Here is a sneak peek at Feel Your Feelings, the braille edition. Not only is the book in braille, but it is also filled with tactile graphics, so you can literally feel your feelings!
Obviously, this book is a valuable tool for blind and visually impaired people, but the tactile graphics have also been working with people that have sensory disorders, which is common among people with autism. A tactile graphic is an image created out of raised lines and surface textures that can be read by touch.
Braille is not considered a language, but it is a code that needs to be translated by a professional. Braille has an interesting history. In part, it originated as a type of “night writing”.
By the way, we are also working on an audiobook version, which will make this book accessible to everyone. And, my other books have been translated into Spanish, Korean and Chinese.
I’d like to thank Clovernook the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. (Pictures below.) It is the largest braille printing facility in the United States and probably the world. They have lots of programs, including making signs for museums, and a grant to fund translations of books like Feel Your Feelings, that help educate children. And Samuel Foulkes, their Director of Braille Production & Accessible Innovation, was great at walking me through the process. In the picture below of all the glad faces, you can see the different printing options. We choose to do a sticker overlay on the actual book.
I’d like to also thank Fred Neurohr (from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Northside Education Committee), who volunteers at Clovernook’s vision center, for connecting me and giving me a grand tour of the facility. Below you can see some pictures of the printing facility, and a fun game like ping-pong for the blind.
At this stage, the book is a prototype, but, as always, I am super optimistic about its potential. We are hoping that our book will be part of the upcoming summer workshops and the Braille Challenge. The Braille Institute sponsors an annual event in which over 1,400 students from the U.S. and Canada, who are visually impaired, compete to demonstrate their braille skills in areas like comprehension, proofreading, and spelling. Winners in each age group walk away with a monetary prize and bragging rights.
And, I think we have accidentally stumbled into a great tool for children with sensory integration disorders, like autism. There are actually tactile stores that specialize in helping kids with developmental differences and different learning styles. The stores are filled with fun stuff that you can touch and feel.
I’m excited to hear what uses you think we could use this book for. Please leave a comment or send us a message.