Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Two Partnerships, One Goal: Braille Books for Children


It all started with feedback from parents: they couldn’t find affordable braille books. In fact, they were almost unattainable to families of preschool aged children. Any parent of a sighted child can find books in a bookstore, library, or even in the grocery store to read. A parent of a child who is blind or visually impaired doesn’t have that luxury. It can cost $6 – $20 to transcribe just one page, making the books expensive!

The first thing APH had to do was find affordable books – something we were able to do through a partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL). The Dollywood Foundation allows us to buy Penguin Publishing books at a reduced rate! Now all we need to do was  figure out how to add braille to the books.

With transcription and labor costs being so high, APH had to find a way to make things more affordable. We already had a partnership with the Women’s Kentucky Correctional Institute (KCI) and their Prison Braille Program, so it made sense to expand that partnership. KCI trains and certifies women inmates as braille transcriptionist. Now the women in this program transcribe text into braille, adhere clear braille labels onto the books from the Imagination Library, and prepare the books for packaging.

It is through these partnerships that APH is able to provide free to low-cost print/braille books to the homes of children throughout the country!

While we offer the books for free – it still costs APH $78.00 a year to provide books for one preschooler. If you’d like to donate to help this great resource reach more children, click here.

A child and mother reading a brailled storybook.


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