Elsevier Enables its e-Books to Read Aloud, Increasing Access for People With Print Disabilities

By Elsevier, PRNE
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Text-to-Speech Option Enabled for All Elsevier ePub Book Titles

AMSTERDAM, December 8, 2010 - Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and
medical information products and solutions, announced today that it has
enabled the text-to-speech option on all of its ePub book titles. The
text-to-speech function enables an e-book to read aloud. This will facilitate
access by readers who would otherwise face a range of access challenges
through blindness, dyslexia, or motor difficulties.

With 10-15% of the global population struggling with some form of print
disability, the accessibility of publications is essential to open up access
for a broad array of people. Text-to-speech enables access by people with
disabilities who might otherwise struggle to see, read, or interact with
ebooks. Elsevier is committed to providing universal access to quality
content in sustainable ways, and works to identify and close access gaps. For
those who struggle to see or read text, ebooks that read aloud can provide a
powerful form of access. This will make it easier for bright and talented
people who happen to have print disabilities to become scientists in the

Dr Alicia Wise, Director of Universal Access at Elsevier, said: "Elsevier
and the publishing industry are working hard to make more publications
accessible to people with print disabilities. There is much more work to be
done in partnership with accessibility experts and a range of software
developers and device manufacturers. For example, there are key challenges
related to the accessibility of highly structured and illustrated textbooks,
mathematical formulae, and highly specialised and interactive scientific
databases. All of our products and services must work well together to ensure
that accessible content can be discovered and used by a person with print

Recognised for its accessibility efforts by receipt of the first
Publisher Lookup Award in April 2010 (
www.techdis.ac.uk/index.php?p=9_12_4) Elsevier continues to be very
active in accessible publishing initiatives at industry level, cooperating
with industry bodies such as the International Publishers Association (IPA),
the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), the Publishers Association (PA),
the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the International
Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM).

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and
medical information products and services. The company works in partnership
with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000
journals, including The Lancet (www.thelancet.com/) and Cell
(www.cell.com/), and close to 20,000 book titles, including major
reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include
SciVerse ScienceDirect (www.sciencedirect.com/), SciVerse Scopus
(www.scopus.com/home.url), Reaxys (https://www.reaxys.com/info/), MD
Consult (www.mdconsult.com/php/229510065-2/homepage) and Nursing
Consult (www.nursingconsult.com/php/229510084-2/home.html), which
enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal
suite (www.scival.com/) and MEDai's Pinpoint Review (
www.medai.com/), which help research and health care institutions
deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier (
www.elsevier.com/wps/find/homepage.cws_home) employs 7,000 people
worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC (
www.reedelsevier.com/Pages/Home.aspx), a world-leading publisher and
information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed
Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London
Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

    Media contact

    Harald Boersma
    Senior Manager, Corporate Relations, Elsevier

Media contact: Harald Boersma, Senior Manager, Corporate Relations, Elsevier, H.Boersma at elsevier.com, +31-20-485-27-36

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