Imogen and her Magical Cane

To celebrate World Book Day we wanted to share with you this beautiful book written by Imogen James, one of the winners of the ‘It’s your story’ competition with Access2books. Imogen’s magical story about a little girl who finds magic in the world through her rainbow spreading cane called ‘snowball’ has now been produced as an accessible book for families to enjoy. Snowball helps Imogen to find an amazing object which leads her on a big adventure! The book has been published by Access2Books in dual large 75 point print and Braille (including picture descriptions) format, there are also beautiful … Read more

It’s Your Story – Competition Results

Budding children story authors were invited to write a book up to 400 words that includes the child and is fun to read. Entrants were also asked to supply a front cover design which illustrates the main characters and story line. The winners of the three categories were selected by a panel made up of Su Hendra an author of children story books, Tim O’Sullivan, an author and illustrator, Charlotte Mellor, founder of Through Scarlett’s Eyes website and Eileen Finch, founder of Access2books. Thank you to everyone who entered the competition, there was a really high standard of entries from some … Read more

Motor activities checklist to encourage the development of pre – Braille skills

There are a variety of motor skills that you can help encourage at home with children to ensure they are Braille ready. Developing muscles, skills, techniques are a great way of getting their little hands prepared for effective Braille reading. Be creative with it, encourage tasks that they will enjoy and make the learning fun.  Hand functions are essential and it can be easily done within the home, here I have attached a checklist which has been created by Gwyn from Positive Eye.  This checklist can help you go through the range of motion necessary to build up some great … Read more

Making Fred’s reading challenge accessible!

Fred 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! … Read more

Top Tips for making Experience Bags, Boxes or Books

Fill bags or boxes or make a book with articles (on each page) relating to an ‘experience’ e.g. Going shopping, making a pizza, staying at Nana’s house, having a friend for tea. Teach and review (relive) concepts After an experience book/bag/box is made you can go back and “relive” what happened. This helps to review the important steps/concepts that are being taught. Reinforce language experiences It is always important to tie language to all experiences. If the child learned the name of the apple when you went to the shop and bought apples, there would be multiple times to use … Read more

The Braillists, a community group connecting Braille readers with Braille

Braillists is a community focused organisation intent on supporting and furthering the availability of Braille and other tactile reading systems by linking the Braille community, technology innovators and funders. We believe that Braille is fundamental in providing access to literacy and knowledge to those unable to access printed text. We think it should be a right to expect easy access to Braille material. Our aim is to connect the community to encourage debate and sharing of knowledge to allow support to come from within. To do this we run groups that regularly hold face-to-face meetings hosting presentations from new technology … Read more

Towards reading readiness for Braille

Sighted children develop and gain knowledge and experience through incidental learning. During their first few years of life they have exposure to a vast range of visual symbols that convey meaning. They observe children and adults looking at print and gaining meaning from the words they read. Symbols are all around us in the environment and children experience them in many forms every day of their lives. Using signs, symbols and sounds to convey meaning and record knowledge is the basis for developing literacy skills.  At four or five years old when the sighted child starts the formal process of … Read more

Why braille is so essential to my life – By Jenny Langley

I have the eye condition Aniridia and my visual acuity has varied hugely over the years. Although I went to a school for children/young people with visual impairments from the age of 7 (was at mainstream until then) I was not allowed to learn braille until I was 14, as I was considered as having enough useful vision (2/60 in one eye, finger counting in the other) not to need to rely on braille and could cope fine with large text and the use of CCTVs etc. I had uncontrolled glaucoma despite numerous surgeries and therefore my parents were keen … Read more

The history of Braille

Braille was created by French born Louis Braille, the first Braille book was published in 1829.  Louis himself was blind, he lost his sight during an accident when he was aged just 3 years old. Whilst playing in his father’s harness workshop Louis grabbed an awl, a sharp tool for making holes, and the tool slid and hurt his eye. The wound got infected, and the infection spread, and soon, Louis was blind in both eyes. Louis who was a bright child all of a sudden had to discover new ways to learn!  He tried with him mainstream school for a … Read more

Competition – It’s Your Story!

Write your story and get your book published by Access2books An invitation to become a budding writer! We are excited to launch this competition to write an accessible children’s picture story book. We are asking parents or guardians to team up with their child (who is the reason for their interest in Through Scarlett’s Eyes) to help them write a story. The book can be up to 400 words, should be funny and should include your child in the story! Entrants will also need to supply a front cover design which illustrates the main characters and story line. There are three age categories for children (with the help … Read more