Living Paintings publishes unique audio and tactile (Touch to See) books for blind and partially sighted people. These books are lent out nationwide to over 10,000 members through a postal library. It’s a completely free service and accessible to all – children, parents, grandparents, teachers, carers, teenagers and adults.
Living Paintings’ books help blind and partially sighted young people experience the visual images that surround them. They contain special tactile versions of pictures with raised surfaces that are interpreted through touch. Narrated by well-known voices, the accompanying audio guides direct the fingers, telling the stories of the pictures and describing them. In this way, the senses of touch and hearing combine to make up for the missing sense of sight. They are vitally important in preventing the feeling of exclusion often experienced by blind and visually impaired children.
The Foundation has awarded Living Paintings grants totalling £19,500 to publish two Touch to See books for children aged 7 – 14 years: ‘World Music’ takes them on a musical journey around the globe to explore tactile pictures of instruments ranging from the bagpipes to the banjo. It’s full of examples of music played by the instruments to bring the subject alive. ‘Dinosaurs Roar! Triassic Rocks’ is a real treat for dino fans, giving encounters through touch and sound with lumbering sauropods, armour-plated giants and tiny but deadly hunters! There’s also an accompanying online Discovery Hub full of dinosaur-inspired activities, fun things to do and fact files.
These two books are fantastic for education and leisure time. Here’s one of the many positive comments we’ve received about them. “There were lots of instruments Louie had not encountered so it was good for him to learn about…the tactile images are great”.