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Reading the Way 2 Reading the Way Research Welcome Executive Summary Introduction Objectives Our Book Selection Our Research Outcomes Key Findings Accessible Books Inclusive Books Translation Challenges Accessible Books in Brief Inclusive Books in Brief Recommendations Case Study 1: Featuring Symbols Case Study 2: Featuring Signs Case Study 3: Accessible and Inclusive Books Case Study 4: She and the Others Case Study 5: Alice's Heart Case Study 6: Lorenzo's Saucepan Case Study 7: Zitti's Cake Shop Case Study 8: Books Relevant to Visual Impairment Publicity Seminars Bibliography Activities Articles Booklists News Flash Information & Resources Anniversary Book Selections

Accessible books

  • Every special school is different and many cater for an extremely diverse range of needs. It was clear that such settings require an equally diverse range of books, to cater for the vast spectrum of needs.
  • Particularly lacking in such settings are mainstream books which engage children with communication difficulties, moderate to severe learning difficulties and profound, multiple and complex needs.

  • Books featuring signs and symbols were exceptionally rare and extremely well received in the special schools we visited, as well as being of great interest in mainstream schools (see Case studies 5.1 and 5.2 in the main report for more details).

  • Where braille is concerned, one of the key learning points from focus groups with VI children was that not only does the braille need to be of an appropriate height and size for braille-readers, but also that it would be helpful if the braille could be more clearly visible to the eye - e.g. not white on a white background. A visual impairment teacher (QVI) would not be able to read this.

  • A visually impaired reader will generally learn to read the page from top left to bottom right, so it really helps if material on the page can be easily found and read in a logical order.  Finding random words or textures without any signposting is a challenge. Stronger colours, with plenty of contrast, would offer the potential for children with some sight to access the artwork.

  • Some of the accessible books identified in this project may be of most use to a special school audience.  However, there is still a sense that such books should be 'visible' within a mainstream setting, as opposed to being considered purely of special school relevance.

  • OIW recognises that some of the books we particularly liked at the start could not be viable for a mainstream publisher.  Such books could, however, perhaps be produced in conjunction with specialist manufacturers or disability charities, perhaps alongside a 'mainstream' version of the book.


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