How students with vision impairment read on World Book Day
4 March 2021
It’s World Book Day, which normally means a massed-gathering of the whole of the WESC Foundation family wearing their favourite costumes inspired by their favourite books.
COVID-19 means that we’re doing World Book Day a little differently, so this year we want to share with you some of the different ways that young people across our charity access their favourite stories.
Some types of vision impairment mean that you can still see a little bit, even if it might be from a very close distance, for short periods of time, or just by using larger print. Lewis loves a sensory story (when you might include sound effects, smells and things to touch) and even likes to help lead the sensory story sessions, whilst Chloe loves a classic audiobook!
Many of the devices in these quotes are essential for these young people to be able to enjoy the gifts of reading and stories. As a charity we rely on the donations of our supporters to be able to buy much of the equipment needed to unlock the magical world of storytelling for the young people we support.
If you can help us give the gift of stories then please donate now to support our work.
Our young people and their stories
Leah loves the sensory stories, especially Lucia in Space. She has begun to anticipate parts of the story and giggles when she knows the parachute is going to land at the end as she loves the feel of it . The sensory story has really helped Leah to increase her participation and well-being.
Brandon is learning to use his electronic pen to read everyday objects that he needs. This has really increased Brandon’s confidence and his ability to be independent. For example, he has used his pen to access his cane, his timetable and where things are in the classroom.
“I access reading through using my magnifier or large print text which is white on a blue background. I also like reading with a member of staff. We have just started a Horrid Henry book as I used to love reading those with my mum! I also like to use my touchscreen PC and headphones to listen to things that I cannot read using my vision.”
I use large print to read and I am also trialing a magnifier in case this may help. I like listening to staff reading books that otherwise I would find too tiring such as Michael Morpurgo’s The War Horse which I love.
I can read large print books and I am using my Phase 4 phonics really well to enable me to read. I also enjoy a range of other stories which I can listen to or have read to me.
Grace enjoys reading large print and Braille books herself, and also loves to listen to audio books on her iPad.
Tom uses switches to access a choice of two stories to be read to him. He can ask for more, different or finish using his Super Talker Communication Aid. This type of device costs around £460, and is an example of the specialist equipment that WESC Foundation often supplies to support independent communication.
Read Every Day
We want all our young people to be able to enjoy appropriate and accessible books and stories, and take the opportunity to read every day. As you have already ready above, it might be as simple as providing a book in large print, or something more complicated like producing a Braille version of a book which will usually run into several volumes (for example, a Braille copy of the Bible takes up the space of an entire wardrobe!)