Accessible StoryWalks for National StoryWalk® Week

November 12-18, 2023 is National StoryWalk® Week, sponsored by Let’s Move in Libraries and the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services! This is the third annual week-long event that, as noted in the Let’s Move in Libraries blog, celebrates “the inspiring work of libraries who spearhead StoryWalk® programs—promoting literacy, reading, health, exercise, and movement in communities and neighborhoods across the United States and the world.”

What even is a StoryWalk®? A StoryWalk® is a permanent installation incorporating a children’s story that has been deconstructed, with each page displayed separately along a path for participants to read and enjoy. It is a wonderful way to promote literacy and movement. Libraries are increasingly working to make these StoryWalks® more accessible to individuals of all abilities. Let’s Move in Libraries includes some tips for making StoryWalks® more accessible in their blog post about National StoryWalk® Week. Here are some things to consider when creating a StoryWalk®:

  • Use braille overlays on top of the book displays.
  • Incorporate an audio reading of the story into the StoryWalk®.
  • Provide audio or braille descriptions of the story’s pictures. Depending on the style of your StoryWalk®, you could even outline the pictures with puffy paint for a tactile design that can be felt!
  • Consider the location of your StoryWalk®. Places that are wheelchair accessible with a wide, paved walkway are preferable to uneven, narrow ground.

If you are in Austin, you can visit a braille enhanced StoryWalk® presented through a partnership between the Texas Talking Book Program and Austin Public Library (APL), located at APL’s Windsor Park Branch (833 Westminster Drive). Currently the APL Windsor Park StoryWalk® tells The Three Billy Goats Buenos story by Susan Middleton Elya. You can read more about this braille enhanced accessible StoryWalk® at the Talking Book Program’s June 6, 2023, press release about the launch of this partnership.

Learn more about accessible design and allyship with these books available through the Talking Book Program, and don’t forget to celebrate National StoryWalk® Week!

ACCESSIBLE AMERICA: A HISTORY OF DISABILITY AND DESIGN by Bess Williamson (DB 94027; BR 22552)

WHAT CAN A BODY DO?: HOW WE MEET THE BUILT WORLD by Sara Hendren (DB 100228; BR 23245)

DEMYSTIFYING DISABILITY: WHAT TO KNOW, WHAT TO SAY, AND HOW TO BE AN ALLY by Emily Ladau (DB 105481; BR 23987)