The Experts in Large Print for Visually Impaired
and other Print Disabled students, and their teachers
Why? Why Books? Why LRS Books?
LRS believes that, despite many advances in technology, books remain the best medium for educational purposes.
Remember how microfilm, cassette tapes, CD's, DVD's, and the PC were each going to replace books? Remember the "paperless office"?
Books are durable, portable, comfortable, and readable: Durable: Books are rugged, can be dropped, thrown, get wet (to a degree), stood on, sat on, and need no power source.
Books can be carried in a backpack (even LRS Large Print School Books),
stored in a locker, read on the bus, in a car, on the beach, in the
bathtub, on a plane, on a camping trip, and need no power source or
Comfortable: Books are familiar; easily recognized,
understood and used; no special formatting or computer language
required. LRS Large Print School Books look the same as everyone else's
school books and so students who use them don't feel singled out as
being different. Readable: It has proved to be much easier to read paper copy than
from a computer screen. Most people print out emails more than a couple
of pages long (remember the "paperless office"?). Science Daily even detailed a report that reading books on paper is better for children than from a computer screen.
Why LRS Books?
LRS Large Print School Books keep the original page layout and pagination unchanged and, using innovative formatting maintain a book
size close to the original; this results in a vision aid that
students can use and, more importantly, will use.
These formats allow for 18 pt and up, which his considered to be the minimum size for Large Print by both the California Department of Education and by APH.
What about fonts? Debate has raged for many years as to the importance of font style in reading for the print challenged. LRS believes that font style is a secondary issue and that font size is most important. (Research supports this, see footnote) LRS' signature formats and binding methods have provided the best in Large Print books to schools across the U.S. for over 35 years.
Large Print Schoolbooks are ideal for mainstreaming and inclusion of Visually Impaired,
multi-disabled, and other print-challenged students and their teachers. (Footnote: "Investigation into font characteristics for optimum reading fluency in readers with sight problems". (2005)
Mary Feely, UK Institute of Opthalmology.
Summary: Results suggest that font type has little effect on reading speed once the size of the print is taken into account.)
There are an increasing number of colleges using digital textbooks, and several Middle and High Schools have adopted these too, though primarily these are private schools. A number of issues have prevented rapid adoption.
Digital does not mean free. Just because the books are downloadable and need no printing and binding does not mean that the books are free, or even substantially cheaper. The primary cost of producing textbooks is the content, not the paper.
Time limits. Most digital textbooks have a limited life to prevent extended re-selling and reduce the risk of piracy.
Ability to print. One of the most common complaints from users is that they are not able to print out pages of the digital books. This feature is often disabled to prevent multiple copies being made and to avoid piracy. Ironically this also demonstrates that students often prefer to read hard copy rather than from the screen.