The power of stories can help shape people's lives. With our Big Visions children’s books, we are working towards building a more inclusive Australia from an early age. One that doesn’t see only blindness or low vision, but one that shows children that they can be anything they want to be.
In the third book release, you will meet Nikki Hind. Nikki always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. As a shy child with low vision, clothes always made her feel glamorous and special. It was through her talent, resilience, and sheer grit that she achieved her success. Now, she is the owner of the renowned fashion label Blind Grit and a mother to two beautiful boys, Nikki’s story is an incredible example of determination and risk taking.
Among the themes of Dressed for Success there are important topics to address such as resilience, inclusion and the following of dreams. The more confident a child can feel from the beginning, the easier it is to achieve successes in their lives. No one should ever be excluded from setting themselves goals or to be confident and happy. Nikki certainly didn't allow her vision loss to get in her way.
Below are some discussion questions and activities you could have with your class about Dressed for Success, really bringing Nikki and the Big Visions books to the forefront of the conversation.
- When Nikki was at school, learning to read was difficult for her. Why do you think this made her very tired?
- As a young person, Nikki learned that different clothes made her feel confident in different ways.
- Why do you think clothes made Nikki feel confident? Do you have clothes that make you feel a certain way?
- Where did Nikki find inspiration for her designs?
- Where else might she have looked that wasn’t mentioned in the book?
- What challenges might Nikki have faced while raising two young children with her limited vision?
- Nikki named her fashion brand ‘Blind Grit’. Why do you think she chose this name? What does it mean to you?
- Nikki followed her passion to make her dream come true, despite the obstacles she faced. What is something that you are passionate about? What obstacles might get in your way and how could you overcome them?
- This book is printed with braille alongside the printed text. Why do you think the publisher chose to include braille in the book rather than making a separate braille edition?
- Run your fingers across the braille in the book. How does it feel? Are your fingers able to tell what the dot pattern you’re touching looks like?
- What can you learn about reading braille, just from touching and examining the braille in this book?
- Imagine you are designing your very own fashion line. Draw 3 to 4 pieces that would be in your collection and give your brand a name. Now think about how you can make your fashion line accessible to people of different abilities.
- Nikki has had to overcome a lot of challenges. Make a list of three challenges you have had to overcome. Compare your list with one of your classmate’s. What do you notice? Are your challenges similar or different?
- Put on a blindfold or close your eyes and have a partner lead you around the room, describing what’s there and where you should walk. What do you notice while your eyes are covered? Write down how this experience makes you feel and what you notice about the space you’re in that you didn’t notice when your eyes are open.
We would love to hear how your class has embraced our Big Visions series and Nikki’s beautiful story. Let us know on the socials and don’t forget to tag us @visionaustralia and use the hashtag #BigVisionsForBigChanges to we can continue to spread the important messages of these books.
Still need a copy or two for your classroom or school library? Or beginning to think about stocking stuffers? Visit the Vision Store to purchase Dressed for Success.