Being blind should not stop anyone from accessing and reading the books they love. Living Paintings Charity is a Non-Profit Organisation that creates and simultaneously adapts a realm of books into “unique tactile, Braille, and audio experiences for blind people.”
There are up to two million people in the UK suffering from severe sight loss, including 20,000 children. For young children, if they cannot participate in the activities of their peers, they can feel excluded and this can lead to feelings of isolation and depression as they get older.
The Living Painting Charity designs, creates and publishes ‘Touch To See’ books for all ages. The books include tactile images with educational and entertaining audios. The audios are recorded by famous figures, and through touch and sound, compensate for the missing sense of sight.
To mark Children’s Mental Health Week, a collection of books centred around mental health and dealing with emotions were released. Although books are usually filled with illustrations, this again should not mean that blind children should miss out on seeing them. To solve this, the books use braille.
The books specifically selected for ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ include Yoga Babies By Fearne Cotton’. This book is for families and children and shows how to incorporate yoga within your day to enable a day of relaxation and serenity. Another book that is directly focused is Bake Off Winner, Nadiya Hussain’s ‘My Monster and Me’. Her ‘monster’ is used as a metaphor for her own struggles with her mental health. The book is all about a young boy with a worry monster. This monster follows him everywhere. The book follows how the boy deals with and tries to get rid of this monster.
These ‘Touch To See’ books can also be accessed through a free portal library. All you need to do is fill out a form via the website and enjoy your chosen book!
The image above is of a young boy called Teddy. He is reading Nadiya’s book, who was also generous enough to record an audio version of her book. The illustrations are done by Ella Bailey who also helped bring the book to life and project the important message about dealing with anxiety and worries to young children.