This page provides information and tutorials for creating accessible books. Books in alternate formats are created or adapted to meet the needs of learners so they can build literacy, do self-selected reading, and support their learning in many other ways. For example, stories and narratives also help students understand cause and effect, encourage independence, and build communication skills.
Books that are available only in print form may not be accessible for students who cannot physically turn the pages of a book, or students who have a vision impairment. In these instances, books can be made that have high contrast, large fonts, or be programmed so that the pages are turned automatically. Books can also be programmed so that they can be read using a switch, a screen tap, mouse click, or eye gaze.
Uses of accessible books
- Create a personal book of important events to share with an audience
- Convert a print book into an accessible book (copyright guidelines apply)
- Adapt curriculum content to differentiate learning (ie: literacy, numeracy, science)
Depending on the platform and software used, accessible books can have different kinds of features:
- The pages are turned automatically
- Words are highlighted as they are read aloud
- Students can select whether to stop, continue, or re-read the book.
- The student can turn the pages using a swipe, tap, switch, eye gaze, or a keyboard
- Stories are recorded by a person providing delivery is clear and engaging, reinforcing the emotions of language
Always consider the needs of the student, when designing an accessible book:
- Text size
- Image size
- Physical access
- Automatic self-play
- Independent page turning
- Background and text colours
- High contrast images and font
- Navigation cells size and location
- Follow-along highlighting of the text
- Voice – digitized or human voice
- Epic books – SET-BC has produced a video on setting up Epic Books to turn pages using switch access on the iPad.
- Tar Heel Reader – Free online library of accessible books. Books can be read online or downloaded as PowerPoint books.
- Unite for Literacy – Install the Grid 3 Online Grid Set that provides access to the Unite for Literacy library. Contains large navigation buttons to allow readers to scroll, select, read, and comment on a variety of books. Search Unite for Literacy.
- iPad Spoken Content – Program the iPad to speak selected text or the entire screen.
Module One – Grid 3
Module Two – Powerpoint
Module Three – Google Slides
Module Four – Pictello
Pictello is available as an app for the iPad. It allows users to create talking books using a recorded human voice or one of the text-to-speech voice. Words are highlighted as they are read aloud.
Tools & Technologies