Check out a braille book at the public library in honor of Braille Literacy Month

January is a time to recognize, honor legally blind and visually impaired

SAN ANTONIO – January marks Braille Literacy Month. It's a time to recognize the importance of braille to the legally blind and visually impaired community.

San Antonio offers a variety of resources for the special needs population, but one is specifically designed for children. Nestled in the San Antonio Central Public Library’s third floor is the Low Vision Reading Room, an open space with a lot of room for imagination and learning.

Kate Simpson is the manager of the Children's Department at the Central Library and helps maintain the Low Vision Reading Room.

"My whole role is to make this space welcoming for families and to make it fun, so that kids associate learning and reading with fun," Simpson said.

They have everything from traditional braille books to tactile picture books with braille stickers over the words.

“It’s a really good sampling. We have actually some young adult titles in here like ‘Hunger Games’, and then we have ‘Dr. Seuss,’” Simpson said. “We do have a lot of biographies and some nonfiction, like, history and science titles and even board books for babies.”

Simpson says that part of enhancing children’s reading comprehension is being able to retell stories with an added sensory component.

"We do a lot of programs for children's story times, play times, and within those we always have a sensory component," Simpson said. "Right now we have a sensory bin that's porridge from the Goldilocks story. It's oatmeal with cinnamon added and scoops, so they can run their hands through it and get that sensory experience and smell as well."

Along with the literature, the walls of the Low Vision Reading Room also tell a story.

“If you can’t see, and you go to art museum, you can’t experience the art,” Simpson said. “We wanted to bring something (to the library) to add an extra element. So, we have a lot of tactile art pieces that are really designed for that purpose: to be touched.”

The Central Library’s Low Vision Reading is open to the public year-round. To learn more about the area, visit the library’s website here.

library braille room image2
library braille room image2 (KSAT)

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