[nfbwatlk] new British Library app; accessibility (fwd)

Frederick Driver wt329 at victoria.tc.ca
Mon Aug 8 16:41:04 UTC 2011

copy, FYI

Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 09:35:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Frederick Driver <wt329 at victoria.tc.ca>
To: disability-support-officer <disability-support-officer at bl.uk>
Subject: RE: FW: new British Library app; accessibility

Dear Ms Walker,

Thank you very much for the information.

Digitization projects are vastly increasing access to resources and
information that were formerly unavailable.  But when they are only made
available as visual documents, inaccessible to screen reading technology,
they exclude the blind and other print-disabled citizens.

It is important, especially in the context of public libraries and
institutions, that new technologies and resources incorporate
accessibility for blind and other print-disabled users.

I have seen digitization projects which include both visual access to the
original documents, and straight text/ html.  The latter not only
facilitates access for blind and print-disabled users, but offers
advantages and options for other users as well, in terms of ease of
quoting and citing and access from a range of portable devices.

The National Federation of the Blind and the Jernigan Institute are
leaders in this area.  You may wish to contact them:  www.nfb.org

Thanks again for looking into my query and for the information.  I will
pass it along.

Best regards,

On Mon, 8 Aug 2011, disability-support-officer wrote:

 Dear Mr Driver,

 I am afraid that it's not good news.

 My colleague has replied to say that the App is made from images of 19th
 Century books which are not available as straight text currently, so
 text to speech is not an option with these titles.

 I am sorry that we cannot help.

 Best wishes,


 Sue Walker
 Customer Services
 The British Library
 Tel: +44 (0) 1937 546060

 Original Message
 From: Frederick Driver [mailto:wt329 at victoria.tc.ca]
 Sent: 05 August 2011 20:59
 To: disability-support-officer
 Subject: Re: FW: new British Library app; accessibility

 Thanks very much for looking into it.

 Best regards,


 On Fri, 5 Aug 2011, disability-support-officer wrote:


 My colleague sent your enquiry on to Disability Support.

 I tried to find the accessibilty information on the App webpage but
 without success. I called a colleague involved with the project but
 I'm afraid that she's out of the office today.

 I have forwarded your email to her and I will get back to you as soon
 as she replies.

 Best wishes,


 Sue Walker
 Customer Services
 The British Library
 Tel: +44 (0) 1937 546060
 Fax: +44 (0) 1937 546333
 Original Message
 From: Frederick Driver [mailto:wt329 at victoria.tc.ca]
 Sent: 05 August 2011 01:11
 To: Customer-Services
 Subject: new British Library app; accessibility


 I just saw the following article in the newspaper, re. your very
 interesting new "British Library 19th Century Historical App".

 Are the contents of this resource available as straight text as well
 as images (so as to be accessible to blind readers using screen
 reading technology)?  Or are they strictly visual images inaccessible
 to blind users?

 Thank you,

 F. Driver,
 Victoria (Canada)


 Library offers app for classics

 London--Frankenstein, Oliver Twist and Robinson Crusoe could all be
 lurking on your iPad if you download a new application launched by the

 British Library this week which provides access to more than 45,000
 historical and antiquarian titles. The British Library 19th Century
 Historical App was created in collaboration with software media firm
 Bibliolabs. Its high-resolution digital images simulate the experience
 of reading an old volume.


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