The Children’s Book Council of Iran held a conference and exhibition for children with special needs at the Iranian Artists’ Forum in late December.
Specialists from the Children’s Book Council and many nongovernmental organizations shared their experiences with others during this four-day event. The subjects discussed during the conference ranged from creating books and toys for blind or deaf children and children with physical or mental disabilities to reading, playing music, and drawing with these children.
In a statement sent to the conference, Heidi Cortner Boisen, the IBBY Director of the Documentation Center of Books for Disabled Young People said, “Children with mental disabilities need books made especially for them because their disabilities keep them from reading when they need more stimulation through the colors, warmth and emotions, adventures and fun and excitement found in books.”
In addition to the conference, there were several book fairs. IBBY Documentation Center of Books for Disabled Children’s collection of selected books was displayed, as were the Children’s Book Council’s list of books for children with disabilities published in Iran from 1950 to 2009. Another section of the book fair was devoted to tactile books and toys suitable for children with special needs. The House of Librarians for Children and Adolescents and Reading Promotion and the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran were among the organizations with small exhibitions of their work. Ketabak, which devotes part of its services to the families and teachers of children with special needs, and has produced a series of books on reading promotion, including its booklet on children with special needs’ books, also participated in the conference.