2022. TD-BOX. Experiences and stories
TD-BOX is a project organized by Federazione Nazionale delle Istituzioni Pro Ciechi ONLUS in collaboration with Fondazione LIA and funded by Fondazione Cariplo. It is aimed at children and teenagers between 3 and 8 years old who live in Lombardy’s suburban areas and in the provinces of Novara and Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in Piedmont.
The initiative includes workshops and activities for the promotion of reading that will takes place in libraries located in the above-mentioned areas. The choice to work in these contexts is because the number of titles within each house and the reading rates are statistically lower hence the goal to increase people’s familiarity with books and cultural places.
This project is in partnership with: Associazione Italiana Editori, Biblioteca Italiana dei Ciechi Regina Margherita di Monza, Fondazione Robert Hollman, Nati per Leggere, Sistema Bibliotecario della Bassa Bresciana Centrale, Sistema Bibliotecario della Valle dei Mulini.
As it emerges from the many years of experience in the field of accessible publishing of the two promoters of the project, girls and boys with disabilities have difficulty in accessing books and texts they would like to read: they think the act of reading is a fundamental value, but they become full-fledged readers only when provided with tools suited to their needs.
With a series of practical and accessible activities, the project aims to foster the spread of reading in all its forms and the socialization of the reading experience among the younger population groups.
The key element of the planned initiatives is the creation of the TD-BOX (Tactile Digital Box): a container of tactile books and digital devices with accessible e-books on. This Box will make it possible to try paper, tactile and digital reading and it will allow young participants to interact with the world of books thanks to technological devices.
There will be an array of events, some held in presence and some online: ludic and educational activities and workshops on digital reading for children, and workshops on tactile illustrated publishing for adults.
Core of the project will be the several interactive initiatives that will revolve around the TD-BOX: through the materials they will find within it, the participants will discover all the ways in which a book can be read.
Fondazione LIA will organize and coordinate the workshops focused on digital reading: these events, based on an edutainment approach, aim to teach how to best use digital reading solutions and how to exploit them to improve everyone’s reading habits, even in the cases of print impairment.
The workshops will delve into the following topics:
- what does it mean to read digitally?;
- the main tools for digital reading;
- assistive technologies;
- the characteristics of an accessible e-book.
The goal of these workshops is to promote accessible reading through engaging activities and games and to raise awareness of the potential of digital contents and new technologies, including assistive and compensatory apps, devices and software developed to support print impaired people in reading.
Readings in the dark
To further promote these activities among their target audience and the inhabitants of the affected areas, a starting and closing events will be held. These were made to encourage participation and interest in the project, and to promote the value of accessible reading.
Specifically, the format chosen for these two initiatives will be the Reading in the dark, created by Fondazione LIA. Writers and visually impaired persons read aloud excerpts from the authors’ works, using sight and assistive technologies like braille displays or speech synthesis, displaying each method in turn.