What Makes You Special? A Multi-Sensory Book for Children With Learning Disabilities and/ or Vision Impairment
Introduce your child to the wild world of animals using this fun, interactive, multisensory activity book.
It's a delightful read, with vibrant illustrations, that remind readers of what truly makes each of us special. The book's content and design has been heavily informed by the particular needs of children with learning disabilities and vision impairment, as well as special educators, and hence aims to provide relevant content with a view to improving your child's learning outcomes.
The book is made interactive by a free app that provides contextural audio guidance. Here, readers can hear animal sounds and more as they flip pages.
Introduction to animal names, forms and sounds
A little extra information about these animals!
Accessibility features for children with vision impairment audio descriptions for image, textured tactile animals, brailed animal names.
Description: What Make You Special? A MultiSensory Experience
Package contains: 1 Book
In Book: 9 tactile pages Tiger, Whale, Canary, Elephant, Bee, Frog, Turtle, Giraffe, and Human child. Contains base story, animal names (in large print & braille), and textured tactile images
In app: Animal sounds, names, image description, fun facts! To download the app, scan the QR code on the book and download the app free of cost from the Google Playstore
Dimensions (cms): 21 x 21 x 2.5
Children with learning disabilities: 38 years
Children without learning disabilities: 34 years
To Use: Purchase kit. Install Tactopus application. Launch app and place device on the stand (with the camera facing downwards). Place learning material in the active area to see the learning begin.
Tactopus was founded by Chandni R and Saloni Mehta, designers from IIT Bombay. It builds engaging, multisensory learning experiences and strengthens the learning ecosystem for blind children, enables them to learn better and reach their full potential.
How do blind children learn?
How do blind children learn about science and math, if they only have access to braille (text) and audio? Even simple concepts like the water cycle or complex diagrams like the combustion engine require a minimum amount of visual imagery, which blind people have minimal access to, making their education severely stunted. This lack of access, compounded across years of education, effectively excludes blind people from several fields of employment and livelihood.
Tactopus works on this precise problem, by creating tactile graphics: images that are embossed and textured, so they can be read by the fingertips. They also have an interactive audio companion through a smartphone app, that makes it possible for blind children to learn independently.
After several months of conversations with stakeholders including blind children, blind adults, parents, teachers, special educators, and education policy makers, the Tactopus team understood that these factors are important for blind education:
- access to same information as sighted peers, including visual content.
- raised expectations and learning goals, recognising higher potential.
- formalising higher quality testing methods for tactile/visual content.
- ability to learn without assistance, independently
Using this information, they create resources based on concepts that teachers think are most important, and cannot be taught without the help of tactile imagery. Frequent testing with blind children is part of their design process.
This product is designed after repeated testing with and feedback from special educators, parents, and blind children themselves. It thus keeps their learning needs in minds. It helps to introduce visually impaired children to tactile perception skills that are vital to their learning process. It thus helps to bridge the gap in access to learning and makes it easier for the child to catch up with her peers as they grow. The material is equally interesting to blind adults who have had little or no access to tactile material growing up.
Why we like it
When we think of educational resources for children, there is a flood of choices in the form of illustrated books, activity books, smartphone and iPad applications. In comparison, accessible, inclusive and universally designed products that focus on the learning needs of the blind, are very few, especially in India. These resources by Tactopus ensure that every child, no matter what their disability, has access to relevant, high quality resources that work for them and improve learning outcomes while making learning enjoyable and interactive.
Enterprises like Tactopus play a critical role in bringing learning resources for the physically challenged out into the mainstream market, instead of limiting them to the special education section. This ensures that these resources are understood and appreciated by more people, and awareness of access to these resources increases.
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