Picture book in Braille brings alive stores for blind kids
As part of our focus on Braille through January we bring you a story on the series Beyond Braille. This illustration book series is bringing a new visual language to blind children.
The real life story of Ranchhod Soni, a blind teacher from Gujarat who has overcome his disability to teach other blind kids, comes alive in Ranchhod Sees the World. This is an illustration picture book in the series Beyond Braille.
First-of-its-kind Braille picture book series for blind kids
The brainchild of the series is Nupur Agarwal, who thought of this concept while doing her Masters at CEPT University in Ahmedabad. Nupur wanted to create something that would make learning more enjoyable for blind children.
I worked on the concept of a tactile picture book for the visually impaired community, exploring and developing it further with different mediums and materials, I created a 3D printed and embossed version of the illustration picture book for the visually impaired community. It opens the gate of potential possibilities for the community to explore picture books like never before. This would improve learning, speed and efficiency, thereby improving quality of living. – Nupur Agarwal, Founder, Beyond Braille
Nupur says that this is perhaps the first time that blind readers have the opportunity to feel the shapes of objects/figures in the pictures. Through Beyond Braille, she hopes to change the perceptions about the blind community so they are seen as ‘equally abled’, not disabled or distinct.
SERIES AIMS TO CHANGE ATTITUDES TOWARDS BLIND
“By making it a children’s book, the idea is to instil the idea of equality from the start and the need to build an inclusive world”.
It took months of intense research to find the best materials, Braille text and other methods to create the series. Nupur first used thread as the primary material. “I took a year’s break when I worked as a designer and thought of ways to mass produce this. I found a 3D designer and printer who were willing to collaborate”.
Alongside Nupur worked on the storytelling, imagining it from a child’s perspective.
“The children were so fascinated when their fingertips felt the illustrations for the first time”, says Vidhi Tulsyan, a project volunteer. “This was my first time working with visually impaired kids and it was all very new and refreshing. We went to the blind school in Surat, interacted with kids there and they were really into the project. It feels great to be a part of this.”
To know more about Beyond Braille, visit the website Beyond Braille.