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Neo-Pagan Modern Thoughts On Society

In our world of fast moving technology, electronic reading devices, ebooks, intuitive presentations, user friendly applications, varied people with varied disabilities and a great wide ocean of illiteracy it is more important than ever to understand that accessibility is for everyone and materials need to be created in more accessible ways.

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Image of two hands holding each other and offering assistance.In our world of fast moving technology, electronic reading devices, ebooks, intuitive presentations, user friendly applications, varied people with varied disabilities and a great wide ocean of illiteracy it is more important than ever to understand that accessibility is for everyone and materials need to be created in more accessible ways.

Accessibility means that your materials can be read by various people either using assistive technology or not. Accessibility is crucial to the success of the ebook and all electronic information. Accessibility starts with electronic ‘text only’ versions of your publications. Start with the basic text version and build from there.

Why do I have to start with a text only version of my book? Why can’t I start with a pretty, formatted version of my book and then make it accessible?

The answer to the above question is simple. Simplification is essential to accessibility. Simplification of fonts, font sizes, sentence structure, reading grade level, page layout, material comprehension and design. Some people only have the most simple assistive technology and depend on your materials being provided in text only format. No formatting to mess up their obsolete machinery. No pretty pictures to snag their screen readers. And the ability to take your text only materials and make them into Braille friendly version if needed. Remember Braille? Yeah, everything you create should be able to be made Braille ready. Its 2010 folks, get with the picture!

Here are some factors that everyone should consider when creating any type of publication material:

  1. – Do you have a text only version of your material?
  2. – What is the reading level of your material? Shoot for 6-7 grade level and you should be ok, though more complicated documents may be harder to get to this level, it is essential to embrace people that have learning or comprehension disabilities.
  3. – Can your material be provided in electronic format with no visible distortion to page layout and structure?
  4. – If you already have a text only version of your material can you help bring your point across by adding meaningful graphics and images that guide the viewer almost to the point that they don’t actualy even have to read the words to gather the meaning?
  5. – If you have images added to your material, does each image have an alternate text only version added to it, so that screen readers can describe the image to the consumer?
  6. – Can you convert your material into the essential 5 e-formats: epub, html, doc, audio MP3 file and rtf?

We need to provide all materials in as many formats to as many people as possible. The excuse that your materials “look better” in one particular format no longer hold any water in the world as we know it. Keep these tips in mind while creating publication materials and you will begin leading the pack towards a more accessible future for everyone!

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