World Braille Day

In honor of World Braille Day on January 4th, 2024, we want to celebrate the origins of Braille and highlight fiction and non-fiction books that focus on children with visual disabilities, the origins of Braille, and guide-dogs. World Braille Day is a reminder of the importance of accessibility and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired. We would like to raise awareness on the importance of Braille as a means of communication but also strive for accessibility and rights for blind and visually impaired people.

Adler, David A.
Illustrators: Wallner, John C.; Wallner, Alexandra.
A Picture Book of Louis Braille. 1997. Picture Book.
A biographical picture book on the origins of Braille and its creator Louis Braille. This picture book delves into the life of Louis Braille, a nineteenth-century Frenchmen accidentally blinded when he was a child, and how he invented the raised dot system known as Braille for reading and writing used globally for the blind.
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Almada, Ariel Andrés
Walking Through a World of Aromas. 2012. Picture Book.
Walking Through a World of Aromas, a winner at the International Latino Book Awards, tells the story of Annie, a girl who was born blind. Annie has the gift of being able to sense other people’s deepest emotions. She can bring those emotions to life through her cooking. Annie spends her days in the kitchen with her grandmother and helps the townspeople overcome their ailments physically and emotionally with her culinary creations. That is until Annie meets someone new who awakens a boundless affection in her that will introduce her senses to a whole new world. Walking Through a World of Aromas is an enchanting story about Annie trying to mold her place in the world and finding love and acceptance along the way.
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Glaser, Edie A.
Illustrators: Burgio, Maria R.; Paraschiv, Doina.
All Children Have Different Eyes: Learn To Play and Make Friends. 2007. Picture Book.
All Children Have Different Eyes is an empowering book for children with visual impairments. The book teaches children how to respond to social issues, how to respond to bullies, how to address in confidence their condition, and how to manage mistakes being made. Activities are featured in the back of the book for teachers and parents on tools for how to develop these social competencies. When reading this book all kids will understand how to play with others and be better playmates with children that have visual disabilities.
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Hall, Becky
Illustrator: Ettlinger, Doris.
Morris and Buddy: The Story of the First Seeing Eye Dog. 2007. Picture Book.
A biographical story of Morris Frank, a man who lost his sight in 1924 when he was sixteen. Morris learned from his father there was an American dog trainer in Switzerland which later allowed him to meet Buddy who became the first seeing-eye dog. Morris eventually became the co-founder of the first guide-dog school in the United States, traveling across the US and Canada to promote the use of guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired.

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Keats, Ezra Jack.
Apt. 3. 1971. Picture Book.
Apt. 3 explores two brothers who hear the sweet sounds of a harmonica float through the halls of Sam and Ben’s tenement. The melodies inspire the two brothers to go in search of who is playing the music. They encounter the blind man who is the source of the beautiful music, and who “sees” with his ears. The search for the music ends with a new friendship between the brothers and the blind man.
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Lang, Glenna
Looking out for Sarah. 2003. Picture Book.
In this story we explore the lives of Sarah and her guide dog Perry. Perry helps Sarah go shopping, to the post office, and take the train from school. Sarah, who is a blind musician and teacher tells the story to her students of how she walked from Boston to New York with her guide dog to show the world how much someone can accomplish with the help of a guide dog like Perry.
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Lebeuf, Darren
Illustrator: Barron, Ashley.
My City Speaks. 2021. Picture Book.
This picture book details the life of a young girl who is visually impaired on her way to her violin recital where she senses all types of noise and rhythms from her city as she walks with her father through the streets, markets, the playground, and the community garden. In her city it “rushes and stops and waits and goes.” It “pitters and patters, and drips and drains.” Its “echoes” and “trills,” and is both “smelly” and “sweet.” With Ashley Barron as the illustrator, you can expect brightly and richly colored collage illustrations that add mesmerizing details and depth to the story. My City Speaks captures the essence of living in a concrete jungle, inspires kids to listen to their own towns and cities, all the while emphasizing a character study on adaptability.
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Liao, Jimmy
The Sound of Colors: A Journey of the Imagination. 2006. Picture Book.
An enriching tale of a young woman who is losing her sight and trying to find her place in the world. It is an English language translation originally published in Chinese. The young woman sets out to explore the world and discover one step at a time with her walking stick and dog to help guide her. The story is imaginative, courageous, full of heart, and hope as the young woman begins her emotionally healing journey.
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Rau, Dana Meachen
Illustrator: Weissman, Bari.
The Secret Code. 1998. Picture Book.
The Secret Code follows Oscar and Lucy. Oscar is blind, and during reading time in class Lucy notices that his book is different from the one she is reading. Lucy notices it has bumps all over the pages that Oscar is able to read with his fingers. By the end of the book Oscar teaches Lucy how to read Braille so they can read together. This picture book is a great introduction to Braille and displays the Braille alphabet as well for readers.
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Winkler, Henry
Everybody is Somebody. 2019. Middle Grade Braille Book.
This Braille edition of Everybody is Somebody tells the story of Hank Zipzer who, when a well-known author visits his school, is given the opportunity, along with two friends, to be her guide for the day and introduce her at the school assembly. The situation, however, forces Hank (who has dyslexia) to find imaginative ways to hide his struggles with reading. Will everyone be able to tell what is fact from fiction? This story features a common theme on being true to oneself and remaining your most authentic self.
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Yolen, Jane.

Illustrators: Charlip, Remy; Maraslis, Demetra.
The Seeing Stick. 1977. Picture Book.
The Seeing Stick, an original fairy tale story from Jane Yolen, explores the life of Hwei Min the only daughter of the emperor of China who has been blind since birth. Her father the emperor offers a reward to anyone that can cure her blindness, however to no avail. Magicians to physicians are unable to cure her. That is until one day when a mysterious old man appears carrying a stick to visit the princess. The old man tries to teach Hwei Min that there is more than one way to see the world. In this imaginative and rich story, it highlights the power of perception and the importance of human connection in our lives.
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Online Resources

Alt Text as Poetry

Alt Text as Poetry is an amazing resource for students and educators to learn about alt text and the innovative ways to incorporate it into a classroom. This project is a collaboration between Bojana Coklyat and Shannon Finnegan, both visually impaired, who created this project in order to “to put alt text on your radar (if it wasn’t already), to get you thinking about it creatively, and to explore a few of the key questions that come up when translating images into text.” The projects website contains a workbook on alt text and alt text as poetry as well as writing exercises.

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

The NLS is a free national library program that provides Braille and recorded materials to people who cannot see regular print or handle print materials. The online NLS site is filled with online educational resources for children.


Bookshare is an accessible online library for people with print disabilities. The online library helps people with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers to customize their experience in order to suit their learning style. Through Bookshare they can find any book they may need for school, work, and reading for pleasure.

Paths to Technology

Paths to Technology developed by Perkins School for the Blind is a website designed to assist educators, families, and students on the latest technology for students with low vision and blindness. According to their website the site was “Created as an interactive site, Paths to Technology is a resource for defining and disseminating best practices, training, and support for teachers of students with visual impairments, braille transcribers, other education professionals, parents and students themselves.”