Exhibition of books for young people with disabilities 16th to 20th May 2016



WHAT:                 2015 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

WHEN:                 Monday 16th to Friday 20th May 2016

WHERE:               Open Learning Centre foyer, Checkland C400, Falmer campus

(opening hours Mon-Thurs 8:30am-5:30pm and Fri 8:30am-5pm)



Off to the Park! (UK)                                           Rompecabezas (English title: Puzzles) (Mexico)


The School of Education’s Curriculum Centre is one of only four UK institutions selected to host a touring international collection of children’s books. From Monday 16th to Friday 20th May 2016, we will have the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) 2015 selection of books for young people with disabilities on display in the foyer of Curriculum Centre (part of the Open Learning Centre, Checkland C400). The final 50 books that make up this collection were selected from 159 nominations from around the world, and judged to be outstanding recent examples of books for young children to young adults in the following 3 categories:

  1. Specialised formats – books with sign language, Braille, pictograms, tactile features, and dyslexic-friendly features

Judging comments:

Books in different formats allow access to young people with varying abilities. Instead of depending on someone to read to them, they can read the books themselves by using signs, symbols or Braille, and thus become immersed as a participant in the story, rather than just a spectator. We realized it was not enough to merely display an alternative format, but that these augmentative tools had to be clearly produced to be successful.

Tenji tsuki sawaru ehon: Sawaru meiro
English title: Touch Picture Book with Braille: Mazes by Touch (Japan)


2. Universal access – books which can be enjoyed by all through features such as larger font and images, age-appropriate concepts portrayed in an easy-to-understand manner, and simplified text

Judging comments:

The remarkable range of illustrations in this year’s submissions remind us that illustrations are keenly important to young people who are too young to read text, or who have learning, intellectual or developmental disabilities. They read the pictures, picking up clues about the plot as well as clues about how the character with a disability is portrayed. As evaluators and adults, we needed to set aside our propensity to read the text, and instead read the illustrations first.

Il Libro Criceto (English title: The Hamster Book) (Italy)


3. Portrayals of disabilitypicture books, fiction and non-fiction portraying young people with disabilities

Judging comments:

We did not want to feel pity for the character with the disability. We did not want the reader to view the character as someone who was different from them. We wanted the reader to gain an understanding and awareness of a character’s situation, to get a sense of the similarities between “them and us.” We wanted the reader to begin to connect and to empathize with multifaceted characters. The characters in the outstanding books speak to the reader and say, “I am not just my disability; I am so much more.”

Moa åker på lager (English title: Moa Goes to Camp) (Sweden)


This is a very exciting opportunity for staff and students across the university to explore an up-to-date collection of international children’s books with a specific focus on disability. Suggestions for ways to approach the books in the exhibition are:

  • To look at how specific disabilities such as Down syndrome (also known as Down’s syndrome), hearing loss, and dyslexia are currently being portrayed in children’s books from a range of countries
  • As a guide to finding outstanding new books:
    • with age-appropriate subjects for children with developmental disabilities
    • for children with visual impairments
    • which are accessible to all children
    • with positive depictions of children with disabilities
  • Exploring how the books offer children both mirrors to see themselves in and windows to see out into a different world
  • Exploring international illustrations techniques and book publishing

View the full range of books in the collection here










One thought on “Exhibition of books for young people with disabilities 16th to 20th May 2016

  1. Well done again OLC for being selected for this honour. We are extremely lucky that our students can access these inclusive texts.
    I will certainly enjoy reading these. Thank you Pamela

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *