We are a registered charity that aims to assist in education and recreation for blind and visually impaired people through the provision of books in accessible electronic formats.
We work throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our copyright licence covers all European Union countries.
Seeing Ear was founded in 2005 by Tony Dart. His aim was to create a free library for people with a visual impairment. In addition the Library had to be open 24/7 and books had to be instantly available in the format of choice – all the benefits of a traditional Library for the Blind with none of the drawbacks. The result was the On Line Library which today is vastly expanded though little changed in concept.
Our main activity is the transcription of a variety of fiction and non-fiction books into an electronic format that is accessible. We then make the transcription available for download from our website.
Our online library is used by over 700 schools and we have built up a high level of experience in transcribing complex textbooks.
We completed a successful three-year Big Lottery-funded project called Books for All in 2013. This project, run in conjunction with CALL Scotland at Edinburgh University, far exceeded its targets, resulting in over 1,500 books being added to our online library.
As part of this project we worked closely with twenty schools in England to provide extra-curricular reading resources for their pupils. The speed and accuracy of our transcriptions have been well received by teachers, giving us confidence in the technologies and methods used in our transcription process.
We do not have the resources to offer a full transcription-on-request service yet but we are able to respond to some of the requests we receive. We are currently developing our own hardware and software that will help us transcribe books faster. Our ambition is to be able to transcribe any book on request as fast as an inter-library loan.