Coloring Outside the Lines: Coloring Books for Persons Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired

Coloring Books for Persons Who Are Blind and VisuallyImpaired
Did you know that several organizations make coloring booksfor persons of all ages who are blind and visually impaired? In this post, wewill introduce you to several coloring books with varying themes and objectives.Perhaps you may discover a new hobby that you may have thought was beyond yourreach.

The American Printing House for the Blind

Lots of Dots

The American Printing Housefor the Blind, (APH) has developed a series of three coloring books calledLots of Dots.

Lots of Dots: Counting 1 2 3

The first book is entitled Lots of Dots: Counting 1 2 3. TheAPH website offers the following description of the series and this first book:
Lots of Dots: Counting 1 2 3 is one book inthe Lots of Dots Coloring Book Series. An exciting set of threeraised-line coloring books designed for future large print and braille readers.The books are designed for sequential use; children develop characterrecognition, pre-literacy, and pre-math skills, and eventually picture buildingand daily living skills.

Lots of Dots helps children with visual impairments gain skills similar tothose of their sighted peers, facilitating peer interaction. Accompanying eachbook are suggested enrichment exercises for each letter, number, or word,allowing a child to fully associate the print letter, the braille, the tactilegraphic, and the object.

This book presents the numbers 0-30 and then integers of 10 up to 90. Eachnumber has two pages:

· The first page features two or three large braille cells. Thenumber is shown with its braille equivalent, along with reduced-size cellsshowing which dots need to be colored to complete the number

· The second page shows the number and tactile graphicdepiction of easy-to-find objects that begin with the same letter as thenumber, i.e., five fans, seventeen seashells, etc.

Attachedto the inside front cover is a plastic stencil of three large braille cells.This can be folded over the blank pages, allowing the child to practice thebraille cell for the number by tracing or by using the accompanying foambraille chips. This book uses uncontracted braille.

Video: Watch a teacher and student-made video showing some ofthe activities available in the Lots of Dots Coloring Book Series.

Lots of Dots: Learning my ABC’s

Thesecond book in the series is called Lots of Dots: Learning my ABC’s.

Theintroductory description of this book is the same as the others; the sitedescribes this second book as:

Thislearning tool facilitates braille character recognition through repetitiveactivities. Each letter of the alphabet has two pages:

· The first page features a jumbo braille cell, with six raised-lineopen circles

· The second page shows the letter and a tactile graphic depictionof an easy-to-find object that begins with that letter.

Lots of Dots: Coloring the Garden

The third and final book in this sequential series is named Lotsof Dots: Coloring the Garden.
Its description demonstrates the importance of reviewing the books inorder:

Thisbook presents a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and introducespicture building. The book begins with an empty garden. Each page adds a newfeature, i.e., clouds, rain, seeds, and plants. Once the garden has grown, anew garden item is introduced on each page for the child to color. Theenrichment activities are simple recipes that the child andparents/siblings/teachers can do together. The activities present daily livingskills, such as planning, organizing, and food preparation. This book usesuncontracted and contracted braille, where applicable.

Tobetter enjoy this book, children should first complete Lots of Dots: LearningMy ABC’s and Lots of Dots: Counting 123.

TheLots of Dots series is intended for people age’s preschool and up.

National Braille Press

National Braille Press, NBP, has a section of books that aredescribed as activity books for kids, four of which are coloring books. Thefirst is called I Am a Crayon: What Color Am I? It is a raised line coloringbook described as, “A tactile, braille and large print coloringbook, for blind and sighted family and friends to share with their kids!Includes 9 unique tactile pictures.”

The second book is called Let’s Count and Color; it is araised line coloring book in print and Braille with ten pages for coloring.

The third book is called The Farm, and it is a raised linecoloring book with ten pages for coloring.

The fourth book is called Tactile Book of Dinosaurs; it is atactile drawing/coloring book. Its description reads:
This book of tactile images shows you whatdinosaurs were like. Each page features one dinosaur and a short description inprint and braille. The last page is a size comparison, showing how big or smallthe dinos were compared to humans. And each raised-line dinosaur is also readyto be colored in!

Along with the coloring books, themselves, NBP also sells abox of eight triangular Crayola crayons designed to remain in place and to keepfrom rolling off surfaces. These books are listed in the section for children;no recommendation is given for the age at which children are ready to use thebooks, and adults may find them enjoyable also. See and purchase these and theother children’s activity books at http://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/publications/activities.html.

Braille Products for the Blind

This store contains several departments of products forpersons with differing disabilities including blindness, deafness, and mobilityimpairments. Their coloring books focus on the four seasons with one coloringbook devoted to each season. Each book contains nine or ten pages of picturesappropriate for that season which can be colored. They also sell a coloringbook featuring farm animals, one featuring favorite toys, and an additionalsection of other children’s activity books. Read about and purchase these booksat www.hearmore.com/categories/175/Braille/Tactile-Books.html.Many of these same books also are available from MaxiAids, another storecarrying products for people who are blind and visually impaired. See theircoloring books and other products at http://maxiaids.com/.

Tactile Vision Graphics

Tactile Vision Graphics sells many of the coloring bookslisted as available from MaxiAids and Braille Products for the Blind; however,their page gives a detailed explanation of how these books were created, informationon the child who created them, and a list of reasons to purchase them. Go to http://tactilevisiongraphics.com/tactile-colouring-books/to read the information and to http://tactilevisiongraphics.com/product-category/braille-colouring-books/to purchase them.

The Braille Superstore

Touch and Trace Books

The Braille Superstore offers four Touchand Trace books; the site says, “Blind childrenwill adore these ground-breaking tactile Braille picture books, great forreading readiness and superb for coloring and tactile recognition.” Booksinclude My First Shapes, My First Letters, At the Farm, and Christmas CarolColoring. View and purchase these books at http://www.braillebookstore.com/Touch-and-Trace-Books/.

National Braille Factory

At one time, National Braille Factory marketed theircoloring books as adult coloring books, ones that persons of any age couldenjoy. While such wording is not found on their site, the site also does notspecify that the books are meant only for children to use. The site lists thename of each coloring book available currently and a list of the pictures ineach book. There are two Christmas coloring books, one seasonal book thatcontains pictures like hearts, Easter eggs, and ghosts, seven basic coloringbooks with pictures of general items, one shapes coloring book, one animalcoloring book, and a dog-themed coloring book. Availability of some books issubject to change so check their site to determine if books are added, removed,or temporarily out of stock. National Braille Factory welcomes ideas for othercoloring books; to contribute an idea, email suggestions@braillefactory.com.Browse their selection of coloring books at http://www.braillefactory.com/colouring.htm.

Maybe you thought previously that persons who are blind andvisually impaired could not participate in coloring pictures or that nocoloring books made for blind and visually impaired persons actually existed.Now that we have dispelled this myth, you may wish to color, even if it isoutside the lines. As APH says when describing their Lots of Dots series,learning by coloring is fun!

Stan Greenwood
A humble human, who is always found working on something or drinking coffee. A perfect introvert who talks barely anything but shares a lot through his blog posts at FredForum.

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