Tactile Book Advancement Group (TBAG )
Information for book Publishers, Authors and Illustrators
Novelty books of all shapes and sizes are very popular and publishers are responding to demand by producing more and more books with something for young readers to touch, listen to, or smell.
All children like novelty books - but to children with little or no sight they are invaluable. Shapes and textures, smells and sound buttons on the page make all the difference for a child unable to see the printed pictures. But some novelty books are of more value than others to a young blind child.
Using the following simple guidelines along with your existing techniques you could add young visually-impaired children to your readership and produce books which can be enjoyed by everyone. By exploring some innovative new designs and techniques you could make a real impact on the variety of books available to blind and to sighted children and be sure of some well-deserved publicity.
Most novelty books come in this format, with shaped pages, added textures, smells or sound buttons.
Some novelty picture books for slightly older children have been published using flocking, raised glittery areas or raised lines (e.g. “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle - still in print after twenty years).
Most novelty books are based on stories. Visually-impaired children would appreciate a tactile element in simple topic books and this multi-sensory approach would also enhance the learning of young sighted children.
All the above guidelines apply equally to fiction and non-fiction books.
For a child who is learning braille, braille text may be added by the child’s school or by a library for the blind after the book has been published. The text may be added in Moon for children learning this alternative to braille. Other children may have the text read aloud to them.
All print readers, whether visually-impaired or not, will benefit from a clear font in large print on a pale, uncluttered background (see RNIB leaflet “Clearly a better read” available from RNIB customer services 0845 702 3153).
These guidelines have been compiled by members of the Tactile Book Advancement Group (TBAG). TBAG members are happy to advise on copy at any stage of design and production. Please contact us
TBAG is working to improve the quality and quantity of tactile resources available for the UK’s 16,000+ blind and partially-sighted children aged 11 and under. TBAG includes representatives from Royal National Institute of the Blind, RNIB National Centre for Tactile Diagrams, ClearVision, National Blind Children’s Society, Living Paintings Trust, parents and professionals working with blind and partially sighted children.
Download this document. Word format 33K
You can find more information via our links page