January is National Braille Literacy Month!

We’re celebrating National Braille Literacy month!

At Novel Effect we appreciate all learners and readers. The truth is we all use different modes to learn. No one is just a “visual” learner or just an “auditory” learner, but rather the processes we use are task-specific and reading calls on us to use many of them. Integrating multi-sensory literacy experiences in the classroom is a wonderful way to help all your budding readers.


Teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs) use materials and instructional strategies to make text accessible for young learners. We use braille books, tactile features and (you guessed it!) auditory information. Novel Effect uses a specialized production process to bring illustrations and concepts to life through the use of sound elements.

We conducted a small, case-study with the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. We used Novel Effect to acoustically represent illustrative concepts in the story. For example, an animal, who has a human name, but the type of animal is not mentioned. The blind child was able to answer questions related to the story. This would be impossible without Novel Effect. We’re excited to expand on our research in 2019!

Also, check out our collaboration with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) here. APH provides braille and other accessible materials to individuals with visual impairments nationwide. APH’s braille book, “The Littlest Pumpkin” has a soundscape available on Novel Effect. If you have a copy at your school you can try out the the soundscape for yourself. Present it as a way to talk about sensory disability in your classroom.

Try these other great titles that feature differently-abled heroes and unique perspectives – and share with us what you are reading at #NovelEffectReads2019!

Thanks for Reading,  

~ Melody

P.S. Follow us on social media to stay updated on all the exciting new things coming this year to Novel Effect!


Melody Zagami Furze is Chief of Education for Novel Effect and is a certified special educator with an emphasis on early childhood populations with blindness and visual impairments. With over a decade of education experience, Melody does research and development on Novel Effect’s application in educational settings. She lives in Olympia, WA with her husband, toddler, and fluffy white dog.

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