Thursday, February 16, 2012

Accessible Books for Individuals with Reader Disabilities

As we continue to find solutions to make our classrooms and courses more accessible, it is important to also think about the text we use in these courses. Electronic text are not a new phenomenon but how can we make those digital materials more accessible? While screen readers and Magic Zoom are great technologies, what do we do for those old fashioned hard text books? This blog post will focus on a couple of solutions to that problem.





Bookshare’s mission is to ensure that the world of print is accessible to at the touch of a button for those with disabilities. This online library of digital books not only allows users to access books in a timely fashion but gives users access to a broad spectrum of topics and subject areas. Working with volunteers, publishers and other partnerships the organization has over 134 thousand digital books, textbooks, periodicals and assistive technology tools.

The access of the digital material also covers a broad range of ages from books elementary school students to educators at colleges across the country. Volunteers are always needed to scan and proof read digital books for their readability.

For more information how to access the digital repository of books please follow this link:


google books


Another great tool accessibility tool for digital books is Google books. This service was created by Google in 2004 to allow users access to full text books that Google has scanned and converted to text using an optical character recognition device (OCR). The current repertoire of online books far exceeds a million as a result of collaborations with partners such as the Library Project. The Library Project aims to make it easier for people to find relevant book and especially out of print materials.

Google books also has a blog to keep you up to date with new additions to Google books as well as other exciting events such as featured reading from authors. Check out their blog here:

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