IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities

All young people need books they can read and enjoy. In addition to identifying excellent picture books and novels with plots that feature characters ​with​ varied abilities, we believe it is important for children and teens to be able to read on their own whenever possible. By highlighting accessible books, we increase the opportunities for people of all abilities to read independently. Access is enhanced through a range of formats such as Braille, Picture Communication Symbols, Sign language, Easy-to-Read language, tactile or textured illustrations, dyslexia-friendly font and other design features.

IBBY Collection

The IBBY Collection located at the Toronto Public Library features a large international selection of books for and about young people with disabilities. The books are chosen by the IBBY National Sections, as well as by independent experts and publishers.

Highlights of the Collection include:

  • books in over 40 languages
  • special formats such as Blissymbolics, PCS, Braille, sign language, tactile and textile books
  • fiction books that portray children and teens with disabilities as characters in stories and novels
  •  books for adults with developmental delays, language disabilities or reading difficulties

The Collection offers:

  • a variety of books for hands-on experiences in the library
  • research opportunities in the development and evolution of children’s and young adult's literature in this specialized field
  • inspiring examples of book design and construction in unique formats
  • ideas and booklists for teachers, parents, caregivers and librarians
  • outstanding books in the field for authors and illustrators to study

Online access to the IBBY Collection can be made through www.torontopubliclibrary.ca  and is searchable by title, author, subject, format, keyword and language.

An example of a library display at the IBBY Collection of a handmade, tactile book from Japan is shown below. Kon-Kon Kushan no Uta (Cough-cough, sneeze!) was created by Mokomoo Group and designed by Mitsuyo Noguchi. It includes playful-looking animals along with the masks that would be worn by each of them. These masks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are stored in a pocket at the front of the book for safekeeping. As children turn the pages, they must select the appropriate mask and place it on the animal found on that page. The hands-on matching activity requires some finger dexterity and fine motor skills. Children with developmental delays will be able to practice those skills while helping the animals.

IBBY Selection: Outstanding Books

Every two years the IBBY National Sections nominate books for young people with disabilities to be added to the Collection. A selection of Outstanding Books is then made and this selection is summarized in a catalogue. See the list of books selected for the 2021 Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People here and the full annotated catalogue here

Earlier catalogues can be found in the Archives. Print copies of the annotated catalogues, past and present, can be ordered from the IBBY Secretariat Publications.

Watch the launch of the 2021 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities: 



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