Creating multi-sensory stories for people with severe learning disabilities.
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We currently have a range of 40 age-appropriate stories. Each book is hand-made in our workshop and takes an average of 8 hours to put together; we make around 1,000 books p.a. Our research has shown that each book placed in a school or library will benefit an average of 23 people with learning disabilities each year. The stories are told using individual page-cards, each with its own inviting material or item, with an interesting shape, texture, sound, movement or smell. Each sensory page is used by the listener, hand-over-hand with a storyteller, in a sequence carefully devised to tempt the interest and hold the attention. Every unique sensation gives the listener the feedback needed to assess whether he or she likes it and wants to have it again. The development of our multi-sensory books is underpinned by decades of professional experience and the latest academic research into language development and special education theory. Independent research by PAMIS concluded ‚ÄúIt is clear that the stories are an effective learning tool for children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. The stories provide an opportunity for [the children and young people] to increase their behavioural repertoire and to indicate their cognitive, communicative and motor abilities, whilst enjoying a close interaction with their parent or teacher.‚Äù We make a charge to regulate demand but this only covers around a third of the full production costs. We therefore rely on donors to fund the balance. The amount needed to cover a year‚Äôs costs varies from ¬£600 to ¬£9,100 depending on the costs associated with that particular title and the number of copies we expect to make.
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