The Best Braille Children’s Book Resources on the Internet
You know you want your child to grow up with a love of books. You want your child to be a good reader who cherishes her books and reads often.
You know you need to start this love affair with books early, but there is one problem: Your child is going to be a braille reader.
You may be thinking that this is a real roadblock, that your child won’t have the same access to books as her sighted peers will. You can’t just stroll down to your local bookstore, browse their Children’s Section, and return home with an armful of books.
Well, maybe not, but there is a world of braille books out there just waiting to be discovered by your young reader. And these books are a lot easier to find than you might think…
Free Braille Books
Let’s start with the good stuff: The FREEBIES! There are many free braille books programs just waiting to send you tons of fun children’s books.
- ReadBooks!: National Braille Press distributes free braille book bags to families with blind and visually impaired children, ages birth to seven, across the U.S. and Canada. Each bag contains a print/braille children’s book, a braille primer for parents, a tactile toy, info about braille literacy, and more!
- National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS): This is the Federal Library of Congress service that provides free braille books and audio books to blind patrons. This is the best place to start looking for braille books for your kids so have your TVI sign you up right away. And don’t forget to check out their NLS Kids Zone for children’s books and events.
- Free Braille Books Program: Sign up for free braille books through the American Action Fund.
- The Braille Special Collection: Previously known as Dots for Tots, this program is offered through the Braille Institute. Sign up for free braille children’s books throughout the year!
- The Book Angel Program: Children in the US can sign up for five free books through this Seedlings Braille Books for Children project. You can sign up every year!
- APH/Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library: American Printing House for the Blind (APH) and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library have teamed up to provide free audio and print-braille books to preschoolers with visual impairments through the Braille Tales program!
Buying Braille Books
There are also lots of places online that sell braille children’s books, and for the most part, their prices are comparable to print books.
- Seedlings Braille Books for Children: A great place to buy braille children’s books.
- National Braille Press: Another great place to buy braille children’s books. We love their Children’s Braille Book Club where you get a new braille book in the mail every month for $120 a year.
- Sensee: Sensee is a company from South Korea that uses a new technology to emboss braille on picture books. They keep their costs low, but their output is very high quality! They offer a subscription book club, or you can buy books individually. They also sell a braille learning kit and raised line coloring books.
- Braille Bookstore: Great selection of braille books, braille dictionaries, and even braille flash cards. They also carry fun games like braille playing cards or braille dice.
- American Printing House for the Blind: APH offers some very nice books designed specifically for blind children with lovely tactile illustrations. Our favorite is Jelly Bean Jungle which includes scratch-and-sniff stickers so you can smell the jelly beans. These books are a bit pricey, though, so it might be a good idea to see if your TVI can get them through quota funds.
- ReadHowYouWant: ReadHowYouWant offers current books in multiple formats, from large print to braille. If you’re looking for young adult books, especially new ones that have just been published, this is a great place to start.
Downloading Braille Books
You can also download braille books off the internet and either read them through a screen reader or print them at home with an embosser.
- BookShare: For a small subscription fee (or free if you’re a visually impaired student) you can become a member of BookShare and begin sharing scanned print books which can then be downloaded and read through common braille or synthetic voice reading devices.
More Fun Braille Resources
There are other ways to introduce your child to braille beyond books. Check out these fun programs and products too…
- Slate Pals: This is NFB’s pen-pal program for kids who read and write braille.
- APH Guide to Designing Tactile Illustrations for Children’s Books: A very nice (and thorough) online guide to creating accessible books for blind babies and toddlers. Lots of great hands-on ideas. This could be a great way to get your older kids involved in a craft project that will help your younger child with a vision impairment!
Braille and Literacy, Holiday Crafts and Ideas
Turn sight word practice into a game with this Valentine’s Sight Word Game. This Valentine’s Day activity is both inexpensive and easy to create!
Braille and Literacy, Education
Learning consonant-vowel-consonant words is easy and fun with this CVC Word Snowball Toss activity. Grab some artificial snowballs and let the games begin!
Braille and Literacy
Xavier Society distributes religious, spiritual, and inspirational reading materials in braille and audio to blind and visually impaired individuals worldwide.