Accessible reads for your little ones – Vision Foundation

Accessible reads for your little ones

The summer holidays are upon us and with your children home for the summer, you might be searching for ways to keep them busy! We know the benefits of reading for children are incredible, from boosting creativity and indulging imaginations to expanding vocabulary and improving concentration.

Thanks to the rise in popularity of audiobooks, with trail blazers like RNIB Reading Services and Audible bringing accessible reading to the mainstream, blind and partially sighted children can enjoy reading with a broad range of stories to suit wherever their imagination takes them.

Young boy listening with headphones on, two soft toys are on the sofa with him


Did you know?

  • The number of people who read braille has been in long-term decline for a number of years, with some experts estimating it to be as low as 8%.
  • Fewer than 5% of book titles are available in braille format.
  • In 2019, a survey by the Publishers Association put the number of audiobook consumers at around 1 in 5.


So, it seems that audio is changing the landscape of literature and as children are growing up more tech-savvy than ever before that trend is only set to continue. 

You can find an impressive range of audiobooks or accessible books for free at your local library or through services such as Living Paintings and Clear Vision Project. While it can be hard to find mainstream books that are accessible for children who are blind or partially sighted, the Booktrust does have a few ideas of good titles with tactile elements, embossing, die-cut holes, braille and audio.


Give reading a go…

The organisers of World Book Day have updated their World of Stories section with a bundle of free audiobooks of some wonderful children’s stories. There’s something for all ages, below are just three of our favourites:


Cover of Strong and Tough featuring a black boy with an afro kicking a football into the word 'Strong' forming the letter 'o'Strong and Tough

This gentle, inspiring story, written by 10-year-old Rico, tells the tale of Charlie, a little boy who was taken into care when he was very small. Charlie dreams of finding his forever home to share with his sisters. Sometimes he feels scared. Sometimes he wants to scream and cry (and he does, just a little). But he is strong. He is tough.



Book cover featuring two children looking awe-struck at a venus fly trap that is glowing.The Secret Explorers and the Plant Poachers

This group of brilliant kids come together from all four corners of the globe to fix problems, solve mysteries and gather knowledge all over the planet – and beyond. Whenever their help is needed, a special sign will appear on a door. They step through to the Exploration Station, and receive their mission….



Cover of The Sword in the Stone featuring a brooding knight holding onto the sword sheathed in stone as eager onlookers clamour at his feet.The Sword in the Stone

When two boys save an old man from robbers, they learn of a competition in Londinium to decide the next king of Britain. The elder, Kay, is determined to prove himself worthy as a knight or a king. The younger is Arthur, a farm boy through and through until he sees … the sword in the stone.




Ready to add to your library?

Here are some useful specialist services and suppliers, including one of our funded projects:

  • Living Paintings: a free library of tactile books with audio description.
  • Clear Vision Project: a postal lending library of mainstream children’s books with added braille (or Moon), print and pictures.
  • RNIB Library: a free library of digital, audio, braille and giant print books.
  • Listening Books: a postal and internet audio book service.
  • Access2Books: a community interest project supplying giant print and braille books.
  • Bag Books: supply multisensory books.