[Nfbmo] Fw: [Missouri-l] Project puts 1M books online for blind, dyslexic
goodfolks at charter.net
Fri May 7 18:02:14 UTC 2010
----- Original Message -----
From: Chip Hailey
To: missouri-l at moblind.org
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 4:06 AM
Subject: [Missouri-l] Project puts 1M books online for blind, dyslexic
Project puts 1M books online for blind, dyslexic
Email this Story
May 6, 11:14 AM (ET)
By BROOKE DONALD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Even as audio versions of best-sellers fill store
new technology fuels the popularity of digitized books, the number of titles
to people who are blind or dyslexic is minuscule.
A new service being announced Thursday by the nonprofit Internet Archive in
is trying to change that. The group has hired hundreds of people to scan
of books into its digital database - more than doubling the titles available
who aren't able to read a hard copy.
Brewster Kahle, the organization's founder, says the project will initially
1 million books available to the visually impaired, using money from
libraries, corporations and the government. He's hoping a subsequent book
add even more titles to the collection.
"We'll offer current novels, educational books, anything. If somebody then
a book to the archive, we can digitize it and add it to the collection," he
The problems with many of the digitized books sold commercially is that
they're often abridged, and they don't come in a format that is easily
the visually impaired.
The collections are also limited to the most popular titles published within
past several years.
The Internet Archive is scanning a variety of books in many languages so
be read by the software and devices blind people use to convert written
speech. The organization has 20 scanning centers in five countries,
in the Library of Congress.
"Publishers mostly concentrate on their newest, profitable books. We are
to get all books online," Kahle said.
Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, says getting
to books has been a big challenge for blind people.
"Now, for the first time, we're going to have access to an enormous
Maurer, who is blind, said that when he was in college, he hired people to
to him because the Braille and audio libraries were so limited.
"That has been the way most students have gotten through school," he said.
kind of initiative by the Internet Archive will change that for many
Only about 5 percent of published books are available in a digital form
to the visually impaired, Maurer said, and there are even fewer books
Ben Foss, a San Francisco man with dyslexia, says having so many more books
is liberating. He compares it to a million more ramps being added throughout
for a person who uses a wheelchair.
"For me, it's about access. They have provided flexibility and freedom to
in a format that I use every day," said Foss, 36, who is the director of
in the digital health group at Intel Corp.
The digitized books scanned by the Internet Archive will be available for
visually impaired people through the organization's website. The
not run into copyright concerns because the law allows libraries to make
to people with disabilities, Kahle said.
Jessie Lorenz, an associate director at the Independent Living Resource
Francisco who has been blind since birth, said it has been hard to find
or edgy titles in a format she can use, and choices are often dictated by
or service groups who have selected certain books for scanning.
"For individuals living with print-related disabilities, this is
she said. "This project will enable people like me to choose what we read."
Lorenz, 31, has already decided what she wants: Howard Stern's autobiography
Parts," Andrew Weil's "The Natural Mind," and, perhaps most importantly, her
To unsubscribe from the Missouri-L list, send an email message to:
Missouri-l-request at MoBlind.org
with the word, unsubscribe in the subject field.
Other email lists available from MCB include:
ATI - A general discussion of adaptive technology. To join, send a blank
EMail message to:
ATI-Join at MoBlind.Org
Chat - A general discussion list. Just about anything goes. To Join, send
a blank EMail message to:
Chat-Join at MoBlind.Org
Visit the MCB home Page at:
More information about the NFBMO