When we think about accessibility, we usually think about things like wheelchair ramps, handicapped parking spaces, and handicapped bathroom stalls. While these accommodations are vital, physical spaces are not the only things that need to be more accessible. Even literature can be inaccessible for factions of the population.
The most obvious group that has trouble accessing books are the blind and visually handicapped. There are accommodations available, such as audiobooks and books written in braille. However, audiobooks are usually reserved for bigger titles, and sometimes come out long after the book was released to the general population. Books written in braille are even less common, because they don’t appeal to the general populous. Generally, you can only find classic literature and the works of a handful of the most popular contemporary authors (Danielle Steel, John Grisham, Agatha Christie, etc.). This makes their reading options quite slim.
There are organizations dedicated to providing free ebooks in plain text. This allows people to use text-to-speech programming to listen to a book, although it’s not nearly as pleasant or easy to understand as an audiobook. Plus, it also raises some legal issues.
For the visually impaired but not blind, there are large-print text books. For popular authors, publishers sometimes print a large text edition of a book. These only come out in paperback, usually coinciding with the hardcover release. The issue with this is two-fold. For one, it is only for the most popular titles. For another, large print books are all but impossible to find. Even if a book is expected to be so popular that a bookstore gets upwards of forty copies, chances are that they only get one large