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Disability, Education Training

Vision Australia celebrates 20 years of life-changing sensory reading kits for children with print disabilities

Vision Australia 2 mins read

Since its inception in 2003, Vision Australia’s Feelix Library has aimed to deliver the same literacy and knowledge to children who are blind or have low vision as their sighted peers.

20 years later and the world’s first sensory library continues to play a key role in the learning and development of children with print disabilities, with a special event being held at the State Library of NSW tomorrow, Wednesday 15 November, to recognise the life-changing program.

“For many children who are born with blindness or low vision, they are already at a disadvantage to their peers as they’re unable to rely on their sight to learn and observe the world around them,” said Vision Australia Library Business Manager Vildana Praljak.

“That’s where our Feelix kits come in – they help parents, carers and teachers bring stories and content to life for children through touch, feel and audio, instead.

“In so many of our younger clients we see that sensory experiences can stimulate their creative thinking, allowing them to meaningfully connect to the information at-hand. That’s why we have kits available for all reading levels from babies through to school-aged children.”

Each kit contains a picture book with clear braille overlay, an audio recording of the book, a tactile book which tells the story through touch and tactile toys and objects that relate to the story.

“For kids who are blind, learning braille not only leads to a greater understanding of basic punctuation and grammar, but provides them with greater independence when learning,” said Vildana.

As well as an increase in the number of individual titles available, Vision Australia has also added kits in other languages, such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Turkish and Arabic.

“Our Feelix kits have had an incredible impact on the learning journeys of so many young people, and we look forward to another 20 years of bridging the knowledge gap between children with print disabilities and their able peers,” said Vildana.

The Feelix Library is a free service available across Australia to children who are blind or have low vision. You can learn more about the Feelix Library via the link here.

More Information:

Where

State Library of NSW

1 Shakespeare Pl, Sydney NSW 2000

When

Wednesday 15 November

10:15am – 12:30pm

What

  • Live demos of our Feelix Library kits.
  • A LEGO braille brick station (these are special Lego bricks that have been made specifically for blind and low vision children).
  • Face Painting and a Balloon Artist station
  • A braille-making station.
  • A sensory play station.
  • Seeing Eye dog puppies, to celebrate our youth program.
  • A VR headset that simulates what having low vision or blindness is like.

Who

Children who are blind or have low vision, aged 0-12, families and the paediatric care team from Vision Australia.

Vision Opportunities

  • Children who are blind or have low vision, enjoying their the entertainment and activities on offer.
  • Children and their families being united with the Paediatric care team that assisted them from little onwards.

 


About us:

About Vision Australia:

Vision Australia is a leading provider of blindness related services. We offer a wide range of services, equipment and training so people who are blind or have low vision can live the life they choose. 

Whether it’s at home, work, school or in the community, our expert staff provide clients across all age groups with skills and tools to help lead active, safe and independent lives.

Visit our website at www.visionaustralia.org

For high-res images, please click HERE.


Contact details:

Stephanie Steinhoff-Pino

0449 254 655

Stephanie.steinhoff-pino@visionaustralia.org

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