(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Seven students from the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) in Louisville are hoping to release the first-ever professionally published anthology written by blind and visually-impaired teenagers this fall.

The book, titled “We Can Hear You Just Fine: Clarifications from the Kentucky School for the Blind,” provides readers with insights into lives of the teens and their inability to see “clearly.” It includes original essays, oral histories from interviews that the authors conducted with people who are important to them, and almost 100 photographs. The book is a reminder that the desire for acceptance and dignity, and the drive to succeed and make meaning in the world, is common to all of us.

KSB students involved in the project are:
• Haley Hall, Breckinridge County
• Shane Lowe, Jefferson County
• Madelyn Loyd, Daviess County, former KSB student now attending school in Daviess County
• Selena Tirey, Hopkins County, 2016 KSB graduate
• Kianna Waller, Franklin County, 2016 KSB graduate
• Matthew Caudill, Perry County, 2016 KSB graduate
• Cherish Willis, Graves County, 2015 KSB graduate

Starting in August 2015, the students participated in Louisville Story Program’s after-school writing workshops four days a week to work on the book and they are currently in the process of drafting and revising their book chapters with intensive one-on-one editing and support. The book is scheduled for distribution in November.

The Louisville Story Program (LSP) helps historically underrepresented Louisville residents tell their stories, in their words. LSP provides extensive writing workshops and editorial support that culminates in documentary books about often overlooked aspects of Louisville’s community, culture and history. Three different editions of “We Can Hear You Just Fine” will be professionally published.

The program recently has undertaken a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to print a version of the book for sighted readers. The Louisville Story Program is hoping to raise $10,800 in the next month.

The funds raised through Kickstarter will cover the costs of printing and freight for approximately 2,000 copies of the regular print edition. This edition can be pre-ordered by backing the Kickstarter campaign. The regular print edition will have a $20 cover price; a $20 Kickstarter pledge includes a copy of the book plus free shipping. Once the book is published, the regular-print edition of the book will be available in Louisville bookstores or online here.

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH), which for more than 150 years has been a national leader in producing accurate, high-quality publications for readers who are blind, will produce and distribute the braille and large print editions of the book.

Each author will receive a $500 advance on royalties for his or her work. Revenues from future book sales will support the efforts of more people whose voices are often unheard as they partner with the Louisville Story Program to develop books, exhibits and radio stories about their lives and communities.

A project video featuring most of the authors has just been released. You can watch the video, learn more about the project or make a Kickstarter contribution by clicking here.

This project is made possible with the support of the Kentucky Arts Council, the Snowy Owl Foundation, the Arthur K. Smith Family Foundation, the Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable Foundation, Brown-Forman, the Gilbert Foundation, and the sales of previous LSP books.

Any questions about the project should be directed to the Louisville Story Program Director Darcy Thompson at (502) 583-3326.