Making Fred’s reading challenge accessible!

20140512_142342Fred finished his first year at school being able to read his phonic alphabet and his Braille alphabet. Needless to say I was a very proud mum and he was very keen to embark on his first reading challenge…. By himself!

Our local library in Haxby, York has been really helpful in sourcing the BOOKTRUST book star packs when he was younger and have been so supportive with our reading needs. I was more than pleased when we arrived to collect our Reading challenge when they brought out the oversized version for Fred, complete with over sized smelly stickers! Yuk! There was just one thing missing – BOOKS! Books with print that Fred could read by himself! Ones that had a font size over 48. We managed to find a couple of picture books with larger than average print but they weren’t his first choice “but I want to read Lost and Found!”.  I made a note to myself to source a few large print books asap!

Fred enjoying a book 2Luckily for me the following week I had the pleasure to meet Eileen Finch at a Positive Eye conference we had both been invited to speak at. Her talk about how and why Access2Books was created made a lasting impression on me. We spoke and she very generously offered to send a book to Fred.  On its arrival we had a very happy Fred” Yeah I can do my reading challenge all by myself! “ Result! Please see the attached pics, that smile says it all and yes it did feature a penguin.

I write this today as Fred has taken his Reading Challenge certificate to school for Awards Assembly where he will stand alongside his friends having achieved so much!

I appreciate there are wonderful resources via Clear Vision, RNIB, Living Paintings but I just wanted there to be books like Access2books provided on our local library shelf, and specifically for the Reading Challenge, that  Fred could pick from and read. This would really encourage and extend his love (and many others) of reading in whichever way he can.

Fred enjoying a bookI spoke with Eileen and I understand that ‘these books are the only design to take account of as many children and adults, as possible, who need access to read and share; with sight loss, learning disability, certain physical constraints, dyslexia (as they can also change font’s ),  and other conditions’.

We will look forward to the Reading Challenge next year in the hope that Fred and many people will have a greater choice of accessible books. Please do let me know if I can help in any way to achieve this.

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