CREATE TACTUAL BOOKS & BOOK BAGS
By: Carmen Willings
Updated October 28, 2017
A book without tactile illustrations for a student who is blind, is like a book without pictures for a sighted student. Creating tactually interesting books is important to foster an interest in reading.
There are some simple ways to make books accessible to all the students. If you are planning to read an existing children's book, provide a copy of the book (the entire book, key passages or lines) in braille. It is possible to add transparent braille labels to some books, but those with longer passages will be more challenging to adapt. You may also choose to make your own tactual books based on a current classroom theme or based on an experience. During your planning of the book and deciding what to put on the pages, plan to keep the pages as simple as possible. Create simple sentences for the pages.
You can also create a "book bag" to go along with the book and include object(s) from the story. If you have collected materials related to the story, have the students explore the objects prior to reading the story. Discuss how they may relate to the story.
Possible Book Ideas
Start by obtaining heavily laminated sheets, sturdy paper or cardboard that can support materials being glued or attached to it. You may choose to use braille paper available from APH. If the student has a tendency to tear the pages or explore it more roughly, you may choose to laminate the pages before adding textures. Avoid doing this if the student is sensitive to glare. Books can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes too, but consider the amount of braille and textures/objects on the page when determining the size.
The second step is to add the braille and print to ensure there is enough space and to ensure the page can be fed through the brailler before any textures are added (unless you plan to use clear braille labels). You will also need to decide if you are going to pair it with hand written print or computer generated print. Computer generated print is ideal unless you have extremely neat handwriting. It is ideal for the book to be able to be read by sighted peers or siblings in a shared reading experience.
Select and attach realistic and interesting textures, objects and shapes for the students to feel and explore on the pages.The textures should be varied and reflect the qualities of the item that is being illustrated. Start collecting materials and saving them in a texture bin for future books. Although you can find many great materials at the local craft store, you can find an abundance of textures and materials around the school or home that are otherwise discarded.
There are many options for adhesives, but it is ideal to choose one that won't warp the surface. It is important to consider the material of the page that the material is being glued to. You can use a glue gun, rubber cement, glue stick, craft glue, double stick tape, or sticky dots.
There are many options for binding the pages of the book together including yarn, binder rings, spiral binding, or a three ring binder.
Resources for Creating Tactual Books
American Foundation for the Blind
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) provides guidelines for creating tactile books as well as suggested books to make with your child.
Making Tactile Books is a web resource created by Christine Moe, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired. It is dedicated to promoting early tactile literacy among students who are blind and those with visual impairments.
Sign up for free membership to access the FREE downloadable templates, handbooks and handouts on the Printables page. Simply click on the Log In | Register link in the navigation bar. If you haven't joined yet, you will be prompted to create a password.
TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings