Release an Audiobook Version of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"
This petition had 196 supporters
For the millions of fans of the Harry Potter series around the world, the Harry Potter books were our “owl to Hogwarts.” When we opened the pages or listened to the words, we were transported to a magical universe where we lived alongside our favorite characters as they learned about magic, bravery, and love. So when a new installment, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was released on July 31, 2016, it gave many of us the opportunity to once again dive into the enchanted world that we grew to love so much.
Unfortunately, this opportunity is being denied to millions of disabled people who have just recently learned that the publisher of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” Scholastic, Inc and its American Affiliate, Arthur A. Levine Books will not be pursuing an audiobook version of the publication. For millions with blindness or low vision, learning disabilities, dyslexia, or some mobility-related disabilities, the opportunity to enjoy this book will be inaccessible due to this editorial decision by Scholastic, Inc.
Join with us in calling on Scholastic, Inc.’s American publisher of the Harry Potter books, Arthur A. Levine Books, to release an audiobook version of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” so that it can be enjoyed by disabled fans.
Audiobooks are essential to the accessibility of text for millions of people with disabilities. It is well known that audiobooks are used by millions of people with blindness or low vision, but did you know that people with other types of disabilities need them as well? People with learning disabilities or dyslexia, and people with disabilities that may make it difficult to hold a book or turn pages, all use audiobooks to experience the joy of reading. People with disabilities are the largest minority in the world, with more than one billion disabled people across the planet. The decision to not publish this book in an accessible audiobook format contributes to a knowledge gap that affects millions of people with disabilities.
Scholastic has decided that it will most likely not release an audiobook version of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” and if they do, it will be far in the future. One unofficial explanation behind this choice is that the formatting of the book, which is that of a play script that introduces characters on different lines, would make the audio of the book “robotic,” as characters would have to be introduced and reintroduced throughout the narrative. This choice denies some readers with disabilities the opportunity to read the book at all if they are not able to read it in a text format. Let’s tell Scholastic that access to the book through an audiobook is far more important than any “awkward formatting.” The choice to read the book should lie with the reader, not the publishing company!
Let’s make it known that we stand for accessibility and equal access so that all people, especially people who require accessible audiobooks, are able to access and enjoy the books they want to read. Let’s raise our voices and convince Scholastic to change their minds so that all fans, disabled and nondisabled, get to return to the world of Harry Potter.
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