Lifelong Doctor Who fan, Louis Moorhouse, raised almost £25,000 to bring his favourite show to life in a series of tactile-audio resources that help for blind and visually impaired fans experience iconic Doctor Who characters, props and sets through touch and sound.
For 60 years the immersive, visual universe of Doctor Who has been captivating the imaginations of audiences around the world. Now, for the first time, blind and visually impaired people can fully experience the spectacle too — thanks to an innovative new project.
The charity Living Paintings, which creates tactile-audio experiences for blind and visually impaired children and young people, have now released the first in a series of Doctor Who resources that fans of all ages can enjoy for free from the comfort of their own home. Within each pack, audio descriptions guide fingers over hand-made raised images of the show’s iconic characters, props and sets – helping blind and visually impaired fans to create a picture in their mind and ‘see’ through touch.
This project was all made possible by lifelong Whovian, Louis Moorhouse (22), who has been using the charity’s service since he was just 18 months old after losing his sight due to complications with childhood cancer. After approaching the charity with the idea in 2021, Louis raised almost £25,000 to make his dream a reality. Now, thanks to his monumental efforts, thousands of other blind people across the UK will also be able to access the Whoniverse at their fingertips.
“I can’t believe that an idea two years ago while walking my guide dog, Kizzy, has evolved into something so incredible,” Moorhouse explained. I’ve been a Doctor Who fan for as long as I remember, but I hadn’t fully met the weird and wonderful characters, aliens, monsters and devices used in the show until now. In my own way, I’m able to see the TARDIS, the Daleks, Cybermen and so much more. Knowing that this will benefit so many other fans, and maybe inspire new ones, is amazing.”
With 60 years of history to cover, the first release focuses on the TARDIS and the first four incarnations of The Doctor alongside a slew of legendary adversaries, and features audio descriptions from a host of fan-favourites including Tom Baker, Sir Derek Jacobi, Katy Manning and ‘voice of the Daleks’ Nichols Briggs. More releases in the New Year will take blind and visually impaired people on a further journey through space and time, meeting successive Doctors, friends and foes.
“Few shows have such rich, visual history as Doctor Who,” Publishing Manager Liz Davies said. “It’s been an honour to work with Louis in producing these fabulous new resources, helping blind and visually impaired people experience it – from the first doctor to the fourteenth. Beyond his incredible work raising the funds to make the project happen, he’s also been involved in the production process every step of the way. His wealth of knowledge and infectious passion has been invaluable to us. What we’ve created together has been a labour of love and we’re so incredibly proud to release it into the world during the show’s 60th anniversary celebrations.”
Living Paintings is a national charity on a mission to ensure every blind child in the UK has equal access to the visual world of pictures, books and learning. From adapting bestselling picture books into accessible, tactile-audio formats for blind children to developing resources designed to inspire, educate and entertain. Their free postal library gives thousands of blind children and young people the world at their fingertips. For more information and to join their free library, visit their website and check out their Instagram.