Hands On! Books for Blind Children is a series of programs for blind children that seek to provide braille books to thousands of blind children and their families throughout every stage of their learning and to provide advocacy and education promoting the benefits of braille. These programs include: Readbooks! Because Braille Matters Family Outreach Program, Bumpy Basics, Children's Braille Book Club, and Lifelong Literacy. Detailed descriptions of each program are below.
Great Expectations delivers a kid-friendly learning experience to enhance the power of reading for blind and visually impaired children. This innovative program brings popular picture books to life using a multi-sensory approach — songs, tactile play, picture descriptions, body movement, engaged listening — all designed to promote active reading experiences for children with visual impairments.
Reading is the first step toward literacy. ReadBooks! Because Braille Matters encourages families to consider braille at the earliest possible age and to read print/braille books together at home. Families with young blind children, birth through seven, receive a free ReadBooks! book bag containing print/braille books, a braille primer for parents, braille alphabet cards, bookmarks, and other braille literacy tactiles.
Babies are first introduced to words on board books — sturdy picture books with simple text. Our board books are a combination of print and braille — the same books that sighted children read, but adapted with braille labels. Sighted parents read to their blind toddler, teach them about books, and encourage them to find the braille bumps. These experiences are an important first step to becoming literate, but also give children the chance to expand their imaginations and giggle a little along the way.
Our Children's Braille Book Club is the only monthly book club in the country that offers popular children's books in a print/braille format for the same price as the print edition. With both print and braille on every page, families can share a storybook at home or blind youngsters can bring books to school to share with sighted classmates. Everyone is on the same page!