[bksvol-discuss] Re: changes in books and volunteering

Hi, Lynn, I'm still reading that science book in fits and starts. I passed
most of the introduction. Okay, on to charts and tables. Hopefully they'll
be understandable by me. Regards, Kim. 

-----Original Message-----
From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Lynn I
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 9:16 PM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: changes in books and volunteering

I'm happy I had the opportunity to participate in the Braille content
testing. If Bookshare engineers were not interested in improving the quality
of translation in the BRF files, they wouldn't have taken the time to put
together the materials for the Braille content testing.

I think this shows that Braille readers do matter, as Evan said.

Guess it's one way of getting me to read a science book--probably the only
way. *smile*

Blessings.

Lynn I

----- Original Message -----
From: "EVAN REESE" <mentat3@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 11:07 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: changes in books and volunteering


On the one hand, it is true that the blind are a minority of the general
population, and braille readers are a minority of a minority. So it might
seem reasonable to assume that braille readers would be the lowest class of
readers on Bookshare. I have often thought so myself, and have complained
every so often here about the faults of the braille produced by Bookshare.

However, I and some others have recently been doing work on testing some new
improvements to the braille output that Bookshare will soon be implementing.
There are some problems, but what I saw was already a serious improvement
over the current output, which itself has improved in quality over the last
year. So, I really don't believe that it is arguable that braille output is
an afterthought at Bookshare. For those who spend a lot of time with a
particular format for  their reading, improvements can seem to never come
fast enough; but they do come. In the three-and-a-half years that I have
been downloading braille books, I have seen serious improvements over the
quality of the braille I got back in 2006. This latest testing has shown me
that Bookshare is putting significant resources into continuing that
increase in braille quality despite the fact that it serves the minority of
a minority that it does.

Evan

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Donna Goodin" <goodindo@xxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 4:05 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] changes in books and volunteering


> Hi all,
>
> I have been feeling for some time that the blind/braille community is
> becoming almost an afterthought here at bookshare.  I agree with the
> person who said that bookshare is getting away from its original  mission,
> perhaps broadening it, but in broadening it, also focusing  more on the
> reading issues of other groups.  More and more I find that  when I submit
> a book to bookshare, I have to produce two copies, one  for myself, and
> one for Bookshare.  Honestly, I'm not sure how much  more of that I am
> willing to do.  I also wonder if it's really  realistic to have a
> one-size-fits-all approach to formatting.  It  makes total sense that the
> needs of a user who is sighted like Judy,  would be different from the
> needs of someone like myself who is not.   For example, the first thing I
> do when I pull up a book in MS-Word, is  make the font size uniform
> throughout the document. I find that  getting rid of large fonts makes the
> editing process much easier.   Similarly, I don't care about page
> numbering in fiction books, and I  don't want to have to forward my
> braille display through a line of  dashes, another line that says "blank
> page"  and then another line of  dashes.  Bookshare seems much more
> willing to ask me to put up with  that, than to say that a sighted user
> should have to live without  enlarged chapter headings. I'm not sure what
> the answer to all this  is, but I will say that I've been feeling unhappy
> for a while now  about what I'm seeing coming out of Bookshare.
> Best,
> Donna
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