RESOURCE: Books for Healthier People, Happier Children

Posted on 16 January 2008. Filed under: Blind, Children, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Health, Resources, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at (We Can Do) at]

If you’re sick, and you’re in an industrialized country with a health insurance system that meets your needs reasonably well, then you go to the doctor. Or if you are a parent who has just found out that your child is deaf or blind, you turn to professionals for advice and services.

But sometimes there is no doctor. And there are no professionals. If you’re poor; if you have no medical insurance; if you’re in a remote rural area; if the nearest doctor, clinic, or rehabilitation center is three days away on the back of a donkey, then you’re on your own.

Books cannot replace good-quality, affordable medical care from professionals. Nor can they replace blind adults who can teach your child Braille, or deaf adults who can teach your family sign language. But the right kind of books can still save lives. And books can guide parents and community members in helping integrate their disabled children into the family and community.

That’s where the Hesperian Foundation comes in. The Hesperian Foundation is a non-profit organization that publishes books and educational materials. People in developing countries around the world use publications from the Hesperian Foundation to help them understand how to take better care of their own
health and how to raise disabled children. These books are written in simple language with many pictures that can be understood by people with basic literacy skills. Some have been translated into Spanish. A few have also been translated into other languages, such as Chinese or Vietnamese.

Their most famous book is Where There is No Doctor, also available in its Spanish edition, Donde no hay doctor.

Many of their books can be downloaded for free, one chapter at a time, from Hesperian’s on-line library in PDF format. Other books can be purchased.

Don’t have enough money to buy the books you need to save lives or guide parents in your community? Not satisfied with downloading books for free onto your computer? Discounts may be available, under certain conditions, for people in developing countries. A limited number of print books may be available, for free, to some health workers and community leaders in developing countries, through the Gratis Books program.

Free books of particular interest to people with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them, include: A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities; Helping Children Who are Deaf; Helping Children Who are Blind (in English); and the Spanish edition of the same book, Ayudar a los ninos ciegos. People can also purchase Disabled Village Children; or the Spanish edition of the same book, El nino campesino deshabilitado.

If you wish to download a free book or book chapter, you can proceed to the Hesperian on-line library at

If you wish to purchase a book or multiple publications, you can review the full list of products at

Have any questions about how to order a book, or how to get a discount for people in developing countries? You may find it helpful to consult the book order FAQ at

Inquiries about ordering books or obtaining discount prices can be directed to the Hesperian Foundation store at

The information provided in this post was gathered by exploring the Hesperian Foundation web site. Any inquiries should be directed to the Hesperian Foundation.

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