Alternative Media Formats

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Choosing an E-Text Format

PDF’s are a great visual aide for students with LD or who are hard of hearing. The Word files will be more useful to a student who is blind. The type of e-text format provides different accessible options and is based on a number of factors.

Those factors are based on:

  • Disability
  • The Subject Matter being converted
  • The Formating of the book being processed
  • The Assistive Technology used
  • Personal Preference.

See the differences between what a PDF and Word document will look like for the student by clicking the links below:

DAISY

DAISY denotes Digital Accessible Information SYstem. The DAISY Consortium is committed to making the transition from analog (print and tape) to Digital Talking Books (DTB). The idea is to use digital recording and add document structuring that would allow easy navigation by the user.

A DAISY book or a DTB can be explained as a set of digital files that includes: [1]

  • One or more digital audio files containing a human narration of part or all of the source text;
  • A marked-up file containing some or all of the text (strictly speaking, this marked-up text file is optional);
  • A synchronization file to relate markings in the text file with time points in the audio file; and
  • A navigation control file which enables the user to move smoothly between files while synchronization between text and audio is maintained.

The DAISY Standard allows the producing agency full flexibility regarding the mix of text and audio ranging from audio-only, to full text and audio, to text-only.

Audio

Some screen reader programs allow text to be output to an audio file (usually MP3 or WAV) which can then be imported to an audio player on a computer such as Windows Media Player or iTunes, transfered to a portable audio device such as an iPod, or burned to a compact disc. The drawback to this format is that these standard audio files have none of the navigation features of a DAISY book or a screen reader program.


Braille

Braille is a series of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or whose eyesight is not sufficient for reading printed material. Teachers, parents, and others who are not visually impaired ordinarily read braille with their eyes. Braille is not a language. Rather, it is a code by which languages such as English or Spanish may be written and read. [2]

Captions & Subtitles

Closed Captioning Captions vs. Subtitles Captions and subtitles display audio information as printed words on the viewing screen. Subtitles present only the spoken word whereas captions are specifically designed for viewers who are deaf and hard of hearing and are carefully placed to identify speakers, on- and offscreen sound effects, music, and laughter. [3]

External Resources

Learning Ally
The DAISY Consortium
Premiere Literacy
Described and Captioned Media Program

References

  1. http://www.daisy.org/about_us/
  2. http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=6&TopicID=199
  3. http://main.wgbh.org/wgbh/pages/mag/services/captioning/faq/