Justin, young man, seated in wheelchair in front of adapted computer keyboard and joystick mouse, smiling at camera, Word document open on computer monitor, We are Wimbledon flag above monitor

Accessibility Test of Brandon Sanderson’s 1st Secret Project

Back in March, I had just finished a Mistborn book and heard Brandon Sanderson was doing a kickstarter for four secret projects he was publishing this year. I was worried about that because I use Bookshare Web Reader to read and I sent his team an email expressing my worries about the books’ accessibility. They responded back two days later asking for what I use. I said I used Bookshare or could also use Read Aloud on Edge browser for reading PDF’s. Fast-forward to January 1 and I was reading Tress of the Emerald Sea which had an option to be read as a PDF file that I could read with the help of Microsoft Read Aloud.

By the way I gave Tress of the Emerald Sea five stars on Goodreads.com. so much fun and reminded me of The Princess Bride which is one of my mom’s favorite movies.

What about the accessibility for me for the project?

The secret project is being released as an Ebook and available as a downloadable EPUB or PDF files. 

As a reminder, when it comes to accessibility, I’m really meaning what is working for me and my accessibility needs. Since I have auditory neuropathy AND visual tracking difficulties, my preferred method to read books is to use Bookshare.org where the words are highlighted as they’re read aloud. That way, if I don’t hear something correctly, I can quickly find my place in the text because it’s being highlighted as it’s read.

I use Read Aloud on Microsoft Edge to read PDFs which works well for me. Typically, I’m not reading 505-page PDFs. Adobe Acrobat Reader doesn’t work well for me since it doesn’t highlight words as they’re read aloud. This is one of the things I totally dislike about many of  the MN Department of Human Services PDF files in eDocs is that they only open in Adobe and not in Edge so I can’t read them using a reader that works for me.

The only thing that got kind of irritating for me in reading this 505-page book, was that every page had a header and footer with either the author’s name or book title and page number on. They were read on literally every single page. Check out the brief video below which shows the interruption in a middle of a sentence to read the page number and author. It would be great to be able to turn off the headers and footers if you’re reading lengthy pdf’s like this.

1 thought on “Accessibility Test of Brandon Sanderson’s 1st Secret Project”

  1. Great review and insight into accessibility! I finished it a few weeks ago and also gave it 5 stars on good reads. You can really tell it’s a book he started writing as a gift for his wife.
    I have a wife and she is pregnant with our first daughter, and I am excited to read this book to her for bedtime because of all the important women who do so many cool things!


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