The epub3 “Emile veut une chauve-souris” (Emile wants a bat) was awarded the Trophée de l’engagement solidaire by Les Doigts Qui Rêvent in April 2023 at the “Les Trophées de l’édition Livre Hebdo 2023” ceremony. The projects in this category demonstrate publishers’ commitment to their readers, employees and society in general. These operations can involve authors and mobilise employees and the book chain, for a positive impact on society and on the company itself.

LIVRES HEBDO N°31, MAY 2023,F.G. (France)

VISION D’AVENIR: How do you enjoy the illustrations in a text when you are visually impaired?

Les Doigts qui Rêvent publishers have taken up this challenge, offering readers access to the power of images to stimulate curiosity and help them understand a text. Founded in 1994, Les Doigts qui Rêvent is a pioneer in the field of tactile books (it sells them in France, as well as in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States), and has developed digital books that children can adapt to their vision. To see the illustration better, they can thicken the line and remove non-essential details of the setting or perspective. This is also useful for young people suffering from dyspraxia, for example, when they cannot control their movements.

Blind children can add sound effects and adjust the audio playback speed. Dyslexic children will find it particularly fun to change the look of the text (type of font; spacing between letters, words and lines; background colour, etc.).

The first title, Émile veut une chauve-souris, is published by Gallimard jeunesse. The illustrations are slightly simplified, and some can be animated (when the mammal flies). Adaptations of four children’s titles, including Calinours by Alain Broutin and Frederic Srehr and Ma Vallée by Claude Ponti, are expected within the next 18 months. And an Erasmus+ project is under way in 4 countries with 6 universities, “a project that includes classroom testing and training for content producers”, says Sophie Blain, director of Les Doigts qui Rêvent.

To encourage content producers (publishers, transcribers and illustrators) to use this format, they will be given a methodological guide. The Réseau Canopé Hauts-de-France has created a digital interface that links the work of the illustrator with that of the digital book developer. Practitioners, teachers, specialist educators and graphic designers and transcribers are also involved. A promising project.