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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A woman in my office building has a school age child with severe vision problems.  A DX would probably be fabulous for her (larger screen makes more sense with very large print).  Does anyone know if textbook publishers will make public school textbooks available as ebooks for disabled children?  It would seem to be a sensible accommodation under relevant disability laws, but I am leery of sensible and publisher in the same sentence.  :)

Elaine
Norman, OK
 

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Textbooks ...not so much yet, I think. But there are many, many educational children's materials available as pdfs. There are also some kids books.
 

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I can't speak on textbooks for the Kindle from the publishers, but I can say that the DXG has been wonderful for me as a visually impaired person. From left to right, there are eight font sizes, with the font on the left being the smallest and the one on the right being the largest.  I believe before the 2.5 update, there were only six fonts and Amazon added two much larger ones. When I had the Kindle 2 before the 2.5 update, I was reading at the largest font size, now with the two additional larger fonts, I have moved up one and it is much more comfortable. I'd like to see Amazon add two even larger fonts for people with extreme low vision and bring the variable font sizes to the home screen, menus, dialog boxes, and Kindle store.  I would also like to see an inverted display mode where the text is white and the background is black. Of course, this can all be done through firmware. Hopefully they'll get around to it some day.

However, I would keep an eye on Pixel Qi and some of the other display companies who are working reflective display technology.  Because once these new display have been perfected and proven, then they will show up in just able everything including netbooks, tablets, phones, and maybe even your electric toothbrush and toaster.  Personally, after seeing what a couple totally blind friends of mine have done with their netbooks and the accessible Kindle for PC app, I think it makes for a better option in many ways.  Especially when you are looking at students.  The netbooks have a touch typable keyboard for note taking whereas the hardware Kindle ereaders do not.  In a few years, we should be seeing very good battery life on netbooks and tables with the reflective display technologies which will become standard in them.  The battery life may not completely rival the Kindle, but it will get an owner through several days if not a week with the backlight tuned off and the hard drives being replaced by flash memory or solid state drives.  Keep in mind, that when you are considering the Kindle DXG, a netbook isn't really any different in size one you add the cover to the DXG sized ereader, so why not go for the touch typable keyboard and also have a device which can make other aspects of a low vision students world more accessible?  Anyway, let us know what you learn over time.

BTW, when was the last time, the DX and DXG received an update? It seems to me, it has been quite a while since we have seen one.

Gene
 

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She needs to run to bookshare.org

The textbooks there are available only thru accounts with schools (meaning, when my DD was a homeschooler with them, we had no access, now she has access thru the schools account).

Bookshare is free currently thru the US Dept of Education for all k-12 students in the US - including home schooled ones. Adults pay $75 a year.

The books need to be tweaked to work on a kindle, but it can be done. Recent additions to the collection are often coming from the publishers, otherwise they are scanned by volunteers. The best is tha they are free and my DD is reading!!!

There are also text books available thru the.... I can't remember the name. It is the free audio books for the blind and dyslexic. Actually I think there are 3 services - it's been awhile since i looked them up.

The school is mandated by federal law to accommodate in the textbook area, they should be well versed in this. However, just because they might provide a daisy reader for a textbook, does not mean they will allow that device to come home. I didn't even ask them about a reader for my DD, I just bought her the kindle and she will use it at school, and I will have it written into her IEP (teacher is ok with it, but it is against school board policy for her to have it there). Most textbooks today are available to the school to purchase as an ebook.

It stinks that the parents have to do so much legwork on stuff like this....

Best of luck to your friend and her kids!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There are a couple of references here to pdf's and scanning.  This child needs scalable fonts, so I am thinking she needs true ebook format which would need to be provided by the Publisher.  Am I missing something?

Elaine
Norman, OK
 

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ElaineOK said:
There are a couple of references here to pdf's and scanning. This child needs scalable fonts, so I am thinking she needs true ebook format which would need to be provided by the Publisher. Am I missing something?

Elaine
Norman, OK
At bookshare, they are text files. The books have been scanned with OCR software to provide the files - meaning there may be some typos. I'm assuming there would be less typos in files provided to bookshare from the publishers directly. When life settles down i"m going to talk to them about proofreading for them.

PDF would not do my DD any good either, we needed a larger typeface, along with sans serif. The bookshare files you download have that, you just have to "get it out" of their container and convert it. But it works and gives her access to a huge amount of books - sone you can't buy in ebook form. My DD uses the regular kindle vs the DX, it's easy for her to carry with her and I won't stress as much for her using it at school.
 

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Actually, the books are in Daisy format.  Daisy allows for easier navigation than was available with records and cassettes.  The books can not be read on the Kindle unless they are converted.  It is easy to do but also tedious because it has to be done manually through a multi step process, and there is no utility to do this for you.

Gene. 
 

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From what I can see it is actually easier/faster to get the Daisy files converted for kindle use on a PC than a Mac, and I'm a Mac. I found a few things thru google that were quick - but just didn't work for me.

Bookshare has an iPad/iPhone app in the works, and it is supposed to be out by now.... Which would be nice!

But I'd wait on worrying about the actual conversion steps until after she gets the bookshare account and the hardware she will be using. I'm going to venture that if Amazon does come out with an android kindle, we might actually see an android daisy reader. Which would be another reason for me, I'd try something like the Kindle Special Offer over the more expensive DX at first. See what the rest of the year bring in the hardware area....
 

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TraceyC/FL said:
She needs to run to bookshare.org

The textbooks there are available only thru accounts with schools (meaning, when my DD was a homeschooler with them, we had no access, now she has access thru the schools account).

Bookshare is free currently thru the US Dept of Education for all k-12 students in the US - including home schooled ones. Adults pay $75 a year.
Wow, what a great program! Thanks for sharing the info.
 

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ElaineOK said:
A woman in my office building has a school age child with severe vision problems. A DX would probably be fabulous for her (larger screen makes more sense with very large print). Does anyone know if textbook publishers will make public school textbooks available as ebooks for disabled children? It would seem to be a sensible accommodation under relevant disability laws, but I am leery of sensible and publisher in the same sentence. :)
I don't know if anybody's doing this yet but I think they definitely should. It'd be easier than trying to get every book in large print. This way the kids could read any book at all by upping the text size.
 
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