ELIYA – The Library

What can be more natural than to cuddle your child on the sofa, choose an age appropriate illustrated book and read her a story? This can be a far different experience for a visually impaired or blind child who is unable to enjoy story-reading time in the same way as a seeing child.

At ELIYA we strive to give our children the same positive experiences that seeing children in kindergarten enjoy – including the pleasures of story time. With this in mind, we have started to put together “accessible” libraries (starting in the Jerusalem Branch) that are suitable for our children. The books in these libraries include the usual much-loved children’s stories – but with a difference. In addition to regular print, the books are also in Braille so that both parent and child (once she has learned to read Braille which is introduced in our kindergartens) can read together. In addition, the books include three-dimensional “pictures” relating to the story thereby giving the children a tactical way of “visualizing” the stories. 

Take, for example the beloved children’s book “Caspian the Little Fish” that tells the story of the adventures of Caspian. Most children know what fish look like. They’ve seen fish in aquariums, on television, or perhaps even in the sea or lakes. Visually impaired children need to be introduced to fish step by step. By touching slippery and scaly surfaces in water they can get a sense of the aquatic animal. Other elements of the story, say Caspian meeting a shark, are helped by the child feeling a larger slippery underwater animal with sharp teeth.

The accessible library at ELIYA not only allows your child the wonderful experience of being read to and being able to “access” pictures through the three dimensional art, but also is an excellent introduction to Braille and is an additional way to improve cognitive and language development skills.   

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