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Accessible Curriculum Materials for Students with ASN
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How to Read Digital Books

The three Bookbug early years books in Adobe PDF, Powerpoint and KeyNote for iPad. The Younger and Older reader shortlisted books are available as PDF files. 

Reading the book with a Computer

To read the Powerpoint Early Years books on your computer you need the free Powerpoint Viewer which you can download here:

To read the PDF books on your computer you need one of the free PDF readers such as:

Click here to see a video guide on reading a book with Adobe Reader.

Reading the book with iPad

To read the Early Years KeyNote books on your iPad you need KeyNote. If you have a newish iPad it will either be on the iPad already or be a free download. If you have an older ipad you may have to buy it (£6.99). 

You can also read the PDF books on an iPad using many different apps including:

  • iBooks (free, built-in, limited colour options, basic text-to-speech with Speak Selection);
  • ClaroPDF (£1.99, lets you change the background colour, good text-to-speech with Heather and Fiona, optional Scottish voices);
  • Voice Dream (£6.99, lets you read the PDF in its original layout or swap to a text-only layout where you can change font, font size, colours, etc - this is also very good for reading the Word versions).

Reading the book with Kindle


Reading the book with Android Tablet

There are also many apps for reading PDF files on an Android device including for example Adobe Reader or ezPDF Reader. Most Android devices have their own built-in voices but you can also buy the Scottish Voices for Android (and other languages and accents too) for £1.19 per voice.

Reading the book with Adobe Reader on a PC

  1. Double click on the book to open it.
  2. If you want Adobe Reader to always open the book at the last page you read, click on Edit > Preferences > Documents and then tick Restore last view settings when reopening documents.
  3. You can use switches to 'turn the pages': plug your switches into your interface so that they operate the Page Up and Page Down keys, or the Left and Right arrow keys.
  4. Some quick instructions for reading the books are given below.

'How To' Guide for Adobe Reader XI

To do this: Do the following:
See the table of contents View > Navigation Panels > Bookmarks or press F4
Open the book at the last page you read Edit > Preferences > Documents and click Restore last view settings when reopening documents
Go to the next page Click the Down arrow in the toolbar, or press PageDown key, or press the Down Arrow key
Go to the previous page Click the Up arrow in the toolbar, or press PageUp key, or press the Down Arrow key
Use Reading Mode (this hides the toolbars at the top of the screen) View > Reading Mode or press CTRL+H
To use Full Screen Mode (this hides everything apart from the page) View > Full Screen Mode or press CTRL+L
To see two pages at once View > Page Display > Two Up
To change the colours Edit > Preferences > Accessibility, tick Replace Document Colours and then choose the colour for the Page Background and the Document Text.
To have the book read out by the computer

View > Read OutLoud > Activate Read OutLoud

There are a few ways to have the text read out:

View > Read Out Loud > Read This Page Only

View > Read Out Loud > Read To End of Document

Or, choose the Select Tool (Tools > Select and Zoom > Select Tool), click on the text, and it will read out the sentence or paragraph you have clicked.

(Note - Nook Study has better text-to-speech facilities than the Read Out Loud that comes with Adobe Reader.)

To change the computer voice Edit > Preferences > Reading, untick Uhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/nookstudy/index.aspse default voice then choose a voice from the list.

Reading the Book Award PowerPoint Books

The three Early Years books are in PowerPoint format. You need Microsoft PowerPoint or the free PowerPoint Viewer on your computer to read them. If you don’t have PowerPoint, you can install the PowerPoint Viewer from the Microsoft website. You will then be able to open and read the books.

Recorded 'Switch Prompt' PowerPoints

Children with physical difficulties may use a switch to enable them to access the computer. These versions give the reader a prompt to use their switch to ‘turn the page’ and read the next part of the story.


Basically, this means that the pages will ‘turn’ only when the timed switch prompt symbol appears on the screen. (any accidental switch presses during the story will not move the page on before it’s been read out). The book will not work in this way if your switch is acting as the ‘space bar.’ However, you will still be able to switch access the book and enjoy the story.

Recorded PowerPoints

These versions can be used by either switch users who do not need ‘switch prompts’ and timings to read the book or by children who do not have physical difficulties, but who have a ‘print disability,’ which makes digital books more enjoyable and accessible for them.


Use a switch and switch interface as before (acting as the ‘space bar’ or ‘left click’). You can use either because there are no timings saved with these PowerPoints.


If the child is physically able to do so, they can use a left click on the mouse or space bar on the keyboard to turn the pages and have the pages of the story read to them. As there are no timings saved with these PowerPoints, the child can read and listen to the book at their own pace, moving on to the next page when they are ready to do so. This also gives them opportunity to interact and comment with a helper or another child as they are reading the story.

'How To' Guide for Microsoft PowerPoint

  1. Connect your switch interface to the computer.
  2. Plug your switch into the interface, making sure that your switch is acting like the ‘left click’ on the mouse. Some interfaces e.g. Crick USB interface will do this automatically.