The ‘Feelix Library’, based at Vision Australia, aims to support the needs of very young children who are blind or have low vision by providing access to books. It is also a place where families can share stories and learn about braille. In my first visit there I was amazed by the extensive range of resources that were available and the programs they have in place to give young children the best opportunities to engage with reading.
Naturally I was very excited when I found out that 'I Love You 5 Lollipops' was going to be made into a 'Feelix Kit' and that young children with sight impairments would also get to enjoy Elizabeth Rose and her wondrous family.
The Feelix kit contains:
- Small black suitcase
- Print/ braille copy of 'I Love You 5 Lollipops'
- Tactile book: designed to get children searching for tactual information in order to tell themselves a story.
- "Hands-on" materials: items that relate to the story to increase the child's ability to attend for longer periods. A strategy that helps parents in other aspects of their child's learning.
- CD or DAISY recording of 'yours truly' telling the story
Each kit is hand made on site at Vision Australia and can take up to a month to produce.
‘Feelix’ the echidna is the library's mascot, chosen because echidna's have poor vision however use their tactile senses to navigate the world around them. I was given my own little Feelix and he now keeps me company on my desk making sure I get my work done! I don't want to know what those needles feel like if I slack off!
The Feelix library is open to all young children who are blind or have low vision (aged 0-7 years) living in the States and Territories where Vision Australia operates. It relies on support received from corporate and individual donors for its continued development. If you are able to support Vision Australia and their groundbreaking work please visit their website at www.visionaustralia.org.
If you or a family you know needs the support of the Feelix Library please contact:
Louise Curtin Feelix Project Coordinator Phone: 03 9864 9546 Fax: 03 98649219 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org