Some of Our other websites:

Communication and Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities

You are here

Tag

RSS Feed

Author

Tags (Top 20)

Archive

Generating Graph Paper

By Allan Wilson on Wednesday 12th February, 2014 at 1:41pm

0 Comments Post a comment Permalink

Incompetech logo

 

 

We just found out about the Incompetech web site, where it is possible to generate a huge variety of graph papers, lined papers and papers with a multitude of shapes as PDF files - all for free! For graph paper, you can specify the size of paper, margins, spacing between lines, thickness and colour of lines.

Other available options, included varous styles of lined paper, paper for musical notation, hexagonal grids and lots more. Some examples are shown below.

If we'd known about this site earlier, we could have saved ourselves some time when producing graph paper for accessible versions of maths books for the Books for All Scotland database!

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

Further clarification that MiniReader CAN be installed on school computers

By Paul Nisbet on Friday 7th February, 2014 at 5:34pm

0 Comments Post a comment Permalink

Text-to-speech is one of the most useful accessibility tools for learners with and also without literacy or access difficulties. Pupils with dyslexia or reading difficulties can use text-to-speech to access digital text; pupils with English as a second language, or with language or learning difficulties can use text-to-speech to aid their understanding; learners with visual impairment who have difficulty seeing the text can use it to read faster and with greater comfort; and ALL learners, with or without additional support needs, can benefit from using text-to-speech to proof read and improve their work.

In our view, text-to-speech is an accessibility essential and all school computers should have a text-to-speech reader available, along with the free Scottish computer voices.

There are a many text-to-speech programs available, but if you need a free, simple program for windows, take a look at Ivona MiniReader. I introduced MiniReader in a previous blog and on our MiniReader web page:and the purpose of this blog is to reassure local authority and school staff that it is legal to install MiniReader on school computers.

On 12 November 2012, I asked Ivona whether MiniReader could be installed on all the computers in a school and was told that:

"Of course you can use MiniReader at schools. I hope that it will be good promotion for our other products like IVONA Voices and IVONA Reader."

On 16 September 2013, following some questions from local authority technical staff, I emailed Ivona to ask:

"Can you confirm again that it is acceptable for your free MiniReader software to be installed on school computers in Scotland?"

to which Ivona responded:

"Minireader is free so it can be installed on school PC's."

And on 7th January 2014, a colleague in a local authority asked Ivona to clarify whether they could use the MiniReader with the school's own computer voices. Ivona said:

"Our Minireader is for free. You can download this product by clicking "Free download" on http://www.ivona.com/en/mini-reader/"

I hope that this provides clarification and reassurance! Let's get on with reading.....

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

New Maths in Action Large Print Books on the Books for All Database

By Paul Nisbet on Monday 3rd February, 2014 at 11:10am

0 Comments Post a comment Permalink

Thanks to Marie Lawson from the Vision Service in Shetland for contributing a new 18 point Large Print copy of New Maths in Action S22. It's available as two parts and you can find them on the Database by clicking the links below: 

Marie previously contributed Large print copies of New Maths in Action S1-1 and S1-2Click here to see all the New Maths in Action books on the database.

Remember also that you can get some Nelson Thornes Maths in Action books as PDF files from the Load2Learn database. Load2Learn currently has PDFs of New Maths in Action S2/2S3/2 and S3/3 and also PDFs of the new Curriculum for Excellence titles - Maths in Action: National 4 and Maths in Action National 5Load2Learn is like a 'sister' database of Books for All and is run by RNIB and Dyslexia Action. 

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

Including All Children in the Scottish Children's Book Awards

By Robert Stewart on Wednesday 11th September, 2013 at 12:21pm

0 Comments Post a comment Permalink

The Scottish Children's Book Awards is an innovative nationwide reading project in which children and young people from every corner of Scotland read and vote for their favourite Scottish children's books of the year. Last year over an amazing 31,000 votes were cast and children and young people from every local authority in Scotland, from Aberdeen to Dumfries; Shetland to Arran, took part. The awards are run by the Scottish Book Trust.

Children can vote for their favourite book, from a shortlist in each of three categories, either as individual readers or as part of a reading group in a school, library or bookshop. The shortlisted books are:

Early Years (0 - 7 years)

  • Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson
  • What's the Time, Mr Wolf? by Debi Gliori
  • Jumblebum by Chae Strathie and Ben Cort

Younger Readers (8 - 11 years)

  • Black Tide by Caroline Clough
  • The Accidental Time Traveller by Janis Mackay
  • Really Weird Removals.com by Daniela Sacerdoti

Older Readers (11 - 16 years)

  • The Seeing by Diana Hendry
  • The Book of Doom by Barry Hutchison
  • Ferryman by Claire McFall

But what about disabled children who can't read the books?

 
CALL Scotland has worked with the Scottish Book Trust and the authors and publishers to create accessible digital versions of the nine shortlisted books. The idea is that children and young people with physical, visual and reading or dyslexic difficulties, who can't read or access the paper books, can read the digital books instead and take part in the awards. For example:
  • children with spinal injury, cerebral palsy or other physical impairments can click a switch or press a key on a computer, to turn pages and read the books by themselves;
  • dyslexic readers or children with visual impairments can change the font size and/or colours on screen, or use text-to-speech software to read the books;
  • the books can be read out by the computer using "Heather" or "Stuart", the high quality Scottish computer voices that is available free for schools and pupils from CALL Scotland's The Scottish Voice web site.
The books are available free of charge. Readers and schools can request accessible digital copies of the book(s) they wish to read via the Books for All website or phoning 0131 651 6236.

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

New TeeJay and Nelson Thornes Digital Maths books on the Books for All Database

By Paul Nisbet on Friday 17th May, 2013 at 5:20pm

0 Comments Post a comment Permalink

We have some more new maths textbooks on the Books for All Database.

TeeJay Maths Curriculum for Excellence titles

We are very grateful to TeeJay Publishers who have kindly provided PDFs of their six new Curriculum for Excellence textbooks: Books 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a and 3b. These cover Curriculum for Excellence First, Second and Third levels. We have added bookmarks to aid navigation, matched the page numbers to the paper books, and 'reader-enabled' the files so that learners can use the drawing, audio recording and highlighting tools in Adobe Reader to access the books. We have not yet added answer boxes, but learners can type answers in using the Adobe Reader 'Typewriter' tool. You can read and access the books on your iPad using the free Adobe Reader app, or preferably PDFaloud or iAnnotate. Click here to see these new books in the database.  

Thanks also to Caroline Jamieson in Moray for contributing a Large Print copy of the Curriculum for Excellence Book 1b. Caroline has created the first 10 chapters and is working on the rest. See it here

Nelson Thornes New Maths in Action

Marie Lawson in Shetland has uploaded an 18 point Large Print version of New Maths in Action S1/1, to add to the 24 point Large Print copy of the S1/2 book that's already there. 

We have also uploaded scanned PDF copies of New Maths in Action S1/3, S1/B and S2/3. These are really most suitable for learners with physical disabilities who need digital versions of books because they have difficulty handling the paper copies. The files are PDFs that have been created by scanning the paper copies, and while we have converted them to readable text, we don't have the resources to check every word and so there may be some text recognition errors. The books can be zoomed and magnified, and the text read out using text-to-speech, so they should be reasonably accessible to pupils with dyslexia or reading difficulties, or mild visual impairment. Again, the books are reader-enabled so that learners can type, draw, highlight and otherwise annotate the files.

Click here to see these new books.

 

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

Kindle now has text-to-speech on iPad, iPod, iPhone

By Stuart Aitken on Thursday 2nd May, 2013 at 4:41pm

5 Comments Post a comment Permalink

May Day brought a nice surprise for Kindle readers who use the app on their iOS. Now Kindle books can be read using text-to-speech on an iPad, iPhone or iPod. Before this update it’s always been a bit frustrating for readers of Kindle books to find that there was no way to listen to their collection on an iPad. Blind and visually impaired people who already had purchased Kindle books found that if they downloaded their Kindle books to an iPad it wasn’t possible to use the built-in features offered by VoiceOver. It wasn’t even possible to use the Speak Selection feature to select a word or chunk of text to have it read out. Now it is possible to use VoiceOver (not Speak Selection though).

Kindle Reader uses VoiceOver so if you want to use Kindle’s text-to-speech functions VoiceOver needs to be installed and running. To do this go to:

 Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > On.

VoiceOver is designed to allow blind and visually impaired people to access iOS So when it is running you activate apps in a slightly different way than the standard iOS approach. Mostly this involves a double tap instead of single tap (which makes sense, after all a blind or visually impaired person will want to check the right app is selected (single tap), before activating that app (double tap). Thereafter, use of text-to-speech is pretty straightforward and quite powerful.

  • In Kindle Library with VoiceOver on, tap once on a book to have full spoken information about each title, author and whether the book is installed. Double tap to open the book and start reading from where you left off.
  • Use a two finger swipe down to start continuous reading from top of page.
  • Use a single two finger tap while reading to pause. Two finger tap once again to resume.
  • Single finger tap selects a line of text and reads under the finger. (Like Speak Selection only it gives context too.) Single finger tap anywhere to read that line. Two finger tap to return to library.
  • Suppose you are in single line reading at a time (e.g. for meaning), and you want to return to continuous reading. Simply do a two finger swipe down to resume continuous reading.
  • Three finger swipe right to left to move to next page, or left to right to go to previous page.

All of these options are clearly spoken out.

What does it allow you to read?

Kindle titles will work. However, Word documents, PDF documents will not offer text-to-speech (many other apps do offer this functionality).

The big advantage is in being able to read your Kindle formatted books using text-to-speech.

Can you use other voices?

While t is not at all obvious how to do it is still possible to change the voice used in text-to-speech with the Kindle. The secret is to think about how you would give access to this facility to a blind or visually impaired person. You would do it from within VoiceOver. Here’s how to do it using the Language Rotor.

Setup is atwo stage process. First, you set up the languages you want to make available from within VoiceOver. Second with Voiceover activated, select the languages from the rotor you previously set up.

Turn on voices to be selected from in Language Rotor. 

General > Settings > Accessibility > Language Rotor (below Rotor)

Tap to select each of the languages you want to use as options e.g. US English, British English, Irish English.

Tap VoiceOver (at top of screen) to come out of Language Rotor.

Now you will want to select the chosen language or dialect. You do this with VoiceOver On.

  • Turn on VoiceOver as before General > Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > On
  • Launch Kindle with VoiceOver On.
  • Tap and rotate two fingers on the screen clockwise to turn on Rotor and the command available is spoken. (e.g. Characters, Words, Line etc.)
  • Repeat the movement until it says Language you’re ready now.
  • Do a one finger slide down, it will speak out the first voice you selected as an option. Repeat the rotor action until you reach the dialect or voice that you want. That is now selected. 
Now a two-finger swipe down will speak out in your preferred voice.

Now Apple if we could only have the Scottish Voices available from within the Languages available not just in the apps but across the whole system. That would be great!

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

Load2Learn database of accessible textbooks is now free!

By Paul Nisbet on Tuesday 5th March, 2013 at 10:08am

0 Comments Post a comment Permalink

Load2Learn is a database of downloadable accessible textbooks and images that has been set up by RNIB and Dyslexia Action with funding from the Department for Education. It's similar to the Books for All Database (we gave them some input and it's actually hosted by Scran, same as B4A) but when it was first set up, there was a membership subscription. Happily, it's now FREE! and so anyone who is working in schools with print-disabled pupils should join immediately and start getting access to more accessible titles.

To join, one member of staff in a school or service applies for membership to create a School group and then invites other staff to join the group. Then members of the group can search for and download books and images.

Since it's funded by the Department for Education, many of the secondary school books are the (English and Welsh) National Curriculum - AQA, GCSE etc - and so not relevant for most Scottish schools, but there are also many titles which are.

For example, Nelson Thornes have made a lot of their books available as PDFs - New Maths in Action; Scientifica, and there are many novels and primary textbooks available too.

Recently I was looking for accessible digital copies of Kes and Blood Brothers for a pupil and neither were available on B4A or Seeing Ear, but both are on Load2Learn.

The Load2Learn titles are offered in a range of different formats:

  • PDFs, which look just like the paper book and so will suit some learners;
  • Word files, which can be read on screen or converted into other formats such as Large print or Braille;
  • ePUB, which can be read on iPads, tablets and smartphones;
  • audio books. 
So we now have three sources of books in accessible formats for schools in Scotland:

plus of course commercial eBook venders such as Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith and the iBook Store.

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

Accessible Versions of Scottish Children's Book Awards Shortlist

By Allan Wilson on Friday 30th November, 2012 at 12:58pm

0 Comments Post a comment Permalink

We've been distributing CDs with accessible versions of the shortlisted titles for this year's Scottish Book Trust's Scottish Children's Book Awards for the last couple of weeks. (See previous Blog for details of the Awards and the shortlisted titles.)

Children in schools throughout Scotland are asked to choose their favourite from their age category:

  • Bookbug Readers (3 - 7 years)
  • Younger Readers (8 - 11 years)
  • Older Readers (12 - 16 years)

Pupils with a print disability (e.g. visual impairment, dyslexia, some physical disabilities) who are not able to use standard books can benefit from having the books in an accessible electronic format available from CALL Scotland. This year, we have made the books available in the following formats:

BookBug Readers - PowerPoint and PDF. The PowerPoint files have recorded narration, i.e. children will hear a human voice reading the text on a page when they turn it. There are PowerPoint files specially set up for children using a switch. The PDF files have been set up so that the text can be read out loud by computer using either Adobe Reader and Read OutLoud, or Nook Study. Instructions for both are provided. We recommend using either of the Scottish Voices, Stuart or Heather, available for schools and parents from the Scottish Voice web site.

Younger Readers - Standard and Large Print (18 point) PDF and Daisy. Again, there are instructions for reading the PDFs using Adobe Reader or Nook Study. AMIS Daisy Reader software is provided for reading the Daisy versions.

Older Readers - Standard and Large Print (18 point) PDF and Daisy. Full instructions are provided.

Getting Accessible Copies of the Shortlisted Books

If you need an accessible copy of the books for a particular pupil, go to the CALL Scotland Books for All web site and fill in the form giving your name, the pupil name and letting us know which set of books is required. We'll send you the books on a CD.

Taking Part

Schools wanting to take part in deciding the winners in each category have to register with the Scottish Book Trust by 31st December and pupils can vote for their favourite book until 8th February.

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

Ivona MiniReader free text-to-speech reader

By Paul Nisbet on Tuesday 20th November, 2012 at 11:10am

0 Comments Post a comment Permalink

One very common question we get asked is "what do you recommend for reading out the SQA Digital Question Papers?" 
 
There are several good programs for this such as TextHelp Read and Write Gold, ClaroRead, Co:Writer and Penfriend but if you have no money and you want a nice simple tool for your Windows computer, take a look at the Ivona MiniReader. It's very straightforward - select the text you want to read and click 'Play', and it reads reliably from PDFs, Word files, the internet - anything provided you can select the text.
 
A technician recently asked if the licence allows for it to be installed on all the computers in a school, and so I contacted Ivona to ask: Piotr Syrokwarz of Ivona says "Of course you can use MiniReader at schools".
 
 

MiniReader Quick Guide (download it from here)

Ivona MiniReader is a simple text reader which adds a floating toolbar on the screen and can read out text from almost any program Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word, internet browsers etc.. MiniReader can use the free Scottish voice Heather and Stuart and most other voices on your computer.
 

Download and install

 
Go to http://www.ivona.com/en/mini-reader/ and click on the Free Download button. Follow the instructions to install MiniReader.
 
When you install the software, it offers you the option to install some of the Ivona voices for 30 day trial we suggest that you decline this offer and untick the Start the Ivona voices installation, unless unless you are interested in evaluating the voices. 
 
 

Reading text with MiniReader

 
 
Click Start > All programs > IVONA > IVONA MiniReader
 
Open your PDF document of web page, select some text then click on the Play button (or press CTR+SHIFT+SPACE), and MiniReader will read it out. Click Pause or press the keyboard shortcut again to pause the speech. 
 
 
Double click on a word to select it, triple click to select a line and quadruple click to select the whole page.
 
 
 
 
You can switch between the Mini and Full toolbar by clicking on the Show/Hide button. The Full toolbar lets you change voice and adjust speed and volume:
 
 
 
 
Some limitations of MiniReader compared to other paid-for text readers are that you have to manually select the text to be read, it doesn’t highlight the text as it reads, and there is no pronunciation dictionary. The hyperlinks to encourage you to 'Buy IVONA Reader' and 'Buy IVONA Voice' might also be distracting for some learners.
 
 
The paid-for Ivona Reader comes with extra voices, can convert text to MP3 files, has a reading window that does highlight the text as it reads, and adds reading buttons to internet browsers, Word and email.
 
 
The paid-for text readers like Read and Write Gold, ClaroRead, Co:Writer and Penfriend also have many other features and tools such as word prediction, phonetic spellchecker, dictionaries, scanning and OCR etc. 

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

Scottish Children's Book Awards, 2012

By Allan Wilson on Tuesday 3rd July, 2012 at 3:13pm

2 Comments Post a comment Permalink

The shortlisted titles for this year's Scottish Book Awards were announced last week by the Scottish Book Trust. There are three categories for the awards: Bookbug Readers (3 - 7 years); Younger Readers (8 - 11 years) and Older Readers (12 - 16 years). The shortlisted books in each category are:

Bookbug Readers

  • Solomon Crocodile by Catherine Rayner
  • The Day Louis got Eaten by John Fardell
  • Jack and the Flumflum Tree by Julia Donaldson

Younger Readers

  • Out of the Depths by Cathy MacPhail
  • Soldier's Game by James Killgore
  • The World of Norm: May Contain Nuts by Jonathan Meres

Older Readers

  • The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • The Prince who Walked with Lions by Elizabeth Laird

Accessible Versions of the Books

For the fourth year in a row, CALL will be producing accessible versions of the books in a variety of formats for pupils with a print disability who are unable to access traditional book formats. We plan to make the books available in the following formats:

Bookbug Readers

  • Digital files with human narration for Powerpoint and Clicker

Younger Readers and Older Readers

  • Accessible PDF
  • Microsoft Word files, allowing people to convert them to Large Print or Braille
  • Daisy (full text and audio) for iPad
  • Daisy (text only for PC with Amis)

We are currently getting copies of electronic files from the publishers of the books and hope to have the accessible format files ready by the end of the summer.

Taking Part in the Awards Scheme

Pupils in schools throughout Scotland are encouraged to take part in the Awards scheme by voting for their favourite book in their age category. Last year more than 23,000 pupils from throughout Scotland voted for their favourite book. Schools are invited to register to take part by 31st December 2012, with the deadline for voting set as 8th February 2013. Further information is available from the Scottish Book Trust.

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

Free online Oxford Reading Tree eBooks from Oxford Owl

By Paul Nisbet on Tuesday 29th May, 2012 at 3:49pm

6 Comments Post a comment Permalink

I've been meaning to blog about this for ages and have finally got round to it!

The Oxford Owl web site has over 250 free Oxford Reading Tree eBooks for teachers, children and parents to read online. The books have a recorded narration (i.e. human, not computer speech) and you can zoom in and out to make the text and pictures bigger or smaller. Turning the pages is done with a click of a mouse - you can't use the keyboard or switches directly.  You could however point the mouse over the 'next page' button and then use a switch to click, to turn the page.

The books are ideal for using on a whiteboard or for individuals to read on their own computer (but not iPad - the books are Adobe Flash format which don't play on iOS).

There are also some activities for each book (although they didn't work on my computer - no doubt got the wrong version of Java / Flash / other plug in) and the 'Kids Barn' has a lot of information and games about Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy and the other characters. 

 

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

109 new books on the Books for All Database

By Paul Nisbet on Tuesday 8th May, 2012 at 12:49pm

1 Comment Post a comment Permalink

 

109 new books have just been added to the Books for All Database. They are all Large Print PDFs which have been created by the VTSS team in Edinburgh, and we are grateful to them for sharing these accessible copies via the Database. 

The books can be downloaded and printed out for pupils with visual difficulties, and they can also be read on screen, which can be helpful to learners with dyslexia and reading difficulties, pupils with physical disabilities who have difficulty holding the paper book and turning pages. 

Learners can read the books on computer using free Adobe Reader software, which lets you zoom in and out to change the size, and adjust the text and page colours. With most of the books, the text can be read out using either the free built-in Adobe Read Out Loud, or other text readers such as Ivona MiniReader, ClaroRead, Co:Writer, Penfriend or PDFaloud.  Pupils can use the Adobe Reader commenting and markup tools to highlight key passages and add their own typed or recorded audio notes. To find out more, take a look at our Video Guides and Quick Guides.

You can find the new books on the Database here. (Note you have to log in to the database see the new books).

 

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

More libraries are lending eBooks and downloadble audio books

By Paul Nisbet on Friday 9th March, 2012 at 5:19pm

1 Comment Post a comment Permalink

The eBook revolution continues apace in all sorts of ways, and more Scottish public libraries are joining in by lending eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, for us to borrow and read or listen to on our computers, iPhone or iPad, and Android devices. So far, five local authorities offer eBooks and downloadable audiobooks:

To borrow eBooks and audiobooks you need the OverDrive Media Console program or app on your computer or other device, and computer users also need Adobe Digital Editions to view the eBook. Both OverDrive and Adobe Digital Editions are free.  
I joined the City of Edinburgh eBook library to try it out. I went round to the local library and registered and was given a card with a four digit passcode. I logged on to the library eBook web site, downloaded OverDrive to an iPad, and then clicked the 'Get Books' button on the iPad. I browsed through the books available and decided to borrow The Dyslexic Advantage by Fernette and Brock Eide. I typed in my library membership number and the passcode to download it and I've been reading it for a few weeks: lots of interesting and useful insights. It's a big book and I don't have too much time, and when the loan period expires it automatically deletes itself - although you can always go back and extend the loan.
It's a fairly painless process and seems like a good way to access eBooks and audiobooks for free.
A few observations:
  • You can't borrow Kindle books (yet - this may happen, but so far Kindle books are only available to US libraries).
  • The OverDrive app on the iPad has some features to improve accessibility, although it's quite limited - the maximum font size is not huge (I'd say about 24 point), colour options are only black text on white or sepia, and the font is serifed. However, you can use the iPad built-in white-on-black colour scheme, and have the text read out using VoiceOver. 
  • On a Windows PC or Mac, you read the eBook with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). There are two versions - ADE 1.72 and ADE 1.8 Preview. The latter has accessibility features: on a Windows PC, you can have the book read out with Jaws or NVDA screen reader software, while Mac users can have the text read out using the built-in VoiceOver. You can't read the book with other text-to-speech programs such as WordTalk, Read and Write Gold, ClaroRead etc, and you can't copy or save the text into other programs to have it read out. The font is serifed and you can't change it. You can't change the colours within the program (you can with the computer's own display settings).
See the Books for All Finding Books pages for more on finding books in alternative formats, and particularly the library page for links to library services.

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

SQA Answer Booklets in Word format are now available

By Paul Nisbet on Friday 3rd February, 2012 at 4:11pm

1 Comment Post a comment Permalink

One of the requests from the staff who attended the Digital Papers Focus Group meeting in October 2011 was for SQA to provide answer booklets in Microsoft Word format. While answer booklets have been provided as PDF documents, some staff felt that the Word format would be more suitable for some candidates. You can now download answer booklets in Word / DOC format from the SQA web site.

The main advantage of using PDF answer booklets with Adobe Reader is that candidates can use the same program to access both question paper and answer booklet. However, disadvantages of the PDF answer booklets are: 

 

  • Each page contains a separate text box for the answer and the candidate's text does not automatically flow from one page to another.
  • The font and size are fixed, and formatting is basic.
  • Inserting symbols, formulae and equations is awkward.
  • Drawing tools are basic.
  • PDFaloud text-to-speech software does not highlight the text in the answer booklet as it reads, and it reads the whole page - you can't just read a sentence, word or paragraph.
Using answer booklets in DOC or Word format does mean using one program to read the paper and a different one to type answers, but the advantages are:

 

 

  • Word is a much better word processor than an Adobe Reader text box! The candidate can change fonts, sizes, styles, use formatting etc etc.
  • Symbols, formulae, equations and diagrams can be easily inserted.
  • A wider range of text-to-speech programs can be used to read out your answers, including the free WordTalk reader.
  • Speech recognition can be used to dictate into Word, including the free Windows 7 speech recognition software.
  • Support tools for mind-mapping, spellchecking and word prediction (if permitted by SQA) tend to work better with Word than Adobe Reader.
Thanks to the team at SQA for listening and acting!

 

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post:

New Quick Guide - Calibre and the Kindle

By Allan Wilson on Friday 3rd February, 2012 at 12:20pm

3 Comments Post a comment Permalink

Most people who use a Kindle simply download the books they want from the Amazon web site. But what can you do if you want to read something else on your Kindle? The Kindle recognises Kindle (.azw), Text (.txt) and Mobi (.mobi) files and can also view (but not read out) PDFs. It cannot currently handle E-Pub files, so if the book or resource you are looking for is only available in E-Pub format, you need to convert it, using a program such as Calibre.

Calibre is a free eBook management program that you can download from the Calibre web site. It is a very comprehensive program that allows you to search for and download eBooks from the internet, view them and manage your collection. It also allows you to convert between the various file formats used by different eBook readers, so that you can read your eBook on, for example, a Kindle. Calibre also allows you to download online editions of newspapers and magazines from all around the world.

Some aspects of Calibre are a little quirky and it does not have built-in text-to-speech, though it links well with free TTS programs, such as NaturalReader and Ivona Minireader. Nevertheless, it is a very useful program for anybody using digital books.

CALL have now produced a Quick Guide to Using Calibre to Read E-Books and Convert E-Pub Files for the Kindle, which can be downloaded from the Quick Guide section of the CALL web site, under Books for All.

More 'Books for All' Quick Guides

More than 30 further Quick Guides are available in this section covering many different aspects of finding and adapting books for learners with a print disability. Titles include:

- Accessible Formats from Local Authority Library Services

- Accessing Books for All Scotland Database via Scran

- Copyright and Books for All

- Creating interactive digital resources with Adobe Acrobat Professional

- Free eBooks-eTexts and audio files from the Internet

- How to navigate to the Books for All Scotland database from within Glow

- Kindle for PC Accessibility Plugin

- Making Accessible Digital Reading Books

- Making Maths Resources

- Scanning into Word with FineReader 10

Tags:

Share or bookmark this post: