Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Internet Archive to make more books available to the blind and visually impaired

A recent article from the Associated Press, says that the Internet Archive has announced a new service to make more books available to the blind and visually impaired. The organization has hired hundreds of people to scan a variety of books into its digital database so that the books can be read by the devices used to convert text to speech. It is expected that one million books will be available initially which will more than double the titles available today. According to Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, currently only about five percent of published books are available in a digital form that is accessible to the visually impaired and there are even fewer books produced in Braille.

In the press release, Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, commented on the exciting news, “Every person deserves the opportunity to enhance their lives through access to the books that teach, entertain and inspire. Bringing access to huge libraries of books to the blind and print disabled is truly one of benefits of the digital revolution.”

Individuals, organizations, libraries, and publishers can donate books to the effort via this link.

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