Skip to content
Activity and strategy

Making “Corduroy” Accessible to Readers with Visual Impairments

Making "Corduroy" book accessible to children with visual impairments through storybox, tactile symbols, picture symbols, and talking book.

As part of the graduate coursework for Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities in the Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairments at the University of Kentucky, students were asked to complete four projects: Story Box, Picture Communication Symbols for Story Box, Tactile Communication Symbols, and Talking Book Project.
We are sharing them on Paths to Literacy and hope that others will use them!  Please add your comments at the bottom of the page.


Story Box

My story box consists of a wooden shelf which the top comes off and converts into a bed.  A box and corduroy bag hold the story box items.  The box and bag fit on the shelf and will be carried in a large corduroy bag.  There are 17 objects and numerous small pieces of doll furniture which go along with the story.   There is also a wooden platform to put the furniture on to represent the furniture department; it has an escalator attached to it.  An object will be presented with each page of the book.  
The objects that I chose are the following:
  • Page 1 – Corduroy and animalsCorduroy in bed
  • Page 2 – Lisa
  • Page 3 – A shoulder strap
  • Page 4 – Shelf
  • Page 5 – Furniture
  • Page 6 – Button on mattress and a lamp
  • Page 7 – Escalator
  • Page 8 – Flashlight
  • Page 9 – A piggy bank
  • Page 10 – Box
  • Page 11 – Bed
  • Page 12 – Needle and thread
  • Page 13 – Lisa and Corduroy hug


5 ideas for implementation in the story:

  1. Present the student 3 objects from the story and ask them to sequence what happened first, next, and last in the story.
  2. The student will retell the story using the objects.
  3. The student will identify the objects in the story that were used as a tool.
  4. The student will match the objects in the story with a picture of the object.
  5. The student will sew a button onto a piece of canvas.


Prior knowledge: 

  • Discuss the definition of a department store.
  • Discuss the definition of an escalator.
  • Discuss the definition of a night watchman and his job duties.
  • Discuss how a needle and thread are used to put items together.
  • Discuss that corduroy is a type of fabric with ridges.


Activities to go along with the book:  

  • Take a trip to a department store to look at the different departments,  an escalator, a night watchman, and how items are displayed on the shelves.

Picture Communication Symbols for Story Box 

I chose the following items to go on my storyboard for Corduroy:Corduroy picture symbols
  1. Department Store
  2. Lisa
  3. Teddy bear
  4. Shelf
  5. Button
  6. Money
  7. Box
  8. Night watchman
  9. Flashlight
  10. Escalator
  11. Home
  12. Friend
The questions that I would ask:
  1. Where was Corduroy at the beginning of the story?
  2. Who bought Corduroy?
  3. What type of toy is Corduroy?
  4. Where is Corduroy sitting in the department store?
  5. What did Corduroy lose off of his overalls? 
  6. What did Lisa use to pay for Corduroy?
  7. What did the saleslady offer to put Corduroy in after Lisa bought him?
  8. Who found Corduroy hiding in the bed?
  9. What did the night watchman use to help him see Corduroy in the dark?
  10. What did Corduroy step on that took him to the next floor?
  11. Where did Lisa take Corduroy after she paid for him?
  12. What did Corduroy say Lisa was?
I would ask the student the above questions.  Two pictures will be displayed at a time on the fold out board; the student will point to the correct answer.  I used a combination of yellow cards with black outline and yellow cards with a red outline. These two color choices will help students with CVI see the pictures better.  

Prior Knowledge:

  • The student would need to know what a department store is and what items are sold there.
  • The student would need to know what a watchman is and his job duties.
  • The student would need to know that a shelf is used to set things on in a store.
  • The students would need to know what an escalator is and how it works.
  • To build prior knowledge, a trip could be taken to a department store.  The student could ride an escalator; go to different departments in the store, and to look at items that are displayed on a shelf.  They could even talk to a security guard to discuss what their job entails and how it is different from a night watchman.


Tactile Communication Symbols

10 tactile symbols to go along with the story:Tactile symbols for Corduroy
  1. Needle
  2. Button
  3. Mattress
  4. Corduroy (brown fur to represent Corduroy)
  5. Strap
  6. Flashlight 
  7. Wood (to represent the shelf)
  8. Money
  9. Foam heart
  10. House shape

10 Questions to go along with the story:

  1. What tool did Lisa use to sew on Corduroy’s button?
  2. What had Corduroy lost in the story?
  3. Where did Corduroy find a button?
  4. Who is the main character in the book?
  5. What part of the overalls was attached by the button?
  6. What tool did the night watchman use to find Corduroy?
  7. Where was Corduroy sitting at the beginning of the story?
  8. What did Lisa use to pay for Corduory?
  9. What did Corduroy call Lisa at the end of the story?
  10. Where did Lisa take Corduroy?
My activity would check for comprehension, sequencing, and categories.  Two tactile objects will be given for each question.  The student will choose the object that correctly answers the question.  To work on sequencing of events, three cards would be presented that represent the beginning, middle, and the end of the story.  The student would then put the cards in the correct order.  To work with categories, the student could put the cards under three headings: people, places, and things.  The items could also be categorized as hard or soft.  The items could be categorized as a tool or not a tool.  A mini lesson could be taught to students how to sew a button to a piece of material.  I chose the items to continue with the theme of the story.  Some of my items overlap with the other assignments to help build upon concepts of the story.

Prior Knowledge:

  • The student will need prior knowledge of a night watchman and the job duties.
  • The student will need prior knowledge of the use of a needle and thread.
  • The student will need prior knowledge of how a department store is set up and what items are sold there.  
  • The student will need prior knowledge of how corduroy fabric feels.
  • The student will need prior knowledge of what overalls are.
  • To continue with the theme of the Corduroy story, the cards are stored in a lunch box that has a bear wearing corduroy overalls attached to the outside.  

Talking Book Project

Some students may prefer to use a talking PowerPoint book to read along with the book, while listening to the audio version.
This talking book is based on Corduroy by Don Freeman.

Corduroy talking book

Student making orange juice with a teacher using a juicing machine.
Activity and strategy

Non-Visual Multi-Sensory Experiences for Students with Multiple Disabilities

Handout Page Link for Supporting Your Child's Literacy at Home with a Mom and child reading a book
Activity and strategy

Mindful Minutes: Sound Play


Updating Popular APH Books