herald

Saturday 24 September 2016

'New library is a super space for blind children', says Brent

Two-year-old Georgia Byrne on a visit to the National Library for Blind Children (Maxwell Photography)
Two-year-old Georgia Byrne on a visit to the National Library for Blind Children (Maxwell Photography)

ChildVision has shown off the new National Library for Blind Children in Drumcondra, Dublin.

The room includes tactile books and others transcribed to braille as well as technology to help the visually impaired.

Children can visit the library's treehouse for storytelling, sit with a book in a picnic area or go to one of the reading pods for a quiet time.

Welcomed

The new facility was welcomed by Neasa Hourigan from Cabra, whose three-year-old daughter Edith Twomey has retinal dystrophy.

Edith currently has only three to five percent vision, and this will diminish as she gets older.

However, she has come on "leaps and bounds" since visiting ChildVision three times a week, according to her mum.

"Instead of focusing on what the problems were, which obviously lots of medical people do, they were all about the different things she can do," said Ms Hourigan.

"We've been watching the library come together in the last few weeks and it's so colourful and beautiful.

"One of the things you worry about when you first get that diagnosis of visually impaired is that books won't be in their future.

"Having an integrated library means the world of books is available in the way it should be for every child.

"For a visually impaired child, that's just fantastic."

The library was sponsored by Bon Secours Hospital, Glasnevin, business law firm Mason Hayes & Curran and two private donors.

Rugby pundit and children's author Brent Pope launched the library yesterday.

"It's amazing," he told the Herald. "What a wonderful, colourful, creative space for young people who come and they just kind of relax and read books. It's a super space.

"I think that, more importantly, it's somewhere children can get access to books and they can get access to creativity and learning and that's vital."

Some of Pope's eight books for children have been transcribed to braille for Child- Vision, which he described as a "bonus".

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