‘Books Beyond Words’ are a lovely company who publish picture books, which empower people through using images. Often, people who can’t read, or who don’t like written words, are very good at reading pictures.
These books all tell a story, but they also let the reader tell their own story – the one they see in the pictures. This can tell you a lot about a person’s inner world and their understanding of situations. There is plenty to talk about, and each story explores feelings and relationships, as well as giving information.
The books cover subjects like a ‘curriculum for life’ and include topics such as Belonging, Choosing my first job, Getting on with Diabetes, Sonia’s feeling sad, Making friends, and Enjoying sport and exercise.
The books complement other communication methods (particularly Easy Read), as they really empower the user and allow for their own interpretation of what they see.
Some time and attention is needed for co-reading, or group reading – so the company have produced eBook versions, and a series of short stories in a StoryApp (for IOS and Android devices) which work like an intervention tool eg. if a carer requires quick access to a subject, or to an image to a) check understanding b) reduce anxiety or c) just start a dialogue.
It seems to be a successful concept – ‘Books Beyond Words’ have published 57 books, with a further three being launched this year.
What’s great, is that the books are co-authored by people with learning disabilities, so they have their own input on what is needed, and what works.
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