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A Publication about Visual Impairments and Deafblindness for Families and Professionals

By: Excerpts from Family Engagements, NCDB

Abstract: In this article NCDB provides a list of children books on deaf-blindness and general disabilities

Keywords: Deaf-blindness, blind, visually impaired, National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB), disability, books about the disability experience

NCDB recently received an inquiry about where to find children’s books on deaf-blindness and disabilities in general.  They put together a list of resources, focusing on books for preschool through 6th grade.

A great source for children’s books on disability in general is the Schneider Family Book Award, given annually by the American Library Association to books about the disability experience. They give the award in three categories—birth through grade school, middle school, and teen. Go to the link below and select a year to see the winners:
http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/1/select

Probably easier to navigate is their bibliography of books about the disability experience (organized by age range):
http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/sites/ala.org.awardsgrants/files/content/awardsrecords/schneideraward/2009_schneider_bio_children.pdf

As far as books specifically about deaf-blindness, there are a TON of Helen Keller biographies for kids out there. Just search Amazon or a library catalog to find one that’s at the reading level you want.

Helen's Eyes: A Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's Teacher
http://www.amazon.com/Helens-Eyes-Photobiography-Sullivan-Photobiographies/dp/1426322224/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443837563&sr=8-1&keywords=helen%27s+eyes

Helen Keller: Her Life in Pictures
http://www.amazon.com/Helen-Keller-Her-Life-Pictures/dp/0439918154/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443837713&sr=8-1&keywords=helen+keller+her+life+in+pictures

This next one is a biography of Laura Bridgman (slightly fictionalized). It’s out of print but available on Amazon:

Child of the Silent Night
http://www.amazon.com/Child-Silent-Night-Fisher-Hunter/dp/0395068355/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443838656&sr=8-1&keywords=child+of+the+silent+night

Here’s a more recent children’s biography of Laura (higher reading level):

She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer
http://www.amazon.com/She-Touched-World-Bridgman-Deaf-Blind/dp/0618852999/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1443838917&sr=8-2&keywords=laura+bridgman

Aside from Helen biographies, there are not many children’s books out there that deal with deaf-blindness. Here are two more:

Can You Feel the Thunder?
Thirteen-year-old Mic Parsons struggles with mixed feelings about his deaf and blind sister and his new neighbor. (Grades 4-8)
http://www.amazon.com/Can-Feel-Thunder-Lynn-McElfresh/dp/068982324X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443839504&sr=8-1&keywords=Can+You+Feel+the+Thunder%3F

A Dog Called Homeless
Fifth-grader Cally Louise Fisher stops talking, partly because her father and brother never speak of her mother who died a year earlier, but visions of her mother, friendships with a homeless man and a deaf-blind boy, and a huge dog ensure that she still communicates. (Grades 4-7)
http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Called-Homeless-Sarah-Lean/dp/0062122266/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443840903&sr=8-1&keywords=a+dog+called+homeless

Here are two bibliographies of children’s books that include blind characters:
http://www.aph.org/museum/BooksBlindness.pdf

https://www.dcmp.org/caai/nadh264.pdf

Here’s a bibliography of picture books organized by disability:
http://guides.libraries.wright.edu/childrensbooksdisabilitythemes

Here’s a nice, concise bibliography of children’s books on disability from the San Francisco Public Library:
http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=2000152701

And last but not least, Connie’s New Eyes. It’s the true story of a woman getting her first guide dog, starting when the dog is a puppy and following the two of them through their training and back to Connie’s home and career. It’s illustrated with beautiful full-page black and white photographs. Unfortunately it’s no longer in print, but you can get it from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Connies-New-Eyes-Bernard-Wolf/dp/0397316976/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443845351&sr=8-1&keywords=connie%27s+new+eyes