RNIB calls for more blind-accessible e-books

The charity Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) is calling on publishers to make more e-books accessible to blind people in the run-up to its Read for RNIB Day.

The charity is asking publishers to make more texts have a speech function, reporting that “only 7% of all books are accessible to [the] almost two million blind and partially sighted people in the UK".

It is also asking for book files pre-publication so the charity can enable texts to be converted into alternative formats such as Braille, giant print and talking books to be released at the same time as the print version.

Lesley-Anne Alexander, c.e.o. of RNIB, said: "Many of the people who we support are going through a traumatic stage in their lives, adjusting to living without sight. Often it's our reading services such as Talking Books, giant print books or telephone book groups that these people describe as a lifeline.

"We want publishers to work with us so that blind and partially sighted people can read the same books at the same time as everyone else including all of the new exciting titles that are just hitting the shelves. Reading is a basic right, and people with sight loss should not be excluded."

Read for RNIB Day takes place next Friday (19th October) asking people to join in and create reading-themed events to support the charity’s message about equal rights to reading for all people, including the blind.