Here comes the first e book for children with visual impairments which would soon be available at Apple’s iBookstore and can be downloaded for free on iPads. The book titled ‘Reach for the stars: Touch, look, Listen, Learn’ is inspired by a latest Hubble Space Telescope image of the colourful ’30 Doradus Nebula’- a giant star-forming region.

The e-book should have six chapters and run about 90 pages. Every page of each chapter would begin with a question, followed by a short answer.

Children with visual impairments would not only hear the text read to them but also access the book using a refreshable Braille display, the ‘Voice Over” screen reader, or the zoom feature that is included in every iPad.

Images, graphics, videos and animations would also appear in every chapter. Some of the images will be interactive. Several prominent star clusters in an image of the 30 Doradus nebula, for example, are marked by circles. Touch a circle and a short caption appears on the screen describing the cluster.

In addition to the Voice Over and read-aloud option, the book would also offer closed captioning, a compatibility option for people with hearing aids, and a high-contrast feature for those with low vision. For brightness, SAS is using pitch to tell people with visual impairments the brightness of a particular star when they touch it. The brighter the star, the higher the pitch, said Summers.

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