By Edirisinghe Chamari, Kasun Karunanayaka, Norhidayati Podari, Adrian David Cheok
Experience of reading for children is enriched by visual displays. Researchers suggest
through picture book experiences, children expose themselves to develop socially,
intellectually, and culturally. However, the beauty of reading is an experience sighted
children naturally indulge, and which visually-impaired children struggle with. Our multi-
sensory book is an attempt to create a novel reading experience specifically for visually-
impaired children. While a sighted person’s mental imagining is constructed through visual
experiences, a visually-impaired person’s mental images are a product of haptic, and
sounds. Our book is introducing multi-sensory interactions, through touch, smell, and sound.
The concept is also aiming to address a certain lack of appropriately designed technologies
for visually-impaired children.
Our book titled “Alice and her Friend” is folding out to reveal a story about a cat, whose
activities are presented with multi-sensory interactions. There are six pages in this book, with
different sensors and actuators integrated in each page. The pages were designed with
textures, braille, large font text, sounds, and smell. With this book, we believe we have
contributed a new reading experience to the efforts of visually- impaired children to
understand the beauty of the world.