Outside In World
Writers, translators, publishers
Disability experts and organisations, educators
• A network of writers, publishers, translators and educators from six European countries (France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Spain and the UK) with whom we already have established links through our previous work. • We also have a team of disability experts and organisations from the UK who will form part of the team that will help us to deliver the workshops.
We believe disabled children have the right to be heard. We plan to run a project which will give disabled children and young people around Europe a voice. The project will give groups of disabled children in Europe a unique chance to have a marked impact on the children’s book industry. Our research shows that the children’s book landscape neglects and excludes the needs of many children, failing to offer books which are accessible and appropriate to their needs. This project will collect and
Where mainstream books are concerned, disabled children are disturbingly under-supported and many more accessible books are needed. Our research suggested that where children’s books are concerned, it is children who are the real experts. Yet children are rarely consulted about the books they are given, particularly disabled children. We want to change this – and to give young people themselves the unique chance to have a real and direct impact on the future of accessible books.
We want to consult groups of young people and bring their voices together to request equality and access in books. To provide a physical starting point for the discussions, we plan to use some of the best accessible books from Europe that were identified by our research, and ask children what can be learned from them and how such books might be improved still further perhaps by including symbols, Signs, Braille or inclusive images and storylines.
We will work with our European partners and engage with young disabled people in these countries by running innovative workshops (with publishers, writers, translators, educators and other interested parties) around specific books identified and get their views on the types of accessible and inclusive books they want to see, demonstrate practical ways in which publishers can incorporate accessible elements to their books as well as generating a wider discussion.
A team of experts will work with these groups and we will develop and run training sessions in the UK or Europe for them to enable them to carry out the workshops in each of the European countries.
We will then collate feedback from the workshops, creating an international voice on what disabled children want from books.
• Children and young disabled people, to give them a real voice and to ensure that children of the future are able to access the books they need and want.
• Publishers – to encourage more accessible and inclusive books around the world and in particularly in the UK, where we would hope to encourage more titles to be translated into English.
• Writers and illustrators.
OIW have recently been instrumental in instigating valuable new research into accessible and inclusive books from around the world. Our research report is just a first step, but it has demonstrated that there is a vast amount of work that still needs to be done to ensure that all children have access to a wide variety of literature. There much more to be done in terms of educating publishers in how to reflect this need.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Travel and accommodation of artists/facilitators for workshops 10.000 €, Administration, planning of workshops 12.000 €, Artists/experts fees 3,000 €, PR and Marketing 5,000 € Writing up findings 15.000 €.
This project will draw on the experiences and expertise of children and their communities around Europe. It will find the common ground in terms of what they want and need from the children’s book industry. From this small idea, we believe a major breakthrough can be achieved. Encouraging mainstream publishers to make these changes really is achievable - though real consultation with children in communities around Europe, shared experiences, a united voice and sheer determination.