Featured Disability Books

Seeing Voices

Seeing Voices

In this work, Sacks explores all facets of the deaf world–he meets with deaf people and their families and visits schools for the deaf, spending a good deal of time at Gallaudet University. As he writes, “I had now to see them in a new, ‘ethnic light,’ as people with a distinctive language, sensibility, and […]

Featured Disability Books

The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public (History of Disability)

The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public (History of Disability)

In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, municipal laws targeting “unsightly beggars” sprang up in cities across America. Seeming to criminalize disability and thus offering a visceral example of discrimination, these “ugly laws” have become a sort of shorthand for oppression in disability studies, law, and the arts.In this watershed study of the ugly laws, Susan […]

Featured Disability Books

Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence

Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence

A journalist for National Public Radio and ABC News recounts the challenges he has faced as a paraplegic at home and abroad, from the dangers of war-torn Iraq and Jerusalem to discrimination at home. Reprint…. More >> Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence

Featured Disability Books

Touch the Universe: A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy

Touch the Universe: A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy

Touch the Universe is an innovative and unique astronomy book. It is a combination of Braille and large-print captions that face 14 pages of brilliant Hubble Space Telescope photos with embossed shapes that represent various astronomical objects such as stars, gas clouds, and jets of matter streaming into space. “Universally designed” for both the sighted […]

Featured Disability Books

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

At the age of 21, a brilliant and highly eccentric graduate student made a major contribution to game theory: John Nash had discovered an influential theory of rational human behaviour. But ten years later, at the peak of a dazzling mathematical career and soon after his marriage to a physicist, Nash suffered a breakdown. Diagnosed […]

May 22

Origin Instruments has come out with a long-awaited solution to the problem of turning pages on the Amazon Kindle: the PageBot. It’s a small mechanical device that fits over your Kindle 2 or Kindle DX and manually presses the Previous and Next Page buttons with integrated actuators, with multiple interfaces for a wide variety of adaptive switches. The PageBot can be powered from the standard Kindle power adapter or from an optional rechargeable USB battery pack.

PageBot from Origin Instruments

Honestly, it would have been best if Amazon saw fit to integrate switch support into its Kindle hardware; adding a mechanical device is adding another layer of complexity to suffer complications or breakdowns. But until Amazon is convinced of the necessity, this looks like it should do nicely.

Apr 20

Amazon’s Kindle will finally support library lending, the company announced today.

Later this year, Kindle owners and those who run Amazon’s Kindle apps will be able to borrow books from over 11,000 local libraries. In addition, Amazon says, users will be able to make annotations and highlight text. All of that content is saved and will be included in the e-book if the user opts to check it out again.

“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Jay Marine, Amazon’s Kindle director said in a statement. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”

The addition of library loaning to the Kindle is a key addition for Amazon. Currently, Kindle owners can lend some e-books to other users for a period of 14 days. As with Amazon’s latest Library Lending option, recipients can access the loaned books on their Kindle devices or via any of the company’s many Kindle applications.

The earlier lack of library lending for the Kindle had proven to be a deal-breaker for prospective e-reader buyers. That service has been available for quite some time on other devices including the Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony’s Reader.

Earlier this year, CNET’s David Katzmaier acknowledged that he is one of the folks who opted against buying a Kindle because it lacked support for library lending. Many libraries around the U.S. use the EPUB format for their e-book needs. Both the Reader and the Nook both support that option. Katzmaier was able to check out some books from his local library, download Adobe Digital Editions, the software that his local branch requires, and drag-and-drop the options to his Sony Reader.

To finally match the competition in library lending, Amazon has enlisted the help of OverDrive, which works with the aforementioned 11,000 libraries around the U.S.

OverDrive might sound familiar to iPad and iPhone owners. The company currently offers its Media Console app for the iOS-based devices, allowing users to download e-books from their local libraries for free.

Amazon said that Kindle Library Lending will be available later this year.

Read more:

Dec 07

The latest version of an open source audio recording tool designed to allow anyone to produce DAISY format electronic books has been released by the global DAISY Consortium of blindness organisations, publishers, technology companies and others.

DAISY (digital accessible information system) books created with the Obi 1.2 software can contain chapters, sub-sections and pages, allowing users with print disabilities to easily navigate through the content. The Obi tool is also fully accessible to screen-readers.

Version 1.2 of the Obi tool features a number of improvements and upgrades for users, including an adaptation to work with Microsoft Windows 7. Users can now also manage large DAISY production projects more easily; and MP3 and WAV format audio files can now be imported into projects.

All DAISY content is produced to a standard developed by the DAISY Consortium, whose aim is to see all published information made readily available to people with print disabilities through digital talking books.

Taken from e-access bulletin, a free monthly email newsletter.

Dec 04

The classic American story of Hester Prynne, accused of adultery, ostracized by her Puritan community, and abandoned by both her lover and her husband.

The story opens in Puritan Boston, a settlement only fifteen or twenty years old. A young woman stands on a scaffold clasping a three-month-old baby. As a married woman with a missing husband and a new baby, Hester Prynne could have been sentenced to death for the crime of adultery. Instead she is condemned to always wear the letter A a…

Read more about The Scarlet Letter (Classic Collection).

Dec 02


Posted by Soliloquy in By disability

More amazing than any work of fiction, yet true in every word, it swept to the top of the bestseller lists and riveted the consciousness of the world. As an Emmy Award-winning film starring Sally Field, it captured the home screens of an entire nation and has endured as the most electrifying TV movie ever made. It’s the story of a survivor of terrifying childhood abuse, victim of sudden and mystifying blackouts, and the first case of multiple personality ever to be psychoanalyzed. You’re about …

Read more about Sybil.

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