Project Tiflolibros


Tiflolibros - books for the blind

Project Tiflolibros

What is the Project Tiflolibros?

The Tiflbooks list appeared at the end of 1999. Although it started as a group of friends, today it is an international development that brings together people from all latitudes.

Tiflolibros is currently the first digital library for the blind and visually impaired Spanish-speaking. The pillars of its functioning are the mailing list, which mainly deals with literature issues and which is the tool that facilitates the exchange and contribution of digital books, and the page where, in addition to the library, texts written by members of Tiflolibros meet. , links of interest, an audio room and many other common projects.

The Goal of Tiflolibros It was from its beginnings that of forming a library of texts in computer support. The mailing list was created in order to exchange information about the books that each one had digitized to access their reading, and save the time and effort involved in the scanning and correction, as well as sharing experiences and common experiences.

Our project was growing day by day thanks to the contribution of each of its members. And so new ideas were generated and expanding horizons.

Currently we have a library with more than 5,000 books in digital format exclusively for people who, due to their disability or condition, can not access reading through the conventional system. Access to it is restricted. Only those who have a username and password can access it, which is delivered on time when they receive the information required to join the group (name, age, place of residence, type of disability, proof of deficiency and adaptations used for the use of the PC).

In August 2002, Tiflonexos, a non-profit civil association, has been consolidated, within which the Tiflolibros Library operates.

Finally, it is important to point out that Grupo Editorial Planeta, as well as the Fondo de Cultura Económica, the Alfaguara Argentina publishing house, Editorial Sudamericana, and edebé editions have been giving us their support by giving us their books in digital format. To protect the texts Mr. André Duré (computer programmer, blind, member of the group) developed a software called Tiflolector. This software consists of an exclusive text display for the blind that does not allow copying, cutting or printing any part of the text. The Tiflolector works with encrypted files with extension tfl, which are presented on screen with an identical font and background color, which makes them inaccessible to a sighted reader but fully readable with a screen reader program like the one used by blind people for the management of the computer.

What about copyright?

The subject of the copyright of the books that we scanned and exchanged was always a concern and object of debate in repeated occasions.

Legislation was investigated and consulted with international organizations related to the subject, but it was found that At the moment there is no clear provision. Thus, the decision was taken to abide by the same rules that always apply to the functioning of libraries for the blind, whether in Braille or cassette:

What books can circulate freely while they are distributed free of charge and only those people who for some physical impediment can not access reading in the conventional format.

The Spanish legislation on intellectual property details (referring to the reproduction of books without the need for the authorization of the author): "For the private use of the blind, provided that the reproduction is done through the Braille system or another specific procedure and that the copies are not subject to profitable use. " In section 3, article 31, Chapter II of title III of the Royal Legislative Decree 1/96 approving the revised text of the intellectual property law, published on April 12.

How does a blind person achieve digital reading?

A blind man accesses the computer through screen reader programs, that by means of a synthetic voice reproduced by the speakers of the PC transmit the information that appears on the screen. With these programs you can use (as long as they meet certain accessibility standards) all applications that work under Windows. Thus, any digitized text on the computer can be read by a person with visual impairment.

Access to this medium meant a great leap, since it allows, for example, to read a newspaper through the Internet, something that until a few years ago was impossible to do, or read a book through a scanner.

The scanner takes the image of the paper placed on it and transfers it to the computer. Then a program called OCR (Optical Character Recognition) processes the image and converts it into recognizable text by text processors, and therefore by screen reader programs.

This is how electronic reading has become in recent years another important possibility of access to texts in addition to Braille or cassette recordings.

Digital reading in the field of people without any disability has also been developed in recent years but the bid for a greater and effective defense of copyright has led to the use of formats not accessible to a person with visual impairment. For example, many digital libraries and libraries on the Internet are using the Microsoft Reader, Glassbook or Acrobat E-Books formats. These programs, when searching to block any possibility of capturing the text by an external program, block access to the screen readers, making it impossible to read them. On the other hand, PDF, another protected format in vogue, does allow access, by means of a Plug-in Accessibility that is installed together with the program and allows to visualize the text in a captivable way for the reading programs. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the publication of the book "El atroz encanto de ser Argentino" by Marcos Aguinis, which was made by Clarín together with Grupo Planeta in PDF and protected.

Who are part of Tiflolibros?

The mailing list is composed today by more than 500 members, mostly blind or with severe visual impairments, but also people with other disabilities such as paralysis and quadriplegia, and people with sight who work in institutions where blind or visually impaired are involved. It should be noted that people with a view can freely participate in the list, but they are not given a username and password unless it is to bring the service closer to blind people who can not access by themselves.

Each member of the list contributes the books that are scanned and corrected to make them available to everyone on the library page.

Currently participating in Tiflolibros people from the following countries: Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, United States, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Mexico , Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Sweden, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Who coordinates the project?

Pablo Lecuona, blind, advanced student of Communication Sciences (Orientation in community communication) at the University of Buenos Aires, Mara Lis Vilar Prof. Of special education with guidance on the blind and visually impaired, André Duré, blind programmer in charge of the technical area and Marta Traina, blind, Student of Communication Sciences. Antonio Fernández Zaldívar is the representative of Tiflolibros in Spain.

It is also noteworthy the work of many members of Tiflolibros, who collaborate from their places and their possibilities, uploading books to the page, organizing catalogs, seeking relationships with other institutions, and disseminating the project in academic and cultural areas, facilitating the approach and the participation of the community.

United States 3548 Dpto. B (postal code 1228), Buenos Aires
(54-11) – 4931-9002 / (54-11) 4902-4962



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