2 Replies Latest reply on May 26, 2017 8:33 AM by Chris Mazuc

    Secure PDFs and applications like Abobe Digital Editions are completely dismissing the needs of the Dyslexic reader.


      Hi all,


      I am a dyslexic who has difficulty in reading and writing, however the advances in technology have enabled me and people like me the ability to engage with books, manuals and documents using text to speech packages. Whilst it is true that screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA and others have an ability to read the textual representations on a screen, they are not ideal (such as having difficulty in dealing with text flow), and there very essence is designed with visually impaired users in mind and not the dyslexic. The software of choice for the dyslexic (well for me at least) is Read and Write by Texthelp - a package that enables user such as me to properly read documents in a variety of formats and layouts, plus many other features, such as word highlighting, screen masking, dictionary lookups etc. etc.


      Read and Write has a plug-in called PDFAloud that attaches itself to a standard Acrobat Reader or Editor to enable the user to read a PDF, however, with the advent of publishers wanting to secure their copyright by creating things like secure PDFs, this facility is not able to work in the correct fashion. It has therefore stopped people like me from being able to get the most out of those documents as the reading software no longer has the ability to read the text within the page in a sensible format (yes, Read and Write has screen reading abilities, but as mentioned these are not ideal). By locking out such software to read the documents natively, you are effectively excluding a whole group of users that have specific learning difficulties. In some circles this could be seen as discriminatory.


      We need a way for software manufacturers and publishers to communicate in order that all users across all groups are catered for in the correct fashion, and not simply as a way for publishers to protect their own interests. It should not be difficult for companies like Adobe to provide the platform on which publishers can securely release electronic printed material, yet also provide the ability for third party developers to interact with that platform and thus help users who have specific needs. Crikey, if I wanted to copy the material, I could simply screen dump it - you are never going to stop a determined user from copying copyrighted material, but you are going to severely limit the ability of users with needs.



        • 1. Re: Secure PDFs and applications like Abobe Digital Editions are completely dismissing the needs of the Dyslexic reader.
          Swinney Level 1

          I must say that after being FORCED to use this application, I can see that this is going to turn out to be an absolute horrendous and painful experience!Not only is there no support for my dyslexic software, but even basic reading navigation is non existent - and all this from a piece of software in its fourth generation!!!!


          The literature I am trying to read is produced in partnership with the UK HM Government.I cannot believe that they have willingly decided to produce documentation in this format, both tying themselves into a product that seems to be little more than a beta version, and deliberately ignoring the needs of a large group of users that have difficulty with reading.Talk about make a difficult job worse.Well done the UK Government, TSO, Axelos (the Intellectual Property owners of the material I'm trying to read - which all relates to "Best Practice", if you can believe that) and well done Adobe.


          To compound all of this I found a post on these very forums that was submitted back in 2011 from a lady who again had been forced into using this product through eBook purchases for her son, and again highlighted the fact that it was incompatible with his dyslexia software.Her post received the expected response from Adobe that I fear will be forthcoming with regard to this query - i.e. nothing.

          • 2. Re: Secure PDFs and applications like Abobe Digital Editions are completely dismissing the needs of the Dyslexic reader.
            Chris Mazuc

            Is Adobe Digital Editions addressing this issue?  I see the issue has been brought up years ago and don't see a response yet from Adobe?


            Are there any plans?