GAMES LIBRARY FOR BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED CHILDREN AND ADULTS

Since 1987 the Zollikofen school for the blind in the Canton of Berne has operated a games library offering adapted games and tactile picture books for children and adults with a visual impairment. The games library, which is run by the foundation for blind and visually impaired children and young people, is reliant on donations for more than two thirds of its operational costs.

TEXAID and the foundation for blind and visually impaired children and young people
In the Zollikofen region, various TEXAID used-clothing containers collect second-hand clothes, the proceeds of which go towards the foundation for blind and visually impaired children and young people. Through the sale of second-hand clothes, TEXAID generates funds which go to its six participating aid agencies, as well as to numerous regional organisations. The foundation which operates the games library in the Zollikofen school for the blind, is one such organisation. The money raised by TEXAID helps to finance the running of the games library.

Adapted games and tactile picture books
Board games and picture books are part of our cultural heritage and have an important significance for sighted people, both in school and at home. But how can they be made accessible to blind and visually impaired people? Since 1987 there has been a games library in the Zollikofen school for the blind which allows children and adults with a visual impairment to borrow adapted games and tactile picture books. Schools and nurseries also appreciate the selection of games. These facilities mean that blind and sighted people alike can play the same games together. A small, professional team manages loans for the whole of Switzerland, carries out repairs and creates new adaptations. These adaptations consist of supplementing existing game boards and figures with tactile elements and instructions printed in Braille. They also create some of their own games and books whilst always ensuring that the games work for both sighted and blind/visually impaired people. This means that everybody can have fun together whilst playing the same game.

The games and picture books can be borrowed free of charge by any visually impaired or blind person resident in Switzerland, as well as by their relatives and by specialists.

You can find more information about the games library in the Zollikofen school for the blind here.