June 7, 2023

Everyone enjoys reading stories that are fun and entertaining. Children with visual impairments need access to print/braille books to experience exciting stories that bring joy and happiness in their lives. Currently, there is an incredible need for accessible storybooks for students in countries where braille literacy rates are low.

Your support provides young readers around the world with innovative print/braille storybooks and other accessible materials to create an environment full of fun and enthusiasm that comes along with reading.

Sam Foulkes, Director of Braille Production & Accessible Innovation at Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, launched a pilot project called “Tactile Literacy Initiative” which focuses on improving braille literacy for students in East Africa by increasing the availability of accessible materials in their classrooms.

“Accessibility is a human right. Young readers with blindness should have the same opportunity to read and enjoy books just like their sighted peers,” said Sam.
Sam made a three-week journey to East Africa to meet with teachers and community leaders to determine areas of need in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Your dedication to braille literacy made it possible for Sam to distribute 2,000 print/braille storybooks to excited students who were eager to read fascinating stories in English, Swahili and Kinyarwanda.

Smiles could be seen on students’ faces as they read storybooks that included both large print and braille embossed on see-through plastic pages. Each school also received tactile 3-D model kits representing specific items found in each story such as an elephant, chicken or rabbit. Students had the opportunity to interpret stories by touching those models and to receive a better understanding of what was happening in each captivating scene.

“They were very engaged with the stories and models, and the feedback was very positive from teachers and administrators at the schools,” said Sam.

Because of you, children with visual impairments across the globe receive print/braille storybooks and accessible materials not readily available to them. You bring smiles to their faces as they open their favorite book to a world full of new adventures. Thank you for making a difference in children’s lives by giving them accessible materials to experience the joy of reading.

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