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34th of Oulu's '100 acts': The Tactile Book Campaign

Julkaistu 21.02.2013

Not all children can enjoy regular picture and storybooks. The demand for books that cater to the needs of visually impaired or multihandicapped children and their families far exceeds their availability. The Tactile Book Campaign offers people the chance to help such children on a voluntary basis through handicrafts. Originating in Oulu, the project has already found success in international competitions.

Tactile books are books that you can feel. They usually feature colorful pictures made with various materials that you can touch as well as text in both regular writing and Braille. The pictures use clear colors and shapes and the books can also feature different textures, objects that you can pick up or materials that produce sounds. Tactile books can also incorporate audio recordings and separate text attachments.

Come and make tactile books together with other volunteers

The goal of the Tactile Book Campaign is to offer a new type of voluntary work. At the same time, the campaign aims to increase the number of tactile books available in the Finnish state-owned specialist library Celia, so that all children who use their hands to see get the chance to experience the world of fairy tales and stories. Celia Library offers tactile books for children all around Finland.

A group-led evening for learning the art of making tactile books is organized on the first Tuesday of every month from 5 PM to 7 PM at the VaRes volunteer center, address Harjapäänkatu 32 and, from the start of April, Isokatu 47, (Kumppanuuskeskus), 5th floor, Oulu. The event is open to all without prior registration. For more information on the events, visit the Koskettelukirjat (tactile books) group page on Facebook or the tactile books blog at http://koskettelukirjat.blogspot.fi.

The infectious enthusiasm of one woman from Oulu

The Tactile Book Campaign originated as part of a voluntary work and peer support resource center project. Vuokko Keränen, who worked at the VaRes center as an instructor, became so passionate about tactile books that she has continued working on the campaign on a voluntary basis even after retiring.

Keränen, who during her long career helped children, young people and adults who needed special support, has produced impressive results with her campaign. In 2010-12 alone, over 500 people saw and touched the books of the Tactile Book Campaign. In 2011, Finland took part in the international Tactus tactile book competition with five books, two of which were made by volunteers from Oulu. Both books earned an honorable mention from the judges. In 2013, the Tactus competition will be held in Finland, so now is the perfect time to make sure Oulu is well represented!

For more information, please contact: Vuokko Keränen tel. +358 400 726 178 or vuokko.keranen@pp.inet.fi

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The 100 Acts program brings Oulu Region municipalities together and gives everyone the opportunity to highlight small and large actions that take the area forward and bring joy to the population. Take a look at the 100 Actions program and enter your own project or candidate at www.oulu.com/100tekoa