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Using QR Codes to Make Braille Books Accessible to Non-English Speaking Families

QR Codes linking to YouTube videos of stories being read aloud are a great way to make books accessible to families of young braille readers who are English Language Learners.

Braille books with QR codes

I got a new student who is a 4-year-old pre-braille reader. He is homebound right now due to the pandemic and his parents asked for some activities that they can do with him.  They are non-English speaking, so I add QR codes to braille books so that they can expose him to braille.  The QR code links to a person reading the book from YouTube.  The videos that I shared are in English, but this could also be done with videos in the family’s native language, depending on their level of understanding English.

What is a QR Code?

QR codes are shortcut links that can be accessed by most mobile devices.  “QR” stands for Quick Response, and the code is a black and white pattern, similar to a barcode, that contains “hidden” information, such as a URL or web address, that is encrypted.  Newer smartphones have a QR Code Reader integrated into the phone’s camera.  This allows the user to hover over the QR Code with the phone’s camera, which will then directly open the link. If your phone doesn’t have a QR Code Reader, there are many apps available for both Android and iOS.

Learn more about QR Codes.

How Can I Generate a QR Code?

I used the QR Code Generator to create each code. This tool allows you to copy and paste a web address (such as the link to a YouTube video) onto the screen, and then it generates the code automatically.  I then just copied them into a Google doc, printed them out, and taped them onto each book with mailing tape.

How Can This Be Used?

The family can use their smartphone to open the YouTube video and follow along in the book with the child.  In addition to giving the family a way to read the book along with the child, this is also similar to Audio-Supported Reading, which allows a user to listen to a spoken version of text while touching the braille version. 

Sample Books

I used the following books, as they were ones that I had available in braille that could be sent home to him.

Froggy Gets Dressed

Froggy Se Viste (Spanish-language version)

Charming Opal

How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends?

Wild Animals, Touch and Feel

Curious George’s ABCs

Birthday Monsters



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A girl reading a page of braille

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