Key Elements of a screen reader
Classes in reading fluency with a screen reader
Who can be helped by using a screen reader
Working with students with little or no computer skills
Testing and Evaluating Progress

Setting up a classroom/lab area
Eligibility and Copyright Laws
Scanning Books


Frequently Asked Questions

Scanning Books

Do you teach them to scan their own books in the class too?

Yes, this is part of stage 2 of the curriculum in becoming more independent with the technology. Scanning a book to e-text is easy for students not using low-vision technology. Scanning is accessible, but does require some understanding of file structure and scanning technology. Students are able to learn how to scan a book to read as one of their computer skills.

The process to make a e-text has two steps:

  1. Scanning the materials. This entails making a digital image of each page. This image does not have any identification of letter, words, or formatting on that page.
  2. Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR applications review the image documents and identify and create formatted text that can be used by a screen reader. Every OCR application is not developed for screen readers. Some are developed for word processing and other document processing purposes. An OCR application designed for screen reading will produce readable text. Examples of an OCR application for screen reading are:
    • Kurzweil 1000 or 3000
    • PDF Magic
    • Adobe Acrobat (has OCR integrated)
    • Open Book
    • many others

Does it take a long time to scan an entire book?

It takes about an hour to scan and OCR a normal size book.

What do you use for your spine cutting?

Many schools and colleges will have a book spine cutter at their copy center. These cutters will make a clean cut on books up to 2 to 3 inches thick. Many commercial copy centers also have these cutters and charge a few dollars per book. For one or two books, it will take 20 minutes up to a few hours to get to these centers and have the spine cut off.

You can cut off the spine of a book in about 10 minutes with a simple utility knife. Use the hard cover as a straight edge and cut about 4 to 5 pages at a time. It still goes very quickly and results in a clean cut so the book can be rebound later.

Binding of the books can be done with a spiral page binder. These binders are often available at schools and colleges. They can be purchased cheaply at most office supply stores.