Today is Book Lovers’ Day- a day to celebrate and honor the crucial role in preserving cultures, educating the masses, and storytelling. Reading can provide you with knowledge, a chance to escape, and opportunities to develop ideas and possibilities! But how can you read if you can’t see the text or turn a page?
Whether you read to escape or to learn, there are resources, tools, and books to help make reading accessible to everyone! Check out the list below & let yourself get lost in a good book!
If you find it hard to read standard print…
The term “print impairment” refers to any disability that makes it hard to read standard print. The most common is visual impairments. Here is a list of adaptations and tools to help people who are visually impaired gain access to reading.
- Magnify print materials
- Scan print materials and convert to e-text
- Manipulate e-text using adaptive software
- Listen to an audio version
- Read by touch (braille, tactile images)
- Watch video with an audio description of on-screen action
- Daisy Readers
- TTS (text to speech application for mobile devices)
Physical disabilities may also make it hard for a person to read standard print. Here are some adaptions and resources to aid in holding a book or turning pages.
- Use assistive device to turn pages of print materials
- Read e-text or listen to audio using adaptive software or a device that requires limited motion and strength to operate (for example switch access)
- Every state library acts as a distribution point for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which has a large collection of books in audio format. Visit National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to search the catalog.
If you have a learning disability…
Cognitive disabilities make it hard for a person to understand words. Here is a list of adaptions and resources for those with a learning disability.
- Manipulate e-text using adaptive software (for example – use text to speech; use Open Dyslexic Font; highlight phonemes, words or sentences as you read)
- Listen to an audio version
- Bookshare makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading.
If you are looking for books written by disabled person…
The disability community is so diverse, and it is important to amplify and support their voices. Here are a couple books to read about their unique perspectives.
Not So Different offers a humorous, relatable, and refreshingly honest glimpse into Shane Burcaw’s life. Shane tackles many of the mundane and quirky questions that he’s often asked about living with a disability, and shows readers that he’s just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else.
A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most.
If you are looking for disabled main characters…
Representation matters. There are so few disabled characters in children’s books, and often when there are, they fall into a set of negative tropes. Take a look at these books that not only portray a proud main character with disabilities but is written by an author with a disability as well.
Joe is deep into a game of pirates at the playground when other children begin asking him questions about why he has one leg. Joe deftly keeps the focus on play, teaching his playmates about empathy and privacy. This is an important book for talking about respectful responses to (any) differences.
El Deafo is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Cece Bell. The book is a loose autobiographical account of Bell’s childhood and life with her deafness.