The summer holidays are upon us and with your children home for the summer, you might be searching for ways to keep them busy! We know the benefits of reading for children are incredible, from boosting creativity and indulging imaginations to expanding vocabulary and improving concentration.
Thanks to the rise in popularity of audiobooks, with trail blazers like RNIB Reading Services and Audible bringing accessible reading to the mainstream, blind and partially sighted children can enjoy reading with a broad range of stories to suit wherever their imagination takes them.
Did you know?
- The number of people who read braille has been in long-term decline for a number of years, with some experts estimating it to be as low as 8%.
- Fewer than 5% of book titles are available in braille format.
- In 2019, a survey by the Publishers Association put the number of audiobook consumers at around 1 in 5.
So, it seems that audio is changing the landscape of literature and as children are growing up more tech-savvy than ever before that trend is only set to continue.
You can find an impressive range of audiobooks or accessible books for free at your local library or through services such as Living Paintings and Clear Vision Project. While it can be hard to find mainstream books that are accessible for children who are blind or partially sighted, the Booktrust does have a few ideas of good titles with tactile elements, embossing, die-cut holes, braille and audio.
Give reading a go…
The organisers of World Book Day have updated their World of Stories section with a bundle of free audiobooks of some wonderful children’s stories. There’s something for all ages, below are just three of our favourites:
Manju’s stuck at home and she is BORED. Looking for entertainment, she summons the genie. When he turns up with a terrible cold, the genie can’t hear any of Manju’s wishes properly and his magic is even more strange than usual. Can Manju help him sort out the muddle?
It’s all go for our brave bakers. The wacky race they enter in the Bakemobile is sabotaged by that pesky Red Rocket (yes, he’s back!), a mysterious parcel delivered to the café causes them no end of trouble, and a spate of robberies at a fancy hotel sees the boys going
undercover in some dodgy disguises!
With a deadly phantom hound on the loose and a mysterious man living on the moor, Devon is a dangerous place to be. But Holmes and Watson must put their fears aside. The country’s favourite crime-fighting duo need to unravel the strange case of Sir Charles Baskerville’s murder before his nephew meets the same fate.
Ready to add to your library?
Here are some useful specialist services and suppliers:
- Living Paintings: a free library of tactile books with audio description.
- Clear Vision Project: a postal lending library of mainstream children’s books with added braille (or Moon), print and pictures.
- RNIB Library: a free library of digital, audio, braille and giant print books.
- Listening Books: a postal and internet audio book service.
- Access2Books: a community interest project supplying giant print and braille books.
- Bag Books: supply multisensory books.