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Resource File: Early Childhood -- Literacy

Tips For Adapting Books for Physcial Access

Children with physical disabilities may have difficulty physically manipulating books. Below are some tips for making conventional books physically accessible to all children.

1. Books can be mounted on heavy paper or cardboard and velcro can be attached to the back and front of the book to help secure it to carpeting. Heavier pages that are secured to a surface such as carpeting may help children with fine motor difficulties manipulate the book while keeping it in their field of vision.

2. Pages can be separated with a variety of items that enable children to turn individual pages more easily. A paper clip strategically attached to each page may be sufficient. "Page puffers" or foam squares can be glued to the corner of each page so that fingers, hands, or headsticks can turn pages more easily.

3. Similarly tongue depressors or popsicle sticks can bet affixed to individual pages as illustrated below. The stick on the first page is placed at the bottom of the page with sticks on successive pages placed slightly higher. These provide a handle for children to make page turning easier.

Sample book with tongue depressors attached

4. Text can be made more salient by using puffy paint to raise the letters.

5. Books can be taken apart and each page can be put in a plastic sheet protector. The sheet protectors can subsequently be put in three-ring binders or bound with sturdy string. The notebook binder is heavy enough to keep the book stationary while the child turns the pages.

6. Children's headsticks and/or hand splints can be tipped with a rubber finger cot (a rubber tip placed over the child's finger tip, giving them more traction). Finger cots and sheet protectors work well together.

See Chapter 8 of Baby Power for "Great Strategies to Try: MAKING BOOKS ACCESSIBLE."

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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP)  in collaboration with the Center for Literacy and Disabilities (CLD)  at Duke University.   NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by CLD, NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

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