by Connor Courtien, RDPFS Intern
Materials in Braille and Audio Formats
Throughout the year, the Xavier Institute for the Blind provides “religious, spiritual, and inspirational reading materials” at no cost in braille and audio formats for individuals who are blind or have low vision. Some choices from their catalog that might be relevant for those observing Easter include “Essential Easter Prayers,” “Lent, Holy Week, and Easter,” as well as “Kiri and the First Easter, Luke 23:18-24:11 for Children.” To check out more offerings from their catalog, or to learn more about the organization, their services and mission, check out the Xavier Institute for the Blind website.
Making Easter Egg Hunts More Inclusive
Participation in Easter egg hunts, a staple of the holiday’s celebration, can be difficult for those who are blind or have low vision. However, there are many ways to adapt the activity to be more inclusive and fun for those with visual impairments. The Perkins School for the Blind gives several recommendations, including placing remote-activated beeping tiles inside of plastic eggs, using beeping eggs, which are battery-operated with an on-off switch located on the egg, and tying a balloon at eye-level to eggs in order to make them easier for those with low vision to spot and for blind individuals to locate through touch. Check out all of these suggestions and more in the full article by Diane Brauner on Easter Egg Hunt for students with visual impairments.
Audio, Large Print, and Braille Materials
JBI International offers “Jewish interest audio, large print, and braille materials” year-round at no cost for individuals who are blind or have low vision. For this coming Passover, those observing the holiday can order a free Haggadah for their Seder celebration in any of these formats, either by mail or for digital download. To receive yours by mail, an order must be placed via the JBI website by today, March 24, 2023. For those who prefer to have the Haggadah in a digital format, these can be downloaded in large print or braille at any time. To place an order or to read more about their services and mission, check out the The JBI Library website.
Passover Activities for Children
Participating in the rituals and celebrations of Passover can be a bit more challenging for children with visual impairments. In addition to the resources above, which can help visually impaired children read the Haggadah, some others can help round out their education and experience of Passover. One example is to provide learning opportunities through a sensory story bucket, as described in an article from Paths to Literacy, which collects key items related to Passover to tell a story about its history and how it is celebrated in a hands-on, tactile way. Another key aspect of Passover is cooking for the Seder. An article from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH)’s Vision Aware program on Safe Cooking Techniques for Cooks Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision offers tips on safe food preparation and cooking for children who are visually impaired and want to take part. Taken together, these resources can offer a far more inclusive, immersive, instructive, and fun Passover experience.