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About Accessible Reading BC

This website hosts a collection of ebooks from BC publishers, which is available to all residents of our province through their public library. All the ebooks in the collection are accessible using screen readers and screen magnification, refreshable braille displays, switches or other assistive technologies for people with print disabilities.

This is an accessible platform and repository of digital books prototype, aimed to make content accessible to everyone, regardless of print disability. Accessible ebooks are by nature flexible, allowing content to faithfully render across a broad spectrum of devices, platforms, assistive technologies, and operating systems. After downloading these titles, readers can load them in their reading application of choice in a computer or mobile device. As accessibility is a key focus of this project, the distribution platform also needs to be accessible, but commercial solutions don’t meet this requirement.

This project is a partnership between the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (ABPBC) and the BC Libraries Cooperative/National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS). This pilot phase of the project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Accessible Digital Books component of the Canada Book Fund, and it is intended to serve as a proof of concept for future development of the prototype and funding to maintain the ebook collection.

The terms for this pilot phase of the collection were defined by A working group of BC publishers and librarians, and will be subject to change in future iterations of the project.

Features of the accessible ebooks in the collection include:

  • All titles are reflowable, so people with low vision or learning disabilities are able to adjust the presentation of content on a screen by enlarging the font size, choosing a different font or changing font and background colours.
  • Headings and other semantic elements that improve the reading experience for blind readers. Semantic information facilitates navigation for everyone and enables users of assistive technologies to find different elements within the book.
  • Image descriptions for all meaningful images, which means that this content is accessible to readers who are blind.