Living Paintings Children’s Impact Report – Summary
In May 2015 we undertook an extensive survey of our children’s library members, supported by BBC Children in Need. Our purpose was to measure the positive impact that we know we have on the lives of blind and partially sighted children of all ages. We delivered the lengthy survey via an online facility as well and posting it. We received a 30% response rate giving answers on behalf of 260 children. A big thank you to all of those who completed it.
For us, it is truly humbling to see the impact of our work writ large in such a way: but we simply couldn’t do it without the help of the many people and organisations who donate to support our work. If you are able to make any donation – large or small – please find out how to do so on this page.
The impact of our work is huge, on so many areas of our child readers lives. Through 40 questions we asked about the impact of our Touch to See books on the children’s learning; both educational and skills, reading for pleasure, their engagement in class; activities, discussions, asking questions and their level of confidence in doing a variety of things from playing through taking up hobbies to making friends. We also asked about how much our Touch to See books had encouraged interaction between blind and sighted children and adults.
For those blind and partially sighted children who receive Living Paintings’ service:
- 90% are more interested in learning in general/engaging more with the development of skills and educational subjects
- 84% are more interested in reading for pleasure
- 65% regularly use our Touch to See books in a shared way with sighted people at home and in school
- 44% contribute more to class activities and discussions and 40% are answering questions more often.
The following percentages of children have increased their level of confidence in a range of activities including:
- Reading 83%
- Playing 71%
- Making friends 65%
- Socializing 70%
- Talking to adults 74%
- Independent learning 82%
Alongside the answers many respondents helped further by telling us more. Their comments highlight the impact of Living Paintings on their child’s/pupil’s well being, learning, friendships, interaction with sighted people, self confidence and love of reading:
“Living Paintings has made a very dark world bright for Grace. It is an invaluable service and anyone who has sight, including myself, cannot fully appreciate how important a stimulation of reading and understanding of the world Living Paintings provides. We all want to immerse ourselves in the fantastic, pretend to be the characters of books, experience the beauty of the world. This is a right as sighted people we take for granted and Living Paintings make these things a reality for visually impaired children.” Parent
“My son now attends recorder and gardening club after being inspired by Mole’s Sunrise. The books have created more of a visual description of what is being read. I find the packs very beneficial in motivating my son and his tactile exploration has aided his Braille development and touch typing skills.” Parent
“You provide a super resource which gives the boys something to share with their peers. You give them something unique and which is linked with class projects.” Teacher
“My son has a thirst for knowledge and books and the feely pictures are brilliant. We have used them on subjects he is already aware of (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for example) and also where he has no real knowledge (solar system) and he gets a lot from them. Thanks for all you do.” Parent of 6 year old
“Living Paintings is a fantastic charity that has had a significant impact on Louis’ life. It was the books he borrowed from the library as young boy that gave him a love of books and a vivid imagination. He is a keen and articulate writer and is doing really well in English as school, I’m sure due to the number of books he has borrowed over the years. It is a really worthwhile and useful charity to VI people of all ages and not only offers books and pictures but advice and resources on many other things.” Parent of 13 year old
“Your library provides a source of enjoyment, relaxation and learning for my child, and the books can be used independently.” Parent of 12 year old
“Thank you very much for your hard work and for making my child’s life easier and fun. Reading a book before wasn’t interesting for her – but with your books she loves to read now. Thank you very much.” Parent of 4 year old
“My pupil’s confidence has grown and they’re using their initiative which has been a problem in the past. Their love of books has improved and fluency too in reading grade 2 braille. Living Paintings is a great service, which is prompt, courteous and invaluable in supporting pupils with a visual impairment. A big thank you!” Teaching Assistant, child aged 10
“It is so nice to be able to share in story time with my daughter who is severely sight impaired.” Parent of child aged 2
“Living Paintings is brilliant and the books are lovely. My son has no vision at all and has a lot of other very complex needs. He likes to sit and listen to stories.” Parent of child aged 10
“They provide a new approach to reading as the descriptions and tactile pictures are excellent. Our student wouldn’t have been able to access certain subjects without Living Paintings.” Teaching Assistant