Library which loans books by post to over 200 libraries throughout Zimbabwe.


Braille books changing lives

At Book Aid International we believe in the power of books to inspire, educate and open doors, so we love seeing a well-stocked library being put to good use by readers of every age.

In our Book Provision Manager Stevie’s second blog about her trip to Ethiopia, she tells us about the inspiring work of the Finote Rehabilitation for Women with Disabilities Association (FRWDA) resource centre.

Housed in a shipping container, this centre is the first of its kind in Ethiopia. It is equipped with computers with text-to-speech software, several specially trained staff and a small library of books in both Braille and print. Most people who use the resource centre have visual impairment or other disabilities, but their families and carers also benefit from the books. The books available range from children’s stories to vocational and higher educational texts.


Reading Braille books


When I visited, the centre was crowded with a group of secondary school age girls. They all had visual impairment and were using the computers and reading from Braille books. I met 14-year-old Rosa Ibrahim who uses the centre to support her studies.

“I come here as often as possible to use the computers to write. I read the books in Braille. Sometimes the staff read to me from the books.”


Rosa and her friends


This resource centre is crucial for children and young people like Rosa.

“Most disabled people are excluded from social and economic opportunities,” Ms Baru, FRWDA’s Director tells us. In spite of these potential challenges, Rosa has big ambitions “I want to go to university and be a lawyer. But I don’t want just one degree. I also want to be a journalist and a social studies teacher.” With access to resources like these, Rosa and other women and girls with disabilities in Ethiopia are one step closer to achieving their ambitions.


Thanks to your support, Rosa has access to the books she needs to make the most of her education. If you’d like to find out more about our work in Ethiopia, click on the links below. To receive updates, sign up for our monthly newsletter below or follow @book_aid on twitter.