Spectrum News: Clovernook Center program brings braille storybooks to visually impaired kids in East Africa

UC graduate student contributed design on braille books printed by local publishing company

“It’s not something I’ll soon forget,” says a representative from Cincinnati’s Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired who traveled to East Africa to present 2,000 braille storybooks to visually impaired children there.

The trip was a pilot program developed through the company’s printing arm, Clovernook Braille Printing House, and focuses on early learning and literacy among global populations that have a higher prevalence of childhood visual impairments and lack access to accessible resources. Spectrum News 1 featured the program and the work of a University of Cincinnati student.

The Cincinnati-based printing house is the largest producer of braille in the world by volume at more than 30 million printed pages every year. The braille storybooks were distributed to almost a dozen schools throughout East Africa.  

Classroom of visually impaired students using 3D books

Schools received 200 to 300 books and 3D models to help explain the stories in the book. Photo/courtesy of Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Along with the books, each school received 12 sets of custom designed and printed tactile 3D models representing items found within the book.

UC graduate student Henry Levesque designed and produced many of these 3D model kits during a summer with the printing house, as part of a co-op independent studies project-based work. Levesque is a masters of design student in UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Cooperative education (often shortened to “co-op”) is an educational model, founded at UC, in which a student alternates traditional academic semesters with semesters spent working in the field.

The year-round schedule permits students in the program to have at least a year of highly beneficial professionally related experience before graduation and to obtain first-hand knowledge of professional practices and opportunities. Learn more about UC co-op.

Read the article from Spectrum News. 

Featured photo is classroom in Uganda. (Photo courtesy of Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired)

Beyond the classroom

UC invented cooperative education more than 100 years ago, and we continue to innovate all aspects of experience-based learning, including internships, service learning, virtual co-ops, community projects and industry partnerships. 

Learn more.

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