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Bookshare’s 2014 Winter Bulletin Just Released!

2014 December 16
by Bookshare Team Member

Our quarterly newsletter, the Bookshare Bulletin was just released! This Winter 2014 edition is a wonderful recap of a tremendous year and an exciting preview of 2015. Thank you for this amazing year and enjoy reading the bulletin!

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Giving Thanks and Looking Ahead

A message from Betsy Beaumon, VP and General Manager, Benetech Global Literacy Program

From our family to yours, we wish you the very best holiday season.

Thanks to your support, Bookshare is serving more members than ever with a collection of hundreds of thousands of accessible ebooks and with tools that offer a “read now” experience on multiple browsers for anytime reading. We also launched a major update to the Bookshare website, making improvements to better support our members.

We believe that our technology and services offer a new world of opportunity for millions of readers around the world. And we are setting our sights on further revolutionizing the fields of accessibility and education. These goals are embodied in the mission of Benetech, the nonprofit parent company that operates Bookshare and that advances the use of technology as a force for social good across the Benetech Global Literacy Program.

Looking ahead, our team is taking on multiple cool new projects. We’re working to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for students who have visual disabilities or learning differences. We just launched a new project to explore ways in which 3D printing technology in libraries and museums can improve learning and accessibility in a range of educational contexts, especially in STEM classes. We also began developing a cloud-based app to help publishers and educators deliver accessible math.

As these projects illustrate, we’re extending what we’ve learned from our extensive work with Bookshare to help publishers and other content creators realize the promise of the digital age and ensure that all content that’s born digital is also born accessible.

We invite you to learn more about our work and please consider supporting our efforts.  Your gift will have a more far-reaching impact than you can ever imagine.

P.S. Did you know that many employers match contributions to Bookshare?  See if your company will match your gift!

 

Book Cover of Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. An Image of Santa Clause with large hog tusks.

Book Cover of Hogfather by Terry Pratchett.  Santa Clause with large tusks.

Fun Reads for the Holidays

Our Collection Development team sure likes to have fun!

This holiday book blog will give you an early start to titles that will undoubtedly tickle your funny bone. You can also check out our winter holiday reading Pinterest board.

There are so many more great books in our collection! Why not peruse our special collection of 2014 National Book Award titles and add them to your reading list?  And what better way to read than on your own! Learn how you can sign up your students for Individual Memberships.

Product Updates

Data security is always a priority at Benetech. We’ve recently updated the Bookshare website to maintain security of our member information. This update will affect how users of the free Read:OutLoud Bookshare Edition find and read new books.  Please read this important update.

 

Student sitting behind an iPad and reading

Student reading an accessible book on a laptop.

Students Break through Reading Barriers

Confidence, independence, possibility, and achievement—these are the benefits that students with learning disabilities highlight about assistive technology and Bookshare books. Hear it in their own words by viewing this great video of Texas students.

Please share this video!

 

 

Understood.org website – 15 nonprofits here to help you.  Image of hand holding a tablet.

Understood.org website – 15 nonprofits here to help you. Image of hand holding a tablet.

Parenting Tips from Understood.org

The holidays are a time for family and fun. Excitement runs high, and kids navigate unfamiliar situations. This can spell trouble for the one in five children with learning and attention issues.

If you or a parent you know could benefit from some tips to manage these behaviors, try Understood’s Parenting Coach today!

 

Teachers, Get Ready for Next Semester!

It’s not too early to make sure your students have the books they need. Get ahead with these easy steps!

You can also sign up for the following two great learning opportunities!

Logo for ablenet

Logo for ablenet

Inspire Lifelong Learning with Bookshare (January 20, 2015)—Join AbleNet University and Bookshare for a webinar on how to inspire lifelong learning with your students using Bookshare and assistive technology. Attendees will get a certificate of attendance and a 10% discount on AbleNet products. Register today!

 

Logo for Perkings eLearning workshops

Logo for Perkings eLearning

Bookshare Train the Trainer (January 26, 2015)—Learn how you can train other educators and schools to use Bookshare in this convenient five-week online course from Perkins eLearning. Attendees will earn 25 continuing education credits, and you can get a discount by signing up before December 31.  Register today!

Bookshare Mentor Teachers can contact training@bookshare.org to learn about scholarship opportunities.

Have a safe and fun holiday and thank you!

With warm regards from the Benetech and Bookshare team.

 

 

Winter Holiday Titles That Will Tickle Your Funny Bone!

2014 December 6
by Bookshare Team Member

Looking for some holiday cheer? Check out these witty and quirky holiday titles!  We bet one or more will tickle your funny bone, so put away those serious books and put on a smile. Why not share your favorite holiday read on Twitter or post a fun picture on Facebook of yourself reading?

We’d love to be a tiny part of a reading experience that brings joy to you and all people.  Ho ho ho and happy holidays!

1Book Cover Honeyky Hanukah – Illustration of Woody Guthrie playing guitar and a dog singing on a city street.

Book Cover Honeyky Hanukah Illustration of Woody Guthrie playing guitar and a dog singing on a city street.

For Young Readers

Honeyky Hanukkah by Woody Guthrie: A rollicking celebration as a boy and his dog invite friends and family to a holiday feast. (Grades PK-2)

A Pinata in a Pine Tree by Pat Mora: A delightful Latin-flavored take on the 12 days of Christmas. (Grades PK-2)

The Miracle Jar by Audrey Penn: Sophie’s mother is worried that their cooking oil won’t last through Hanukkah, while the children learn more about the miraculous story this holiday commemorates. (Grades 2-4)

Horrible Harry and the Holidaze by Suzy Kline: Everyone’s learning new things about holidays around the world, but Harry just can’t get into the holiday spirit. (Grades 3-5)

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien: Every December, the children of the beloved author received a special letter containing wonderful stories from the North Pole. (Grades 3-6)

Box of Delights by John Masefield: Kay Harker is coming home for Christmas, but finds himself being watched by some shady characters. (Grades 4-7)

Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by Frank L. Baum: From the author of the Oz books, a highly imaginative set of tales about old Kris Kringle. (Grades 5-8)

 

Book Cover of Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. An Image of Santa Clause with large hog tusks.

Book Cover of Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. An Image of Santa Clause with large hog tusks.

For Adults

Tinsel by Hank Stuever: Follows three “holiday believers” in Frisco, Texas, through a beautiful and hilarious Christmas.

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett: There’s something awfully familiar about this jolly old red-suited gift giver in this inventive Discworld novel.

Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg: A magical novel about a warm and tender Christmas in a small Southern town.

Rest You Merry by Charlotte Macleod: A university-based Scrooge finds a real reason for bah-humbugging when he stumbles over a dead librarian in his living room this Yuletide.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci: Getting from Washington to LA in time for Christmas shouldn’t be too difficult for Tom Langdon, right? Right?

Snark! the Herald Angels Sing edited by Lawrence Dorfman: For those suffering from serious eggnog overdose, an entertaining anthology that skewers the whole gamut of winter holidays.

Candy Canes outlined in a heart. Holiday Reads

Holiday Reads with candy canes outlined in a heart.

Hope you enjoy these holiday reads!

There’s lots more titles in the collection to explore this season.

 

P.S. Check out our Winter Holiday Reading board on Pinterest too!

 

 

How did an Occupational Therapist Help to Build Statewide Delivery of Accessible Instruction Materials?

2014 December 1
by Bookshare Team Member
Photo of Nancy Dunn

Nancy Dunn, OT, Iowa Heartland Area Education Agency

In 2010, the Iowa Department of Education (DOE) developed True AIM, a statewide initiative to ensure that all students with qualified print disabilities receive timely access to accessible instructional materials (AIM). To deliver on this promise, the Iowa DOE partnered with Benetech, Bookshare’s parent nonprofit.

Nancy Dunn, an occupational therapist and Bookshare Mentor Teacher, supported this initiative at the Iowa Heartland Area Education Agency. She and others on the assistive technology team trained educators about the benefits and delivery of accessible instructional materials. Their efforts helped to build capacity in more than ten Iowa districts. What did Nancy and the team do?

  • Assisted with interventions to determine which students qualify for Bookshare and are able to benefit from electronic text
  • Helped educators and parents determine the need for assistive technology and reading tools to support student learning
  • Supported IEP teams to document the need for accessible materials
  • Provided training to school staff and parents on accessing Bookshare and downloading books through Organizational and Individual Memberships

“I always begin my training by telling participants that Bookshare is free to students who qualify through federal awards from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs,” says Nancy. “It takes time to set up the district Organization Membership and build capacity, but once it’s done, it’s easy to download books for students. They don’t wait for books anymore and teachers do not have to send books to our central office for scanning. Bookshare has helped us remove some of the barriers of easily providing accessible instruction materials.

“I follow Bookshare in Action newsletters and sign up for webinars to hear about the latest tools and enhancements. I also network with other mentors who share best practices about their districts,” she said. “I am proud of the Iowa True AIM initiative and our accomplishments to build statewide capacity and to enable more students to reach their goals.”

Last year, a high school senior with a physical disability became an Individual Member of Bookshare. Nancy believes it was one of the best things she ever did to help a student. “He has so many interests, but cannot hold a book steady,” she said. “We explored many devices before we found a solution. Using the iPad mini, he could activate the keys with his knuckle or a stylus. Now, he independently accesses books using the Read2Go app and has a better chance of becoming a lifelong reader. I felt so good about him learning to use technology and having access to Bookshare before he graduated!”

Kristina Cohen working on a computer.

Kristina Cohen – Bookshare Sr. Education Manager giving a training session.

About the Bookshare Mentor Teacher Program

This program began in 2010 to support the nation’s top teachers and assistive technology specialists with training tools to engage educators, parents, and students in the effective use of Bookshare’s online accessible library and reading technologies. Over 500 educators and specialists have now joined the network and work in their local communities and schools to advocate for students with print disabilities.  Bookshare Mentor Teachers also develop and share best practices with other teachers across the United States.

Learn more at http://communications.bookshare.org/mentor-teachers/.

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Sign up for an online course through Perkins to learn more about training others on Bookshare best practices!

Logo for Perkings eLearning workshops

Logo for Perkins eLearning Workshops

Perkins eLearning is offering a five-week online course starting January 26, 2015.  Sign up for this online course before December 31, 2014, and take advantage of an early bird discount!

Upon completing the course, you can earn 25 continuing education credits. This course is geared toward assistive technology specialists, trainers, teachers, and other educational specialists interested in gaining the tools and resources necessary to train others on Bookshare.

Giving Thanks, Looking Ahead: An Open Letter to the Bookshare Community

2014 November 24
Betsy Beaumon head shot

Betsy Beaumon, General Manager, Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech’s Global Literacy Program

Dear Friends,

I always appreciate hearing from our members and getting a glimpse into how Bookshare is making a positive difference in their lives.

Oftentimes, the stories our members share with us are deeply moving, but there’s something especially rewarding in hearing someone new to our community commenting on what they’re able to accomplish with Bookshare.Consider the following statement that one of our members has anonymously shared with us:

“I recently activated my account, and am thrilled with your service and how it works seamlessly with my iPad. This is the first time I have been able to read books unavailable [as commercial digital spoken audio products] in over fifteen years. In addition, your service is enabling me to develop a career that would otherwise be impossible. I am very grateful for Bookshare!”

This note is a powerful reminder of how grateful I am for you—our Bookshare members, parents, educators, volunteers, donors, and partners—and for the tremendous achievements we have accomplished together over the past year.

Thanks to your support, Bookshare is now serving more members than ever with a collection of hundreds of thousands of accessible ebooks, and with tools that offer a “read now” experience on multiple devices of their choosing, whether at school, at home, at work, or on the go. We just launched a major update to the Bookshare website, carefully making major improvements to it in order to better support our members and enable them to get even more out of our vast and growing collection.

We aren’t stopping here, though. We believe that our technology and services offer a new world of opportunity for millions of readers around the world, and are setting our sights on further revolutionizing the fields of accessibility and education. These goals are embodied in the mission of Benetech, the nonprofit parent company that operates Bookshare and that advances the use of technology as a force for social good. We’re therefore expanding not only the scale of our work through Bookshare but also our scope across the Benetech Global Literacy Program.

This means that our team is taking on multiple new, cool projects. For example, we’re working hard to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for students who have visual disabilities or learning differences. We just launched a new project to explore new ways in which 3D printing technology in libraries and museums can be used to improve learning and accessibility in a range of educational contexts, especially in STEM classes. Earlier this year, we began developing a cloud-based app to help publishers and educators deliver accessible math.

As these projects illustrate, we’re extending what we’ve learned from our extensive work with Bookshare to help publishers and other content creators realize the promise of the digital age and ensure that all content that’s born digital is also “born accessible.” We’re also expanding the proven Bookshare model internationally, so that people with disabilities all around the world, including many who currently have little or no access to education, benefit from the same service that our members enjoy in the United States. In fact, Bookshare is the only major library of its kind that’s actively delivering services in conjunction with partners across the world.

Thank you to our thriving Bookshare community for everything you have done to make these efforts possible. As we look forward to 2015, we know that much work remains to be done—people to empower, places to reach, new accessibility tools to explore and build, and new partnerships to develop in order to better address the global need for accessible content. All this mission-focused work goes beyond what we’re funded to do, and we definitely need your generous help to carry it forward: to provide additional books; create unprecedented opportunities to benefit from accessible math; extend our services to developing countries; and keep improving and increasing the ways to use Bookshare.

This giving season, you may be receiving communications from our team with an appeal for financially supporting Bookshare. Please take a look and give whatever you can to allow us to continue these efforts and do even more, for more people. We build our technology-for-good products and reach dollar-by-dollar, and therefore every gift of any size makes a difference for the individuals we serve.

I look forward to continuing our shared journey, and to accomplishing much more together over the coming year and beyond. Thank you in advance for your support.

Warm regards and happy holidays,

Betsy Beaumon

General Manager, Bookshare

Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech’s Global Literacy Program

Learn About Thanksgiving With These Bookshare Titles!

2014 November 21
by Bookshare Team Member
Happy Turkey Day! Fun photo of two pumpkins and a cross-eyed turkey

Happy Turkey Day! Fun photo of two pumpkins and a cross-eyed turkey.

There’s nothing more satisfying than curling up with a good read.  So, we’ve selected these fun Thanksgiving titles for Bookshare readers of all ages to learn why the holiday is so special.  As we turn indoors for some good ole fashion fun, we hope your holiday is warm and enjoyable!

You never know what you can learn from a good book. Gobble, gobble!

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For younger readers:

Thanksgiving_Dinner_Platter book cover.  Young girl in lovely blue dress holds a plate with cake for a pet.

Book Cover of The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter by Randa Handler

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

Ready, Freddy! #15: Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble

The Thanksgiving Day Platter

Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

Don’t Be Such A Turkey!

*******

the_gift_of_thanks boo cover. Youg maidens dancing in the woods.

Book Cover “The Gift of Thanks” by Margaret Visser

For adult readers:

Thanksgiving 101

Our Founding Foods

The Gift of Thanks

Mayflower

Bless This Food

The Wordy Shipmates

 

 

Updated Bookshare Web Reader Now Lets You Read on Safari!

2014 November 17

Bookshare Web Reader, the popular and free reading tool, can now be used on current versions of the Safari browser for Mac!

BKS-safari-chrome-1

Screen capture of Bookshare Web Reader reading Romeo and Juliet from an Internet Browser.

With this newest update to Bookshare Web Reader, Mac users can use Safari to find, open, and read Bookshare books directly within the browser. In addition, they can also listen to words read aloud and follow along with synchronized word highlighting. This full set of reading features was previously only available only on Google Chrome.

This is a particularly great update because in addition to using the Safari browser, Mac users can take advantage of high-quality voices available in Mac OS X!

What other improvements were included in this update?

  • Access to full reading features on Safari.
  • On current versions of Google Chrome, simply find a book and select “Read Now.” You no longer need to install the Chrome extension the first time you use it.
  • Select voice preferences on Safari and Chrome.

Note that Bookshare Web Reader can still be used with screen readers on other browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer. Learn more about compatible browsers. In addition, Bookshare Web Reader is not yet fully supported on mobile devices, but you can learn about other compatible mobile reading tools.

Visit Bookshare today and try reading a book with Bookshare Web Reader on Safari or Chrome!

 

 

Donor Spotlight! Carole H. Lake

2014 November 14
by Bookshare Team Member
Image of Carole Lake

Image of Carole Lake

Thank you Carole H. Lake, Bookshare Member, for this wonderful guest post!

Why do I support Bookshare, the accessible online library for people with print disabilities operated by the Benetech Global Literacy Program?  Well, I support it for a number of reasons, but first let me tell you a story.

My grandmother was a highly educated woman and an avid reader. Sadly, she developed glaucoma, and lost her eyesight in her 60s. I used to go down to the Texas State Library and pick up books on records for her. No, not books on tape—books on vinyl! They were heavy, clumsy, and annoyingly scratched. Moreover, the choice of subject matter was absurdly limited to biographies of long-dead historical figures, obscure (but sincere!) religious tracts, books on etiquette, and the occasional Pearl Buck novel (for light reading). It was depressing, and worse, it was boring. There was no way to request more interesting (or more recent!) books for her, so she dwindled into dozing and listening to soap operas on the TV for the last twenty years of her life. If she couldn’t listen to it on TV, it wasn’t readily available for her.

Like my grandmother, I have always been a reader. By the third grade, I had read every book in our elementary school library, though I definitely missed some of the nuances in Gone With the Wind! As a young adult, I was the kind of person who took ten books along to read on a trip, just in case we got stuck somewhere. Now, I have over five thousand (seriously!) books on my iPad/Kindle, because you just never know what you’re going to want to read! I have eclectic tastes in literature. If I find an author I like, I want to read everything he/she wrote. If I like the first book in a series, I want to read the whole series, and I don’t want to wait! I unapologetically read racy romance books (sexy vampires!), but I’m also working on reading a biography of every president (I read Bill Clinton’s first!).

As I’ve grown older, my vision has changed and is not what it used to be, as my grandmother’s eye problems seem to run in the family. I don’t expect to be seriously vision-impaired, but it certainly makes me think, “What if I couldn’t read?”

In my grandmother’s day, well-meaning people picked her reading material. Can you imagine the number of hours it took volunteers reading for the blind to finish just one book? The books they chose had to be not only appropriate for a wide range of readers, but also politically correct. About ten years ago, I discovered that, in many ways, nothing had changed. Many of the books I wanted to read were simply not available to people with disabilities. And this is because someone on a committee somewhere was deciding what is appropriate. To me, that feels like censorship. It surely isn’t equality of access!

I believe people should be able to read whatever they want to read—from history to urban fantasy to light romance, gory mysteries, current events, classics, paranormal, New York Times bestsellers, to inspirational books and, of course, sexy vampires.

Which brings me to Bookshare.

When I first discovered Bookshare, I realized that its members could CHOOSE what they wanted to read from any book in the collection. Technology had made it much faster to convert a standard book to an equivalent in an accessible format, and the Bookshare team was willing to add any book to the system, if someone volunteered to scan it. I was so excited. No censorship. No judgment.

It turned out, however, that many books still weren’t in the collection after all. Because the vast majority of its members are students, Bookshare was funded by grants to scan the books that students need for school. At first, I contributed to Bookshare books (not textbooks!) that I love and would want to be available to me if I were visually impaired. That was fun! But gradually, I began to realize that it wasn’t all about me. Thousands of others were out there, wishing for books that simply weren’t in the collection—yet. To me, not being able to read that book one wants is a bad thing.

I decided, therefore, to help increase the Bookshare collection by financially supporting the purchase, processing, and proofing of books that are requested by members and that are not covered by grants or otherwise made available directly as digital files by Bookshare publisher partners. If one person wants that book, that’s good enough for me.

You see, I realized that it isn’t about what I want to read, and it’s certainly not about what I think you ought to read. Rather, it’s about each individual member being able to read exactly what he or she wants. Today. Right now, by immediate download. Now that’s a good thing!

About Bookshare:

For more information about Bookshare, visit www.bookshare.org.  We appreciate your support in helping Bookshare add more titles and collections to the library.  Please donate today!  Thank you.

Blind U.S. Army Captain Teaches Us to Keep Learning and Serving!

2014 November 11
Timothy Hornik, Co-Founder of TAVVI, with friend and colleague, Dan Standage, Director of Disability in Education, Student Veterans of America

Timothy Hornik, Co-Founder of TAVVI, with friend and colleague, Dan Standage, Director of Disability in Education, Student Veterans of America  (www.studentveterans.org)

In honor of Veterans Day, we salute Timothy E. Hornik, a Bookshare member and U.S. Army Captain who has a lifelong ambition to help Veterans who are visually impaired make successful transitions to civilian life.

In 2002, Tim earned his military commission from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. In September 2004, he was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. That same year, sniper fire caused Tim to become blind.

For the next eight years, Tim remained on active duty managing operations, and he was able to fulfill his desire to serve others. Today, he is a Licensed Master of Social Work at the University of Kansas and is pursuing his PhD in Therapeutic Sciences.

Tim is also the cofounder of TAVVI, The Technology Association for Veterans with Visual Impairments, a working group under the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) in Kansas.  TAVVI develops programs and services to offer educational resources and personalized transition support to disabled Veterans pursuing postsecondary education.

The Blinded Veterans Association reports statistics from the Department of Veterans Affairs that there are over 158,000 visually impaired Veterans in the U.S.  This rate may increase by 7,000 each year.  Today, more than ever before, Veterans are taking advantage of military-related educational programs and enrolling in universities, community colleges, and vocational institutions.

Tim estimates that within two years, TAVVI may serve 400 to as many as 800 Veteran students. To develop his program, he networks with colleagues at Veterans organizations and universities and advocates for digital accessible ebooks and technologies to be readily available for Veterans with print disabilities. Among the educational resources he recommends is Bookshare’s online library.  Membership to Bookshare is free for Veterans with qualified print disabilities who attend U.S. schools. Tim likes the varied collection of educational ebooks, technical and professional journals, and popular sci-fi he reads for pleasure.

Tim’s preferred technology device for reading accessible books is his iPhone with the Voice Dream Reader App. He was also an early adopter of Bookshare’s Read2Go app. Tim likes accessible books with synthesized text to speech (TTS) because the uniformity of voices helps him to read and skim information fast.  He also recommends that fellow Veterans read titles in Bookshare’s special military collection to help them better understand the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life. Titles Tim has read and recommend include:

In addition to his work at TAVVI, Tim writes a blog, Blind, but Not Alone, and has published a series of guides on features and applications for visually impaired iOS users. Last year, he represented wounded warriors at the M-Enabling Summit and provided evidence for a congressional hearing on the VA’s 508 usability survey for screen readers.  Tim also downloads children’s books from Bookshare to read with his young daughter and spends time volunteering with these organizations: Heartland Regional Group of Blinded Veterans in Kansas, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, and the University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare.

Logo for the Coalition to Salute America's heros. Image is a sillouette of a person in military with red stripes of a flag waving.

Logo for the Coalition to Salute America’s heroes. A sillouette of a military person saluting red stripes in a flag.

The Bookshare staff would like to thank Tim and all Veterans for their extraordinary service to our country. Together with Tim and organizations like TAVVI, we extend our thanks and salute university programs and organizations that bring people, resources, and information to serve disabled Veterans.

Happy Veterans Day!

For more information about Bookshare, visit www.bookshare.org or email Veterans@bookshare.org.  We appreciate your support in helping Bookshare add more titles and collections to the library for Veterans to read. Please donate today!  Thank you.

Understood.Org – A Resource Network In Support of Parents of Children with Learning and Attention Issues

2014 November 5
Adult and child sitting happily together working on a learning project. Source: Understood.org

Adult and child sitting happily together working on a learning project. Source: Understood.org

The Internet can be an amazing resource for finding out about everything from ancestry to zoology. As a parent of three children, I spent countless hours each month reading sites like “What to Expect When You Are Expecting,” and then checking their developmental growth on “Baby Center” only to be completely panic stricken when one of them did not reach their milestones when they were supposed to.

Likewise, for parents who are trying to get answers to help their child succeed in school and at home, the Internet can be an overwhelming and scary place. Even the savviest of parents are confused, and they often find themselves wading through an abyss of conflicting reports on the exact same topic.

Bookshare, an initiative of Benetech Global Literacy, and 14 other nonprofits have come together to create Understood.org, a new website for parents of children with learning and attention issues.  Developed by parents, experts, and people with their own learning and attention issues, Understood.org brings together all of the information parents need to support their children at home and school.

Screen caption of Understood website.Screen caption of Understood website.  Parent Toolkit. 15 nonprofits come together.  Dive in! Image of a hand holding a tablet with logos of participating organizations

Screen capture of Understood website. Parent Toolkit. 15 nonprofits come together. Dive in! Image of a hand holding a tablet with logos of participating organizations.

With Understood.org, you can connect with other parents on the same journey through a secure online community. You can ask questions from a variety of experts and get advice on how to deal with challenging behaviors. You can participate in daily chats and webinars and get personalized information that is most relevant to you. You can even experience what it is like for your child, who may have trouble with reading, math, organization, or attention, through the online simulation tool “Through My Child’s Eyes.” And all of this is free!

So if you are struggling with finding reliable information and support on the Internet, check out Understood.org today!

 

Image of Lisa Wadors

Bookshare’s Manager of Parent Outreach

This blog post written by Lisa Wadors Verne. Lisa has her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a former special education teacher.

Lisa is the Educational Manager for the Bookshare Parent Ambassador Program and has three children.