AccessWorld Teaser: A Review of the Abundant Bookshelf by Judith Dixon

Date Posted: 05/08/2017

by Bill Holton, AccessWorld Correspondent

A Comprehensive Guide to Accessible Options for Reading

If you are new to vision loss, or if you just went digital with a VoiceOver enabled iPhone, you will be happy to know that today there are a myriad ways to enjoy accessible books, magazines, newspapers and other printed materials. Nearly every title is available in at least one accessible format, often on the very same day it goes into general release. With so many options it can be confusing deciding which book to read and using which platform—especially for newly blind individuals, who have not used voice and braille access long enough to have witnessed the initial introduction of each new platform. If this sounds like you, a comprehensive guide annotating each of these various options would be helpful indeed. This is exactly what National Library Service Consumer Relations Officer, Judith Dixon has compiled in her new eBook, "The Abundant Bookshelf: Reading Books on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch".

"The Abundant Bookshelf" is available from the National Braille Press for $12.00. The approximately 15,000 word tome is available in various accessible formats, including braille, DAISY download, eBraille, and Word. There is an extra $2 for delivery on a USB drive.

In "The Abundant Bookshelf" Dixon divides the accessible reading landscape into two broad categories: human-narrated books, and books that can be read with either synthetic speech or braille. Dixon subdivides this and other sections further, beginning with sources which are available to the general public, then continuing with sources of reading materials produced specifically for people who are visually impaired.

Sources of Options for Accessible Books Dixon Covers

  • Overdrive
  • BARD Mobile NLS Talking Books
  • Learning Ally
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Project Gutenberg
  • iBook Store

Dixon introduces you to each of the above and more, and provides an excellent touch tour of the apps, all of which are available from the iOS App Store. You can find these apps on the home screen of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

So which of these reading apps should you use? You’ll have to read the May 2017 issue of AccessWorld to find out.

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