Eileen Finch, the team leader at Access2books, is overseeing the project to ensure people who need the books have access to them.
The Birmingham Bodenham Trust help organisations like Access2books and other charities, individuals and voluntary and community organisations with funding, specialist equipment or care provisions for people with special educational needs who are under the age of 19.
Eileen started the Access2books project after she lost her sight and encountered problems trying to read normal print to her grandchildren.
However, she couldn’t find the books that suited her. So she was inspired to start the project to create beautiful books like the ones found in store.
You can read more about that journey here.
She is one of approximately 500 000 people in the UK in the latter stages of macular degeneration: it is only one of many conditions that mean you need access to read print.
She can’t read Braille but she can read giant print [75 point]. She reads the books she publishes to her grandchildren.
Her dream is for people to share these books and read them. This is partly why she initiated this project with The Birmingham Bodenham Trust to distribute these books for free because not all the intended users have access to them or can afford them.
This project is to provide more popular books for children to read whether the child or their family need access to read to them.
Do you live in Birmingham?
If you live in Birmingham, then you are one of the lucky few who is eligible to receive one of the free books courtesy of The Birmingham Bodenham Trust.
The books are unique. They are beautiful. They are all individually handmade by the Access2books’ team.
The books have giant text on the left hand page and pictures or illustrations on the right.
The text or picture descriptions in Braille appear below the page text and illustrations as demonstrated by the interior pages of A Squash and a Squeeze written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
As mentioned above, the pictures are specially adapted; i.e. they are enhanced to make them more accessible to people who happen to have sight impairments.
The formatting makes the books accessible to as many people as possible.
Would you, a child or baby you know need access to stories and good picture books now or in the future?
Would you prefer black, big or clear print, Braille or better pictures in your story books?
Feel free to contact Eileen on 01525 853825. Alternatively email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, if you are in Birmingham and a member of the RNIB or Action for Blind People, keep an eye open for one of our books coming to you soon. We would like to thank The Birmingham Bodenham Trust for making it possible to distribute 30 free books from Access2books.
P.S. Birmingham is just the start. This programme is going to be rolled out across the UK as we secure more funders to distribute more books. We will keep you in the loop of more similar projects. Thanks.