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Monday, October 20, 2008

So, Exactly What Is an Accessible Copy?

Well, put simply, an "accessible copy" is a version of a work that provides for improved or easier access for a visually impaired person. This means that possibly even the original format of the work may need to be altered. An accessible copy can include added capabilities for navigating around the original version, so it includes both hard and soft copies. In other words, if a person is totally blind, a text can be made into an audio format so the person can listen to the book, or it could be translated into braille. What if a person can see, but cannot hold a book? This person is also included in the context of visually impaired and can have books made into e-books and the like for easier use which also comes under the definition of an accessible copy.

With audio books being published and many libraries now lending them, certain types of accessible copies are much easier to come by these days.


Steph Herfel said...

This is interesting information that I had never thought of before. It is hard enough for people with disabilities, especially the blind, to navigate to a library and then to think that many libraries then don't offer the services that those with disabilities need. Someone who is blind may need a regular copy so that they can then take it to a center or home to get it converted into Braille.

I just saw a segment on CNN where one of their correspondents went to the only blind school in Iraq. Because of this journalist's visit, the school received a ton of supplies including these special typewriters that "write" in Braille. I hadn't even known something like this existed!

I imagine that some public libraries would provide special equipment for people with disabilities, but I have not seen this myself. Has anyone else? (I think I have become more aware of this sort of thing as my fiancee is an amputee.)

Anyways, Lorena, thanks for providing this information as I don't think I really would of thought of this otherwise!

Lorena said...

Hey, Steph, it's taken me a while to get back to my blog, but I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

I have a feeling that large public and/or academic libraries might have special equipment. I personally haven't seen any either, but then I live in a small, rural community. I'll have to check on that!

I have a brother-in-law who is classified as legally blind. He used to drive with very special glasses, but he doesn't attempt it any more. He's an electrical engineer and it's amazing what he can do!! His computers, etc. at his home are all made accessible by special features (magnified huge print, voice activation, text reader, etc.) I'll have to ask him sometime if he's ever run into a problem of not being able to access something in print due to visual issues...didn't think of it til now!