Tuesday, August 2, 2016

HathiTrust at U-M, NFB to Make 14M+ Books Accessible to Blind and Print-Disabled Users - July 29, 2016

Ann Arbor, Michigan (June 29, 2016): More than fourteen million digital books will soon be made available to blind and print-disabled users, thanks to a new collaboration involving the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the HathiTrust Digital Library, a digital repository hosted at the University of Michigan.
When launched, the program will dramatically increase the availability of books for users who are blind or print-disabled. According to the NFB, currently less than five percent of all published works are estimated to be available to the blind, most of which are popular titles.
NFB President Mark Riccobono says the effort will be an important advancement that will specifically benefit print-disabled students and scholars within the academic community.
"While most barriers that blind people face are artificial ones created by low expectations, access to the printed word has historically been a great challenge," he said. "This collaboration will, for the first time, make millions of books available to blind readers across the nation, giving us access to more books in a single repository than we have ever had. The significance of this development cannot be overstated, and we are delighted to work with HathiTrust to transform this dream into reality."

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