[nobe-l] What is the status of this project: HathiTrust to help make books accessible to blind, print-disabled?

S. Kashdan s_kashdan at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 25 13:44:56 UTC 2017

Dear colleagues,

I am a totally blind teacher of adult new English learners and those who
need to develop literacy skills. I am also a person who appreciates reading
many kinds of books. For both of these reasons, I am
seeking information about the status of the HathiTrust project to help make
books accessible to blind and other print-disabled  people. I received the
below e-mail last year, but I haven't been able to find out anything this

I have asked my local Talking Book and Braille library, but they told me
that they don't know more about the progress of this project than I do at 
this point.

I have also unsuccessfully tried contacting someone at the NFB organization,
but my messages have bounced.

Please tell me what you know about the current statis of the project.

Thank you for whatever you can tell me.

Sylvie Kashdan

From: LBPH [mailto:lbph-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of
Terry Soave
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 10:35 AM
To: lbph
Subject: [LBPH] More than 14 million digital books will soon be made
available to blind and print-disabled...

Full Text From: The University Record: News for Faculty and Staff,
University of Michigan

June 29, 2016

HathiTrust to help make books accessible to blind, print-disabled

By Sydney Hawkins
News Service

More than 14 million digital books will soon be made available to blind and
print-disabled users, thanks to a new collaboration involving the National
Federation of the Blind and the HathiTrust Digital Library, a digital
repository hosted at the University of Michigan.

When launched, the program will dramatically increase the availability of
books for users who are blind or print-disabled. According to the NFB, less
than 5 percent of all published works are estimated to be available to the
blind, most of which are popular titles.

NFB President Mark Riccobono says the effort will be an important
advancement that will specifically benefit print-disabled students and
scholars within the academic community.

"While most barriers that blind people face are artificial ones created by
low expectations, access to the printed word has historically been a great
challenge," he said.

"This collaboration will, for the first time, make millions of books
available to blind readers across the nation, giving us access to more books
in a single repository than we have ever had. The significance of this
development cannot be overstated, and we are delighted to work with
HathiTrust to transform this dream into reality."

Founded in 2008, HathiTrust is a digital preservation repository housed at
U-M. It has more than 100 institutional academic and research partners. Its
online archive, a major portion of which was scanned by Google, currently
contains millions of digitized titles in different languages from libraries
around the world. Users can search not only by title, author or subject
matter, but also via page-by-page content within a book.

"Supporting print-disabled users has been a focus of HathiTrust since the
very beginning, and we have long provided students at HathiTrust member
schools with access to our collection," said Mike Furlough, executive
director of HathiTrust. "The collaboration with NFB is an important turning
point, because we are now striving to help non-academic print-disabled users
for the first time."

During the coming year, NFB and HathiTrust will plan and implement these
services. User eligibility will be determined by criteria used by the
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and
similar services authorized under U.S. law.

According to Furlough, HathiTrust currently provides a similar service to
qualified print-disabled students at its member schools. The new program
will expand the service to allow similarly qualified users not affiliated
with HathiTrust schools access to full-text works in the HathiTrust

NFB and HathiTrust, like the federally operated National Library Service,
will lawfully and securely make books available to qualified people in the
U.S. who have print disabilities.

Terry Soave | 734/327-8327 | soavet at aadl.org<mailto:soavet at aadl.org>
Manager of Outreach & Neighborhood Services

Ann Arbor District Library | 734/327-4200 | aadl.org<http://www.aadl.org>
Washtenaw Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled
734/327-4224 | wlbpd at aadl.org<mailto:wlbpd at aadl.org> |
343 S. Fifth Ave. | Ann Arbor | MI | 41804

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