We have many patrons that are visually impaired. When you think of a library, you don’t readily think of people who cannot see. There are books in braille, of course, but we don’t really carry them in our library, although I’m sure that we could order some in if necessary on loan from another library. We have many patrons that order books on tape or CD so that they don’t have to forgo their reading experience, and it seems to work very well.
Recently, at a children’s librarian meeting, another librarian was showing us some new books that she had just purchased for her library. One of them was “The Black Book of Color” by Menena Cotin and Rosana Faria. It is a fabulous and creative children’s book which includes braille for the text as well as pictures that are textured so that visually impaired children can also enjoy the book. The most interesting thing about it is that every page is completely black! This would be a really fascinating book to almost any child, whether they can see or not. The option of touching each page is very exciting. You can see more of this book here.
Since I am getting ready for a vacation myself in a few weeks, I came across a fascinating article about visually impaired people and travel. What is the one thing that we all do on vacation? We take go sight-seeing and take photos. But sight-impaired people just don’t have that luxury, so what is the option? Of course, there are many tour companies now which cater exclusively to the blind, encouraging them to experience a place through sound, smell and touch. The article that spawned this idea can be found here
Even though we might not be aware of all of the services that are available to seeing-impaired people, when we do come across something we hadn’t thought of before, it is wonderful to think that there really are so many things that can not only make their lives easier, but much more enjoyable.