Inclusive and Accessible Children’s Books from around the world

Disability is a disturbingly under-represented area in children’s literature and many more inclusive and accessible books are needed.  Outside In World aims to help change the future of inclusive and accessible books with its research findings. The results of a ground-breaking ‘Reading the Way’ project, undertaken in 2014/15 with funding from Arts Council England, Unwin Charitable Trust and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, shows that books from around the world have a wealth of new perspectives on disability and new ways to access stories to offer UK children. As well as highlighting many potential candidates for UK publication, the consultation has generated valuable learning points and good practice to help the UK shape children’s books of the future.

60 books were assessed in 2016, originating from 15 countries: Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Italy, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Syria.
The news paper The Guardian described the search results with an interesting article that you can read here:
Disability inclusive books that should be available in english
Among the book listed by The Guardian there is the italian book “Zitti’s cake” that is currently used at Littlehampton Primary School. The project is managed by the teacher Johnan Bannier. This is a short video of the workshop:


Outside In World is the UK organisation (set up in 2007) dedicated to promoting and exploring children’s literature from around the world, particularly books in translation. Our project’s aim was to discover exceptional international books that stood out specifically in terms of being ‘accessible’ and/or ‘inclusive’ (i.e. including disability or disabled characters within the story). Through a series of focus groups – comprised of disability experts and organisations, teachers, librarians, publishers, parents and young people – we were able to assess these titles books and to explore their appropriateness, appeal and viability.
Twitter #ReadingTheWay @OutsideInWorldFor
  • Deborah Hallford is a freelance project manager specialising in children’s literature. She worked for Book Trust for over 15 years which included being Head of Publications, working on a wide range of children’s literature publications. Deborah has an M.A. in History from the Open University.
  • Alexandra Strick is a passionate campaigner for equality and inclusion. Having worked in the disability sector and for Book Trust heading up children’s literature and Bookstart, she became freelance in 2002 but continues to work on many Book Trust projects and resources such as the ‘Bookmark’ website dedicated to books and disability issues.

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