Access to books moves on – slowly

In the week when the latest Harry Potter is published in an accessible (DAISY)) format at the same time as the print edition, all be it that you have to order it from a specialist supplier and won’t actually get it for a few days:

Google Books have added an accessible (textual) version to the full view of out of copyright books found by the search. Because of the way this has been achieved the textual edition is while available to all very difficult to access for anyone not using assistive technology. What about those print impaired users who use text to speech or screen magnification for reading but don’t rely on them for navigation is the first question I ask myself.
however the “read offline” option remains only to be available to the masses, and there is no accessibility for the ‘snipets’ of books still covered by copyright. certainly it’s a step in the right direction but will it actually make any difference to anyone? how many out of copyright books are referenced by Google which can’t already be found elseware on the Web.
See a detailed report on the Daisy consorteum news pages

And in another step in the right direction visually impaired communities recently joined with the international publishers association to discuss issues around shareing of resources in alternative formats.


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