Accessible Books Library

Sitting on the sofa and reading a book
together with our children is a day-to-day experience for most of us. However,
this is not the case for Eliya’s children and their families. As opposed to
children with normal vision, children suffering from blindness or vision
impairment hardly enjoy the experience of their parents reading books to them. 

At Eliya we invest utmost efforts in offering our children an all-encompassing and complete childhood experience, just as any other child their age would receive. In our Jerusalem Day Care Center, we have opened a library with accessible books, adapted specifically to the children’s needs. Here they can find all the classic books that many of us know and love: “The Lion that Ate Strawberries”, “Five Balloons”, “Hot Corn on the Cob”, “Caspion” and many others. The only difference is that these books are in an accessible format for children with impaired vision and blindness. The print is in Braille, as well as in Hebrew text so that the parents and the children can read the stories simultaneously. The books include three-dimensional illustrations which help children to visualize the subject and the plot of each story. The pages in these books have been designed with tactile features which allows the children to enjoy the reading and story-hearing experience.

The book “Caspion” for example, is a story about the adventures of a small fish named Caspion. Most of the children have a visual conception of what a fish looks like. They have seen fish in aquariums, on TV or possibly even swimming in the sea, and for them the story is simply about one specific fish called Caspion. But for children with vision impairment one must take one step back: What does a fish look like? The illustration in the specially designed book has the shape of a typical fish with  a smooth, slippery texture. This image is placed into a setting resembling water, thus drawing the child into the world of the sea, into the world of Caspion. In the same way other situations that occur with the fish in the story are “visualized”, and made as real as possible. For example, the shark – another character in the story, is presented as a huge animal with emphasis on his sharp teeth and his big dimensions compared to Caspion.

The accessible books library not only encourages the reading experience itself, but also develops the children’s language skills and prepares them for the learning process of the Braille alphabet. Using the accessible books also has a direct influence on their cognitive development and on their language skills. As a result of vision impairment or blindness, children will often suffer a delay in reaching developmental stages. This is one more reason why we have established an accessible books library, specifically designed to offer the children a major advantage during their critical stages of development.

To donate for the activity click here

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