Accessibility Rocks

My news paper talks.

In Accessibility Rocks

By Jimmy Podsim
Feb. 21, 2018 at 11:49 a.m.

For most people, reading the news paper in the morning is normal and they have done it all their lives.  If it’s a real paper news paper or a digital version it let’s people know what’s going on around them.  For those of us who have visual problems, reading the morning paper from cover to cover is not always a choice.  However, in the past month I found out that the Victoria Advocate Offers 3 ways to digitally read their paper.  However, if you are using a screen reader, two of the ways are not accessible.  I am not here to cause trouble for the paper, or try to make them change these two methods because method three works really well.  I am writing this however, so that those using screen readers will know how to get their paper in an accessible manner.  

the first thing you will need is an accessible e-pub reader for the platform you use.  On an apple device, that is iBooks.  On your android devices and windows you will need to find an application.  Since I do not use those platforms, I do not want to point people in the wrong direction.  I think the app on Android that does the Google Play books is accessible, but it has been so long since I used it I cannot say for sure.  The next thing you will need is a digital subscription to the Victoria Advocate.  If you want digital only, you will have to tell them when you call in.  You do not have to get a paper delivered to your house that you will more than likely just throw in the trash.  I find the price to be very affordable especially if you get the year subscription.

So, how does this work?  Once you have your e-pub reader and your subscription with your log in set up, simply go to  Once you are logged in, look for the E-edition link on the upper left side of the page.  It’s right below your name.  Click on this link and another window will open.  In this window, you will have three options. Options one and two are not accessible.  Option one is to open the paper in the Victoria Advocate app, do not choose that one, The second is to open in a browser, do not do that one either.  The reason for this is that these versions of the paper are mostly graphical images of the paper version and your screen reader will not read them.  You want to open the third link that says e-pub.  Note that there is a link below that that says save my options, however, mine has never saved them.  

You are almost there.  Once you have clicked the e-pub link, the next screen will have a download e-pub link that you will need to click.  Once that link is clicked, you will get a list of available versions of the paper to open in your reader.  The latest is always at the top.  Simply click the edition you want to read and it will take you to the next step.  The next screen on an iPhone will have a link that says open in iBooks.  simply click the link and wait for iBooks to open and load the paper.  Depending upon your internet speed, this could take anywhere from 5 seconds to a minute.  On other devices, this screen will say something different.  I’m sorry I cannot be of help there.  

Now you have the paper open in your e-pub reader.  You simply use the screen reader reading commands to read it.  Remember that I am using iBooks, but this is how I do it.  At the top left side of the screen you have a table of contents button.  I open this and move through the article titles until I find something I want to read.  Once I find it, I click on that title which opens the article in the reading window.  I then do a two finger swipe down the screen which starts continuous reading mode.  Once I have read that article, I let it continue reading to the next article.  If it’s something I want to read I just let it go, if not, I do a two finger touch on the screen to stop the reading process.  Then click the contents button again and you will land where you were before you left to read the article.  Find the next article and repeat.  Do this all the way until you have read the entire paper.  It’s that easy.  

Now I’m sure that all of you do not want to read the Victoria Advocate because you do not live in this area.  I am sure that other news papers have very similar options.  I have to say that the only reason I learned about this was because I found some very friendly people who realized they did not understand what i was talking about but were willing to take the time to help me figure it out.  For that, I am very thankful.  Remember my visually impaired friends, we live in a sighted world and our sighted friends normally understand nothing of how we access things.  Remember to treat them with respect and teach them because if we do not, then they have no clue.  I would suggest that you simply call your local papers and talk to them.  



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