Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

The Right to Read

by Donna J. Jodhan

So many of us take the ability to read for granted. We are living in an informational society and a knowledge based economy and it is so vital for us to be able to read whatever we desire, when we desire, and in whatever mode we desire.

For people who are blind, the right to read is so important and must be preserved at all costs.

True it is that we, as people who are blind, have seen progress; the evolution of devices that enables us to red more freely and widely. We can now access more books online; much more than a decade ago. The digital era has enabled us to start taking advantage of digital media but there is still much more work for us to carry out if we wish to truly preserve our right to read. We need equal access to library facilities and services. In other words, whatever the mainstream person has access to, we should have as well. We need to be able to download the same books that the mainstream person can download and we need to be able to access books in our choice of alternate formats. Braille books should not be made redundant; the deaf/blind person depends heavily on this format.

Without equal access to library services, many blind and even print disabled people will stand to suffer greatly. Those in rural areas are uppermost among them. For those without adequate technology to access the Internet, the lack of access to library services is a great loss. The right to read for the blind is even more paramount and acute because it is one of the most important ways for them to access and acquire information.

So in the final analysis, two vital pieces are needed if we are to protect our right to read. Library services and access to websites that are accessible.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

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