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Making Tactile Books

ClearVision’s tactile book collection is unique. It contains the UK’s only lending collection of fully-textured tactile books. These are ideal for helping develop the touch skills children and young people need to learn braille and teaching important concepts, as well as being very enjoyable. For children who have never seen print pictures, the realistic textures can help them make the leap in understanding between exploring real objects and illustrations. See the tactile book section of the ‘Our Books’ page for more information on borrowing tactile books.

Many of the books in the collection have been handmade by volunteers, and we are always keen to hear from anyone who would like to create a book for the collection. Designing and making a tactile book can be really fun as well as deeply satisfying. It can be done at your own pace, in your own home. You will need basic sewing skills in order to make fabric tactile books, but ClearVision can provide guidance, feedback and even storylines. You can donate you own materials to your book making, or we can suggest places to acquire donated materials, refund reasonable expenditure and/or support you in fundraising to buy them. We can help you source harder-to-locate materials or provide you with them.

Chris a Ros enjoying a tactile book

For many sighted people, tactile book making reveals a whole new way of thinking about the world, because you are creating something which is not enjoyed visually but by touch. Many tactile book makers who have a visual impairment enjoy the chance to expand what's available- especially if there weren’t many tactile books available when they were growing up!

Our guidelines on making a tactile book can be downloaded here. Please contact us with any questions. We may also be able to lend you an example book. If you’d like to make a book but would rather copy an existing book than devise your own, this guide gives storylines for popular books already in the library.

We are often able to give talks on tactile book making at the meetings of craft groups, quilters’ Guilds etc. who are considering making books to donate to ClearVision, depending on geography and other commitments. Talks for other groups can often be arranged, so please get in touch.