Oakland University will exhibit a collection of rare books featuring a variety of illustrative styles and tactile reading experiences for readers with disabilities. Some books are presented in Braille with embossed pictures, others are made of cloth and still others have attached pieces intended for readers to handle.On loan from the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities collection will debut at an open house from 4-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10,in OU’s Educational Resource Lab. The lab is located in Pawley Hall on the campus of Oakland University.The books in the collection – which feature special needs topics, characters and designs – promote understanding and knowledge, as well as foment ideas for the publication and promotion of new books in the field.Linda M. Pavonetti, chair of OU’s Department of Reading and Language Arts and vice president of IBBY, said she is pleased to have OU included among a number of international locations the collection is sent to each year.”Many of OU’s students have had limited exposure to international books. Because of that, there is a perception that the U.S. has cornered the market for children’s publishing,” she explained. “This exhibit may be the first step in understanding that we all need to help children learn – no matter the situation or difficulties. One of the best ways of doing this is through high quality books for all children in their native languages.”
The award-winning books in the exhibit were selected from more than 130 nominees submitted by IBBY National Sections and friends of the Haug School in Oslo, Norway, where the collection of more than 3,500 books is housed. They come from nations across the globe, including Japan, Finland, France, Spain, England, Australia, United States, South Africa, Italy, Quebec, Mexico, China, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Korea, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Iran.
“The importance of this type of collection is clear to anyone who has ever tried to find reading material for children who are visually impaired,” Pavonetti said. “Books printed in Braille, BLISS or other tactile languages are rare and expensive. They are generally not available in libraries or bookstores. Parents and teachers of hearing-impaired students also understand the need for books that mirror other children who deal with the same problems their children face on a daily basis.”
For more information on the exhibit click here.