Orca Book Publishers has released a new format of accessible audiobooks for popular titles by Eric Walters, Monique Gray Smith, Richard Van Camp and more, in English, French and dual-language English and Plains Cree editions.
These new audiobooks have accessibility features designed for people with perceptual disabilities. This includes alternate text describing the books’ illustrations, images and covers, as well as new elements that help with navigation and improve the overall reading experience.
The first 24 accessible audiobooks are available now from all major audiobook retailers, and the list of titles will continue to grow.
Included among these first titles are books that explore COVID-19 for young readers, We Wear Masks and Don’t Stand So Close to Me, the dual-language editions of My Heart Fills With Happiness and We Sang You Home and more.
“We pride ourselves on producing books that represent the diversity of human experience to readers of all ages,” Orca announced. “Access to books where young readers can see themselves reflected is vital, and striving for equity in publishing means creating more books with accessibility at the forefront.”
The new audiobooks are part of a larger, continuing effort to increase the accessibility of Orca titles. Last year, Orca introduced a new Ultra-Readable format for their bestselling lines of high interest, low reading level (hi-lo) books aimed at striving readers.
All of Orca’s new hi-lo books are now being published in this format, which is designed to be more appealing to a wider range of reading levels and abilities, including readers with dyslexia or other language-based learning difficulties. With more than 200 hi-lo books on its list, Orca will now be printing all hi-lo titles in this format.
Ultra-Readable books have a larger trim size, a more readable font, and are printed on cream paper to minimize contrast, allowing readers to focus more easily on the text.
Orca also publishes the “Meg and Greg” series by Elspeth Rae and Rowena Rae, which is designed to help readers with dyslexia or other language-based learning difficulties by introducing new phonograms (combinations of letters that represent a specific sound) one at a time through fun, accessible stories. Each book focuses on four new phonograms.
About Orca Book Publishers (orcabook.com)
Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children’s book publisher of award-winning, best-selling books in a number of genres. With 1200 active titles in print and digital formats and 95 new titles each year, Orca prides itself on publishing Canadian authors and bringing them to a wider market.