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Simon - Young Reading Lives

Mon, 12 Sep 2011

Simon is Ellie’s father, Ellie was born blind.

“As Ellie grew we understood that blindness was her only problem and there was a really bright little girl bursting to get out.”

The Visual Impairment teachers at her school were very helpful and introduced Clearvision books. These are tactile books for younger children that can gradually introduce braille.

Ellie likes reading braille and listening to books on CD. These can be quite expensive so they often get audio books from the local public library.

“Public libraries and the RNIB Library can be a bit slow in getting the newest books, the internet is a good way of getting books quickly.”
She loves braille books, initially from Clearvision and then RNIB Library:

  • Free to join
  • 6 books at a time
  • RNIB children’s librarians make recommendations based on different subjects
  • Postage is free

“The RNIB Library is s a very fast turnaround service and they have a big stock of books”

Recently Ellie found an interest in the gorier side of history like the black plague and medieval death. She now loves the Horrible Histories books!

“I often have no idea what she’s reading! She is a very rapid reader.”

Ellie is an advanced braille reader who can read with two hands - reading with one hand and scanning ahead with the other.

Ellie has two VI teachers and two classroom assistants who provide a lot of useful advice about her reading and studies. The Visual Impairment teachers provide lots of support including translating Ellie’s homework into a format she can use.

If you are in a similar situation
“Don’t despair there are a lots of people in the same boat and they are always more than willing to help.”

Simon made use of several support networks:

  • Actionaires Clubs - blind and partially children can play together while parents talk and share experiences
  • Teachers were a good source of practical advice
  • Forums on the internet including the RNIB website
  • Other parents, especially with older children, are able and willing to share a great deal of advice.

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