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.