Opening Up the World of Literacy: Braille Special Collection

Jacky Garcia2

“Reading is a vital part of a child’s life and these books help to develop lifelong learners.”
—Nora Walker, Braille teacher.

For 15 years Jacky Garcia, Braille Institute’s Special Collection program manager, has seen firsthand the tremendous difference that being able to read braille has made in the lives of the thousands of blind and visually impaired children she has worked with. “Every day I welcome children who are visually impaired and connect them with the world of literacy. I let them know they are not alone and that there is hope for a fulfilling life ahead,” she says.

Jacky is also a parent herself and understands that if her own children could not read they would never be able to reach their full potential in school, the workplace, or their personal lives.

And, as someone who is visually impaired herself, she also knows that being able to read braille is really the only way that children who cannot read print can truly become literate, enabling them to pursue the same goals and dreams as their sighted peers.

Jacky loves her job and feels so privileged to experience how the free Special Collection braille books she has distributed through the years have provided the foundation and the tools that have encouraged thousands of blind or visually impaired children to first begin, and then master, braille reading. And she is particularly thrilled to hear from so many children who have gone on to attend universities or attain their personal goals—none of which would have been possible without their being able to read braille.

In the past year alone, more than 3,600 children and young adults ages 2 to 18, and teachers of blind and visually impaired students throughout North America have received braille books and multi-sensory storybook kits—all free of charge thanks to the generosity of our donors.

“Reading is a vital part of a child’s life and these books help to develop lifelong learners,” says Nora Walker, a braille teacher for 23 years. She especially appreciates the multi-sensory storybook kits that her younger children, just being introduced to braille, look forward to so enthusiastically.