Excerpt taken from March 2011 issue of the Braille Monitor. Written by Marc Maurer (full article can be accessed at http://www.nfb.org/images/nfb/Publications/bm/bm11/bm1103/bm110308.htm
According to the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 275, 232 new books were published in the US in 2008 (most recent available). A survey of major audio and Braille book producers indicates that only about 16 percent (estimated 45,000) new books are made accessible for the blind annually. The remaining 84% are not accessible.
Now comes Blio, which brings to one place the processes of finding, browsing, choosing, obtaining, and reading books. All that is required is a personal computer or other device able to work with Blio.
Blio is mainstream technology designed for everyone to use and the software itself is absolutely free. JAWS users have instant access to every book available with Blio. (Window-Eyes, System Access, and NVDA will soon have access.) Access for users of refreshable Braille displays can also be expected, making it possible for every book to be a Braille book.
Blio is currently available for desktops, laptops, notebooks, or Netbooks running with Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7. Coming soon, Blio is expected to be available on even smaller, more portable devices starting with the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad. Visit www.blio.com to download the free software.
Same book, same time, same price—that’s been our dream and the dream is coming true.