Tactile Book Advancement Group (TBAG )

Design tips from competition judges

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photo-montage from a tactile book

To help anyone thinking of entering the 2008 competition, or just making a tactile book, the following list of hints has been compiled by judges of previous competitions.

  • A good variety of textures
  • Good colour contrast and use of refractive materials for children with some sight
  • Strong story line, simple ideas shown from a child’s perspective
  • Originality
  • Book designed with the needs of visually impaired children in mind and significantly more appropriate than mainstream novelty books
  • Strong central character, recurring throughout, easily located and with logical changes in detail (e.g. front or back view, upside down, etc.)
  • Interactive features (e.g. flaps, buttons, pegs, etc.)
  • Large, simple tactile pictures for the younger age group, to help children with some sight and to facilitate tactile discrimination
  • Books for older children showing more symbolic forms of tactile representation in preparation for eventual understanding of tactile diagrams, etc.
  • Theme to the book (e.g. funny, scary, tender)
  • Stimulation of other senses (e.g. smell or hearing)
  • Repetition in stories for younger children
  • Possibility of using real objects alongside the story to aid understanding of concepts
  • Encouragement to use imagination and role play
  • Encouragement to use tactile skills (such as tracking, matching, dexterity) as an integral and enjoyable part of the story
  • Good match of tactile illustrations and text in terms of appropriateness for target age group

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