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5-15-13 Full-Vision Books - a fusion of Braille, print and audio
Assist blind and sighted people alike

April 2, 2013 … Lincoln, NE/CRN “Blind parents deserve to be able to read to their sighted children, just as sighted parents do. Blind children who are learning Braille need simple books an adult can read along with them,” says Larry Pitcher, president of Christian Record Services for the Blind. The 114-year-old organization serving the blind community has just released Grandma Stepped on Fred! the latest edition in a Full-Vision® book series, A Child's Steps to Jesus. The series develops the themes of each chapter in Steps to Christ so a preschooler can understand them.

Imagine you are four years old and you can see; however, your mother (or father, older sibling, or grandparent) is blind. You bring over a beautiful little storybook. You can see the pictures.  You’d like the blind person to read the story to you  . . . Or maybe you’re a six-year-old who has been blind from birth. You’re just starting to learn Braille, and you want somebody to help you with the big words. Where’s an interesting – and true – storybook with both Braille and regular print?  And if everyone’s busy, can you listen to it on a CD player?

Children’s books by Dr. Seuss and the Goosebumps series have their place in public libraries – but where are the books that wrap children in the warmth of God’s love and describe the simple steps toward a lifelong friendship with Jesus?

What is a Full-Vision® Book? Blind Mrs. Benita Grover felt sad that her Braille books didn’t have pictures to share with her sighted children. She expressed her wish to Christian Record. How delighted she was in 1959 to share with three-year-old Kathy and six-year-old Joeleen one of the very first copies of the first Full-Vision® books ever created – The Bible ABCs. 

Produced by Christian Record, these innovative books combine full-color illustrations and large print for the sighted family member, and interleafed transparent sheets with brailled text and picture descriptions. The new series now in process includes an audio CD of the text and a helpful parent’s guide both in standard print and in Braille.

The books are supplied free of charge on an “indefinite-loan” basis, with the suggestion that they be returned when no longer in use so that other blind children or parents can enjoy them.

What’s New in Full-Vision® Books? The latest in the Full-Vision® book series, Grandma Stepped on Fred! is a story where Randy learns to appreciate being forgiven and is later offered the opportunity to forgive his grandma, who accidentally broke his plastic fish, Fred. This book is third in a series of 12 books to be produced by Christian Record. The author of the entire series is well-known children’s writer Linda Porter Carlyle. 

“Families which include a blind person – adult or child – need the encouragement and inspiration of the book series we are producing," explains Pitcher. "These tri-media books in Braille, regular print, and audio format will reach hearts and minds, resulting in improved quality of life for the blind.”

The publishers say that the approach encompasses more than the positive nature of the story content alone. “In the spirit of leaving no child behind, these books will also encourage a love of books and reading at an early age and demonstrate that Braille is an effective method of reading and writing for those not blessed with sight,” Pitcher adds.

Braille literacy can be the key to a quality life for the blind. According to the National Federation of the Blind, nine of 10 blind adults who have jobs read and write Braille. This makes Braille literacy vital for a segment of the population contending with 74 percent unemployment – and accompanying tight budgets that may not include books of any kind. Evidence shows that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity to promote success in reading.

Christian Record’s production of the Full-Vision® books continues through the gifts of financial supporters. To learn more about these multimedia books and other services for people who are blind or visually impaired, visit http://services.christianrecord.org.  [Christian Record News/Doris Burdick and Jeri Lyn Rogge]
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-1565 USA
Telephone: 443-391-7200
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