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Old 01-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
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LEAP (Library Ebook Accessibility Program)

I've looked at this a few times but I'm not sure it will work with my Sony reader.

Does anybody here use it and if so, how does it work and would you recommend it? What is DAISY?

If it's worth it, I'll need as much information as possible to take to the head librarian to see if they can sign me up for a free 1 year membership that Overdrive sponsors.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:44 AM   #2
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Short answer: Well worth it if you're eligible. Won't play on your Sony.

Long answer:
Ebook readers are not generally accessible for people who are blind, and many people with physical or learning disabilities may have trouble operating an ereader or using printed text. Yet libraries are considered public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and have a certain responsibility for providing service to all members of their constituencies. The Library Ebook Accessibility Project (LEAP) is one way that a library can provide readers with disabilities with downloadable books.

The LEAP program allows disabled readers to access books from Bookshare.org, an organization that produces books in specialized formats for people with disabilities. In essence, Overdrive will cover your membership to Bookshare (and probably charge your library to do so.)

You'll need to complete a Bookshare application, and you MUST have a documented print disability, as the application will require you to submit proof of this. After you complete the Bookshare application, and your membership is accepted, you'll use the Bookshare website (www.bookshare.org) to obtain books that are in DAISY or Braille formats.

DAISY refers to ANSI/NISO standard Z39.86 for digital talking books. (Audio books for the blind have been called "talking books" since the 1930s.) The DAISY format supports books that have both digital text files and files of recorded human narration. A DAISY document is not required to have both of these components, but the standard provides a way to deliver both together. In addition, the standard covers indexing, navigation, bookmarking, and, I believe, digital rights management.

Books from Bookshare seldom, if ever, include the human narration file, so members need a device with synthetic speech to read the file aloud. Most readers use specialized portable playback units like the Victor Reader Stream from Humanware which include keys for navigating through the book and bookmarking. However, Bookshare provides some software to members to use with their books; currently the list includes Read Outloud, Victor Reader Soft, and AMIS DAISY Playback. All of these tie you to a computer. Bookshare also provides a list of compatible devices at http://www.bookshare.org/_/gettingSt...Tools/overview.

DAISY is not ePUB, so these will not work with your Sony, or on any ereader I know of. However, Bookshare has a great app for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch called Read2Go ($19.99) that displays the text while it's being read aloud. Since you can turn off the audio portion, it's a great alternative for large print readers -- especially on the iPad. (And it allows more customization than iBooks!)

Bookshare has been focusing on the school market, especially since receiving a Dept of Ed grant to provide services to students nationwide, so there are a lot of k-12 textbooks in its collection. However, they have a lot of popular reading as well; turns out blind kids are just as wild about Harry Potter as their sighted peers! And yes, there are books for adults, too; everything from the Steve Jobs bio to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

By the way, if you are print-disabled and enjoy audio books, you might also investigate the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. It's a great service that will loan you a player by mail and has a more than 20,000 downloadable audio books that never expire.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:20 AM   #3
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Hi Tracings,

Thank you so much for your short and long answers. I now understand much better what the program is and unless I do a complete 360 and let an Apple product into my house I don't think I'll be able to partake of this service. BUT, you never know.....

I'm quite sure I would be eligible as I'm legally blind. Documentation should not be a problem. But I wouldn't want my library to be forced to pay for my membership. Knowing that, I would opt for my own membership.

Having gone to a school for the blind, I am quite familiar with talking books. I spent MANY hours listening to anything I could get my hands on for a lot of years. Since leaving school, I've either had to read what was available in large print or listen to audiobooks. Neither method gave me the experience I was looking for. Then I got a Sony reader and for me everything has changed in a very positive way.

I suppose my primary reason for looking at the program was that several books I would like to read are not available in ebook form from any of the libraries I have access to, but appear on Bookshare's website. I think my best bet is probably to buy the occasional book I can't get at a library and count myself blessed to be able to do so. I will also talk to a librarian friend to find out if they are aware of the program in case there is someone in the community that would benefit from the service. I have several friends who are dealing with macular degeneration that come to mind.

Again, thanks for your reply.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:33 AM   #4
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Out of curiousity, is the text-to-speech feature in Kindle insufficient? Or is it that the computer generated voice is annoying over time?
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:29 AM   #5
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Their are a few apps for android also available for daisy. If you have rooted your sony T1 you might be able to try some of these readers on it

http://www.daisy.org/tools/1463#t173
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
Out of curiousity, is the text-to-speech feature in Kindle insufficient? Or is it that the computer generated voice is annoying over time?
I'm not sure what you're asking as I don't own a Kindle and am not interested in text to speech or audiobooks.

Dopedangel, I'm not sure I have the skills and/or confidence to root my T1 but I might look around for an android device I could use to try the apps...if that is possible.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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@Dopedangel - Wow! Thanks so much for the info on android options! I totally forgot about the android world! Which is sad, since Bookshare even mentions one option, Mobile Speak.

@Kumabjorn - I haven't played with the Kindle Text-to-Speech feature too much, but my understanding is that it's still not fully accessible. One problem is that you need sighted help to turn on the "voice guide" which reads menus and such. Also, I believe there are certain things you just can't do with it (annotating, etc.) And due to authorization (DRM) stuff, the Kindle won't play DAISY books.

@Debi - so glad you know about NLS and talking books - I've been a librarian in one of the network libraries for years! We don't have an Overdrive service, so I'm only guessing about Overdrive passing the cost onto the local library. Definitely ask your local librarian. And while buying an i-anything is an expensive option for reading, that Read2Go app really impressed me with the customization available.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:01 AM   #8
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@tracings
Yes, you're right, you need to see in order to turn on the feature. I did not think that through. On Kindle for other platforms that feature isn't available but Windows comes with built-in text-to-speech features including speech recognition. I would imagine it should be possible to do it that way, and the voice over computer speakers should be significantly better than what you get on the Kindle (unless you attach external speakers).
If you consider that Amazon does offer a lot of free or very inexpensive books, I would imagine that the available selection would be enticing enough to at least pursue a trial session.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:03 AM   #9
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The Apple iPad has perhaps the best blind accessibility of any device on the market - it's won accolades from the blind community for it. Eg, here's part of a review from a totally blind user:

Quote:
The Apple iPad is one hundred percent accessible straight out of the box. Unlike many other products that require the blind to install third-party software in order to use them successfully, which requires more money to be spent, the iPad has Voiceover technology integrated into the device that enables all aspects of the iPad to be utilized. Blind individuals will spend the same amount of money as their sighted counterparts, and they can use the iPad like everyone else. For those who do not know, Voiceover is a screen reader that speaks all of the text aloud on the screen, as well as the menus and icons.

For those blind individuals who are worried about the touch screen being difficult to use, there is nothing to worry about. Blind individuals can glide a finger over the screen, and as they glide their fingers, the options will be spoken aloud. When the users hear an option that they want to select, they can tap their fingers on that option twice, and the option will then be selected. There is no barrier to us blind folks using the Apple iPads touch screen.
Full review is at:

http://www.readhowyouwant.com/blog/p...ind-Users.aspx
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