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Getting Ready for the Outside World: Bookshare Supports School’s Vocational Program

2016 February 9
Jean Goodwin standing behind a student using a computer with head phones to read. Ken Merrill standing and observing the class training.

Jean Goodwin with student using Bookshare. Ken Merrill observing class.

Aha moments and big smiles are the cues Jean Goodwin looks for in her adult students, ages eighteen to twenty, who have complex language, learning, and cognitive challenges. Goodwin holds a Master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis on Mild-Moderate Disabilities. She is a lead teacher in the GROW transition program at Riverview School in East Sandwich, Massachusetts. The GROW acronym stands for “Getting Ready for the Outside World.”

About GROW

Structured like a college campus, this ten-month transition program enables students to live in dormitories, attend classes, and participate in an extensive internship program to learn how to function independently outside classroom walls. “In this extraordinary learning and living environment, students participate in three phases — academics, independent living, and workforce skills — that act as a bridge to build their proficiencies,” says Goodwin. They learn how to advocate for themselves, make mature choices, and take responsibility for their lives. They learn to use assistive technologies and resources such as Bookshare.”

In GROW, students gain firsthand experience in work settings to develop good habits and increased awareness of their personal strengths and interests. The curriculum includes direct instruction in academic subjects, but also provides students with authentic work and life skills such as how to be an informed passenger in a car with the goal of becoming a good driver, and how to work in food service occupations. “That’s where Bookshare comes in for our students who qualify for the accessible library,” says Goodwin.

In 2015, she completed her graduate ILP (independent learning project or thesis) by researching the importance of adaptive technologies for students with print and learning disabilities. “Accessible technologies enable students to experience multi-modal reading,” she says. “This simultaneous process proves to be a linchpin to motivate students to repeat the reading process out of need or interest.”

Students’ Reading Preferences and Successes

One young man, reading at a second grade level, wanted to read a particular book his brother was reading. He carried the book under his arm everywhere he went, but was unable to grasp the text. Goodwin signed him up for a Bookshare membership that is free to all U. S. students with a qualifying print disability. She helped him search for the book by its ISBN number, brought it up on screen, put headphones on, and taught him to adjust the speed.

Goodwin said, “As soon as the book began to play, he paused it, and with a smile so large it would light up a room said, ‘I know these words.’ That experience changed his vision of himself. Now he reads continually and is thrilled to talk to his family about books. Before accessible books, he never fully comprehended what he read. His fluency and vocabulary skills have improved. Adapted technologies are a proven motivator to help young adults read well and often.”

One young woman didn’t want to give up the printed book, but would often stumble over vocabulary words that made it difficult for her to stay interested in the story. “With audiobooks, she listens to a paragraph read aloud multiple times, and this feature helps her follow along in the printed book,” adds Goodwin.

Students at Riverview School working in food service.

Project Forward School-to-Work Program

Some students at the Riverview School also participate in the Project Forward school-to-work program at Cape Cod Community College. They study basic food services to pass the ServSafe certification test and prepare for actual work experiences in the Riverview Café, a restaurant that provides job training opportunities for students in the GROW program.

For this program, instead of scanning the textbook herself, Goodwin wrote to the publisher to request that the digital accessible file be added to Bookshare. “The key was getting the same edition and it worked beautifully,” she says. “With digital files, students can read what their peers are reading. They don’t look different in class. This is important to them. One student was elated that he could study along with his professor and learn the material. This curbed his test-taking anxiety and he aced the test. His mother was thrilled!”

Ken Merrill, assistive technology infusion instructor, confirms Goodwin’s assessment of the benefits of accessible books and adaptive technologies. Merrill and Goodwin routinely connect with parents to help them understand how students with qualified print disabilities log into the Bookshare library and download books using technologies like the iPad or compatible computer software.

Career Portfolios

Every student graduates with a career portfolio and a copy of their proof of disability form as verification of their membership into Bookshare. Parents are encouraged to assist their young adult child to continue to use their Bookshare individual membership so they will be productive after they graduate. Reading can continue to be a part of their everyday lives,” says Goodwin. “Bookshare levels the playing field in school and keeps students reading.”

In the Driver’s Seat

Riverview School also has a driver’s education program called In the Driver’s Seat. Over the past two years, eighty students with qualifying memberships to Bookshare have studied driver’s education. While taking this preparatory class, they are encouraged to access the driver’s manual (for their individual states) in the Bookshare library to learn the rules of the road.

Merrill says, “Because the materials for the driver’s permit and the food service exams are in Bookshare, it helps students navigate two important rites of passage: becoming drivers and becoming employed. Through GROW and our school-to-work programs, they have a real chance of finding their place in the world through authentic work experiences, and the access to digital text promotes lifelong learning.

Do you know any students like these who could benefit from access to Bookshare’s online accessible library? Learn more.

High School Bookshare Member Prepares for Transition to College

2016 February 2

Emeline reading on her tablet in a school room.“It is no longer difficult to find accessible books, and I will use Bookshare for a lifetime,” says Emeline Lakrout.

“Just a few years ago, it was difficult to find accessible books,” says Emeline Lakrout, who has degenerative low vision. “I appreciate that my parents sought reading solutions for me starting at a young age. I have always been able to enjoy reading because of their efforts.”

Now, at age seventeen, Emeline takes honors classes at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio, Texas. She is an avid reader and technology user. She Book Cover of Command and Control by Eric Schlosser is interested in all kinds of books and genres, from classics like The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, to historic accounts of the Cold War era like Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, by Eric Schlosser.

In high school, Emeline taps into the Bookshare online accessible library for textbooks, novels, academic research, and test preparation manuals for the SAT, PSAT, ACT, and AP exams. Bookshare is free for all U.S. students with a qualifying print disability. She reads quickly and credits many of her teachers for providing required reading assignments at the beginning of each school semester, especially for her English classes. “This advance notice helps me stay on track with my studies and classmates,” she says.

Emeline uses an iPad with Bookshare’s Read2Go app and a Lenovo tablet with Bookshare’s Go Read – a free, open source Android app that was recently updated with improved layout and font size control, better navigation, access to periodicals and books with images, and more. Both of these technologies include accessibility features that enable her to enlarge the font size or follow along as highlighted words are read aloud. She can change the speed of a voice or place a bookmark on the last page she has read. “These features provide extra support for me,” says Emeline. “I get all my accessible books from Bookshare and plan to use it for a lifetime.”

Now preparing college applications, Emeline intends to study social sciences and likes to explore the online library for titles about careers, business, leadership, politics, and pleasure reading. “Bookshare is really convenient. It has a category of popular books and recommended bestsellers. It is fun to scan through these titles and download a few books for safekeeping. I also read periodicals when I can, like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. It’s like having a reading “backpack” on the go! You don’t need another library resource – just an Individual Membership – and you’ll have all the titles you will want to read.”

ABT 925x377Note to Texas educators:

Did you know that you can get free Bookshare training in your school? The Accessible Books for Texas initiative is an on-the-ground and local training program to provide Texas public K-12 educators, parents, and students training, information, and accessible educational resources through Bookshare. This project is funded by the Texas Education Agency.

Meet the Bookshare Accessible Books for Texas Team at TCEA

2016 January 29
by Bookshare Communications

tceaTCEA – February 1-5, 2016 – Austin, TX

At its annual conference, the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) brings together campus- and district-level educators to explore the role of technology in achieving best practices in teaching and learning.

This year’s conference will feature more than 900 industry expert and peer-led presentations on technology integration across all curricula areas for pre-K through higher education.

Do you support students with print disabilities, such as learning or physical disabilities or visual impairments? Will you be attending TCEA?

The Accessible Books for Texas (ABT) team will be on hand in Booth #1856 to demonstrate how Bookshare can help these students succeed in reading, both in school and beyond. Look for Karen Beard, Matt Hattoon, Katie Sisk and Jeanie Bell. We also invite you to attend these Bookshare presentations at TCEA:

ABT Booth text-to-speechExhibitor Showcase – “Me Too! Tools to Help Students with Reading Barriers Succeed in School”

Wednesday, February 3, 8:00-9:00 a.m.

Location: Room M2

Session Type: 60-minute BYOD

Presenter: Matt Hattoon

Fast, Easy Access to Learning Materials for Students with Print Disabilities

Thursday, February 4, 3:30–5:00 p.m.

Location: Room 8C

Session Type: 90-minute BYOD

Presenter: Karen Beard

 

Accessible Books for Texas logoTexas educators, be sure to ask about the Accessible Books for Texas initiative. This on-the-ground outreach program provides Texas public K-12 educators, parents, and students with training in how to get the most out of Bookshare.

This project is funded by the Texas Education Agency, and there is no cost to participate. Why not schedule a training session for your school?

Heading to ATIA? Register Now for FREE Bookshare Training Sessions!

2016 January 27
tags:
by Bookshare Communications

ATIA logo ATIA – February 2-5, 2016 – Orlando, FL

Attendees of this year’s Assistive Technology Industry Association conference will learn about the latest trends, tools, and best practices in the field of assistive technology that can improve the lives of people with special needs.

To learn more about Bookshare and how you can help students with print disabilities get accessible books and educational materials, we invite you to attend our presentations and training events.

Bookshare Training at ATIA on Friday, February 5th

Register now to reserve your spot in one of the FREE 30-minute Bookshare training sessions throughout the day. There is a session for every user whether you are at a beginning, intermediate, or advanced level. All 30-minute sessions are held in the Boca V room.

Bookshare for Beginners8:00 am & 10:15 am

Learn how Bookshare helps students who face barriers to printed text because of visual impairments and physical and learning disabilities to embrace reading.

Make 2016 the Year of Fast, Easy, Independent Reading8:45 am & 11:00 am

Discover how quickly and easily your students with print disabilities can read thanks to Bookshare’s latest feature. Previously offered only to Individual Members, Bookshare Web Reader is now available to students on an organizational account and is the easiest way for members to read books independently at school and home. Using their own teacher-supplied logins, students simply find their book and select “Read Now” to read instantly in a browser.

Encourage Anywhere, Anytime Reading with Mobile Tools9:30 am & 11:45 am

For many students, using tablets, phones, and other devices is now second nature, and students with print disabilities are no exception. Capitalize on this trend by connecting your students with apps that make accessible reading quick and painless. Come and see how Read2Go, Go Read, and other tools help students read and learn at school, at home, and on the go.

Additional Presentations by Bookshare staff at ATIA:

Also on February, 5th, 2016

  • Enhancing Educational Opportunities for Tactile Learners through 3D Printing  1:00 – 2:00 pm in Caribbean VII.
  • Learning Together: Making All Content Available to Learners with Disabilities  4:30 – 5:30 pm in Caribbean V.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Bookshare Opens World of Knowledge for Sociology PhD Candidate

2016 January 22

Photo of Junia HowellEven as a child, Junia Howell dreamed of new policies that would increase the economic vitality of her impoverished urban neighborhood. Yet, occupations that evaluate and create policies require ample amounts of reading and writing—a challenge for Howell who is severely dyslexic. However, with the support of accessible online libraries like Bookshare, which is free to all U.S. students with qualifying print disabilities, Howell is now pursuing her passion as a Sociology PhD candidate at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

“Audiobooks have been an essential part of my academic access,” says Howell. “In primary school, I would wait by the mail in anticipation of the Library of Congress’ green boxes containing my books on cassette tape. When I got older, I used Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic (now Learning Ally) because of their larger selection.” In 2006, Howell was awarded a Marion Huber Learning Through Listening® scholarship from RFBD. She continues to be grateful. “Without them, I never would have made it this far.”

Book cover of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve SilbermanAs Howell advanced in her studies, classroom materials became more difficult for her to find. She began scanning books and would stand for hours listening to one book while scanning several more. At this time, she learned about Bookshare. “I began to tap into the online accessible library for my research and for materials I use in the classes I teach,” she explains. “I’m amazed at the increasing number of titles I can download and read on my computer using Kurzweil 3000. I continue to find books I’ve wanted to read for a long time but haven’t had time to scan. Now I know what ‘normal’ readers feel like—making decisions about what to read based solely on the book and not the level of accessibility. It is a relief to know that I can access almost any title.”

Howell notes, “I love hearing about new books, especially on NPR’s Fresh Air, and knowing I can access the books on Bookshare.” She recently did this with NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman, a book she says “was not only a good read, but also helped me to better understand my dyslexia and its connection with other neurological disorders.” Other recent titles she has downloaded for her academic work include:

Outside of academia, Howell remains committed to her community. She advises and conducts evaluative research for local nonprofits, teaches short courses at a community center, and mentors young girls—two of whom are dyslexic. “I am humbled by moments when the girls see me as a successful person,” she says. “Like them, I still fight the voice inside my head that says if I can’t read, I must be stupid. So I do what I can to use my story to convey to them that they can be whatever they want to be.”

Photo of Junia HowellRefusing to see dyslexia as a disability, Howell acknowledges that her journey to read has strengthened her capacity to think more creatively and to construct innovative solutions to address sociological problems in her field. At the same time, however, she notes that without audiobooks she could never be where she is today. “Bookshare has opened the world of books for me and for other people with dyslexia. Now I have the tools to work as a professional sociologist. I can continue my quest for knowledge beyond what I ever thought possible and use it to make a difference in the world.”

Do you know someone with a learning disability looking for inspiration?  Share Junia’s story!

Bookshare Takes You to Hallowed Ground for Black History Month

2016 January 18

African-American history can be viewed through many lenses. The people, events, time frame, and historic places have all contributed to the tapestry of our nation’s story. Today, as we celebrate the Book cover for Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Nancy Harrison and Bonnie Baderbirthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s also reflect upon the theme for February’s Black History Month: Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories. From the “stations” on the Underground Railroad and the uprising at Harper’s Ferry, to the integration of Little Rock Central High School and the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, these places are deeply embedded in the narrative of African-American history.

We invite you to explore the Bookshare collection and learn more about the lives of Frederick Douglass, Buffalo Soldiers, civil rights activists, and many more figures and places that have defined history.

For elementary school readers:

  • Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Nancy Harrison and Bonnie Bader. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 25 when he helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott and was soon organizing black people across the country in support of the right to vote, desegregation, and other basic civil rights.
  • What Was The Underground Railroad? by Yona Zeldis McDonough, James Bennett and Lauren Mortimer. When enslaved people chose to escape their bondage, who helped them? Where did they go? What dangers did they pass, and what feats of triumph and courage did they perform?
  • Uptown by Bryan Collier. Experience the sights, sounds, and history of Harlem through a child’s eyes.
  • Birmingham 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford. Remembering both the violence and the courage to withstand it experienced by civil rights activists in this crucial time and place.
  • John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry by Brendan January. John Brown hoped to spur a rising among enslaved people with this raiding “army” of eighteen. While he did not succeed in the short term, this event proved to be a crucial milestone on the road to ending slavery in America.

For middle school and young adult readers:

For adult readers:

All ages:

These titles and many more bring history to life for readers of all ages. Download your favorites and go on a journey through time from the slave ships and battlefields through the civil rights movement and struggle for freedom and justice. If you are not yet a Bookshare member, sign up today so you can explore the entire collection of over 380,000 online accessible books.

Students Talk about Accessible Books In Answer to Teacher’s Call to Read

2016 January 11

Head shot of Tanna GallaherTanna Gallaher, a Dyslexia Specialist at Raymond E. Curtis Elementary School in Weatherford, Texas, encourages good reading habits to support lifelong learning. Ms. Gallaher’s motto is to read, read, read, and she advocates for independent reading at school and at home.

Tanna is also a Bookshare Mentor Teacher and encourages parents to sign their student up for an Individual Membership to help them reach and exceed their academic goals.

“It is important that students are able to choose what they are most interested in reading, whether that is fiction, nonfiction, magazines, websites, or other materials,” she says. “I encourage all parents to discuss with their child what he or she likes to read and ask questions often about what they are reading at the present time.”

Taking her motto a step forward, this teacher recently asked her third through fifth graders to write a sentence about using Bookshare on their mobile devices (at home, in class, in the park, or in the car).

Students talk about Bookshare and accessibility features that help them accomplish their teacher’s mission:

Student listening to a book with headphones.“It gives me an example of how I would read fast and lets me choose the speed I listen to.” 

“I like being able to follow along as I listen to the words. Also, when I pause it I can read a word over and over again so I can memorize it.”

“The books are easy or hard, but I like being able to choose.”

“I like being able to read any book I want in my classroom.” 

“I like that my book is right in my pocket! Plus, if I am reading a book and I have trouble with a word, I can just listen to the word I need.”

“Bookshare helps during my class because it helps me remember what I’m reading. When I have trouble reading or cannot figure out a word, it reads it to me. I can understand the words and the story better.”

“Some books don’t have pictures and without pictures I don’t really have as much information. When Bookshare reads the words, I understand the whole story. What would a book be if you didn’t know the words?”

Student reading on a technology device.“I like it when people read to me, so Bookshare has helped because when it reads to me I understand the story better.”

“Bookshare makes reading much smoother and easier. I have been able to read books that I wasn’t able to read before.”

“Normally when I am reading I have a regular speed, but when I come to a word that I don’t know it slows me down. With Bookshare I can listen at one speed and it doesn’t mess up words.”

“Bookshare helped me read faster and I can read in the dark!”

Tanna Gallaher is a Bookshare Mentor Teacher and the 2015 grand prize winner for her efforts to promote Bookshare and lifelong learning in her school throughout the year. Today, eighty percent of her students successfully use technology for independent reading.

“I’ve shared my passion for Bookshare with the dyslexia therapists at six elementary schools and three secondary campuses in the district, and with a lot of teachers, parents, and administrators,” she says. “I will continue to promote the accessible library for reading anytime and anywhere.”

Stay tuned for more great stories of educators, individuals, and students who use Bookshare. Their experiences may inspire you to make new reading resolutions in 2016. Here’s to lifelong learning!

 

Get On Board with Unified English Braille

2016 January 4

Braille, the ingenious system of six dots invented by Louis Braille almost 200 years ago in France, has Photo of Louis Braille's headstone at his home in Coupvray, Francemeant literacy to millions of blind and visually-impaired individuals around the world. Since braille represents living languages, periodic modifications are necessary to reflect changes in languages and to keep braille vital and contemporary.

In the United States, English Braille, American Edition (EBAE) has been the predominant braille code. To keep U.S. braille consistent and up to date with the braille code used for international English, Unified English Braille (UEB) has been adopted as the official U.S. braille code. UEB is being implemented in the U.S. on January 4, 2016 in commemoration of Louis Braille’s birthday.

What does that mean for Bookshare members? You can immediately get on board with the transition to UEB. Bookshare’s English titles are now available in UEB, making it the largest collection of UEB titles in the world. Members can select from a huge variety of leisure, career, and educational books and read them in UEB on compatible reading tools.

Photo of hands on a BrailleNote deviceBookshare’s UEB titles are also an important resource for braille instructors. Teachers can help students learn how to read with the new braille code using a wide selection of fun and engaging titles for readers of every age and interest. Bookshare is committed to supporting the transition to UEB and hopes members will take full advantage of the breadth of its collection.

For members who wish to continue to read in the previous braille code, Bookshare will continue to provide books in EBAE. In addition, non-English books will continue to be available in their existing formats.

Are you ready to get started with UEB on Bookshare? Visit our Braille resource page for more details and instructions on reading Bookshare books in braille.

Looking Ahead

Bookshare strives to continually improve the quality of its braille. To produce our braille files, Bookshare uses an open source braille translator called Liblouis, which is also continuously updated. We encourage our members to report issues with our braille and our books in general. We collect this information and work to resolve bugs and issues where possible and partner with Liblouis when necessary.

Our goal is to provide braille readers with equal and timely access to the largest body of books and reading materials while continuously working to improve our braille quality. We are committed to serving our visually-impaired community by supporting the UEB standard.

To Louis Braille in honor of his birthday, we say “bon anniversaire” and “merci beaucoup” for giving the world braille.

‘Tis the Season to Cherish a Book

2015 December 17

Bookshare is your headquarters for winter reading

The Bookshare team is making a list and checking it twice – a list of books, that is. One of the best gifts you can give – or receive — this holiday season is a good book. And if it’s part of the Bookshare collection of over 375,000 titles, no wrapping is required.

Wherever your travels take you this winter, take some books along. You can enjoy the Cover for Star Wars: Battlefront Twilight Companybooks your friends have been talking about, such as the Hunger Games trilogy, the Maze Runner series, Harry Potter-themed titles, Percy Jackson and other works by Rick Riordan, and the beloved Magic Treehouse books, just to name a few.

The holiday break is a great time to catch up on the reading you’ve been meaning to do. Explore the full stories behind the blockbuster movies playing on the big screen, like Star Wars! You can enjoy New York Times bestsellers and 2015 book award winners. Or maybe you want to get into the spirit with some holiday-themed favorites. Bookshare has something for every reader, so check out our list of suggested winter break reads.

Read the books behind these blockbusters:Cover for Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Cover for The Adventures of Beekle

 

Dive into these special collections and award winners:

Enjoy these special holiday collections:

Load up your personal Reading List or help a student find favorite books for winter reading. We’re spreading the Bookshare cheer for the rest of the year and beyond. Oh what fun it is to read!

Advancing Literacy Outcomes for Children with Disabilities in India

2015 December 14

By Terry Jenna, Bookshare International Program Manager

Benetech’s mission is to serve communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions. As the operator of Bookshare, we are working diligently to extend our reach across borders to the international community.

While technological breakthroughs are creating new opportunities and lowering barriers for society as aTerry Jenna with project team members in India whole, the sad truth is that millions of individuals with disabilities around the world are still left behind. This is a particular reality for students in the developing world who cannot read traditional books due to blindness and other print disabilities. They grapple with formidable challenges as they attempt to pursue education in the midst of a widespread book famine. This is especially true in countries with several regional languages, such as India, where classrooms lack accessible reading materials that would allow these students to learn like their peers without disabilities.

Nearly a year ago, Benetech set out to address this challenge with the support of a grant from USAID, World Vision, and the Australian government. The grant, under the three partners’ All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development competition, funds our winning project to provide Indian students who are blind with mother tongue instruction and reading materials through Bookshare. I am delighted to report that we are quickly moving ahead with this project. Let me briefly describe this innovation and provide an update on our progress.

Thanks to the All Children Reading grant, we are developing a pilot project to provide accessible educational content for primary school students who are blind in Pune, India, where we will be able to capitalize on several existing Bookshare partnerships. We are applying a targeted literacy pedagogy that pairs braille reading with human-narrated audio content in Marathi, which is the primary spoken language in the Maharashtra region. Our goal is to pilot this new audio capability with students at three schools for the blind, thus offering them age-appropriate, high-interest books in their mother tongue in both human-narrated audio and hard copy braille.

Young boys with visual impairments sitting at desks in a classroom in India in IndiaI recently traveled to Pune where we held workshops with project members, focusing on team building and creating cost-effective strategies to promote our project including a Bookshare drive to increase local language content and a plan for expanding relationships with publishers in Hindi, Tamil, and other regional languages. One important aspect of the project is that we are complementing the provision of accessible educational content with training on assistive technology and Bookshare services for teachers, administrators, and parents in our target region. Teachers and administrators for first through third grade students recently attended a workshop on these topics led by Mr. Nirmal Verma, a specialist in visual impairment teaching methodology.

In the meantime, Benetech’s engineering and product teams have been adding Marathi human-narrated audio capabilities to Bookshare, and the collection development team has been increasing the offerings of Marathi human-narrated audio books, with the government of Goa providing the latest additions. We are also adding books in Hindi to the Bookshare collection.

Finally, in order to measure the benefits of our project and improvement in the reading scores of target students, we are working with School-to-School International—a prominent global monitoring and evaluation organization—on implementing a rigorous evaluation plan. This month, our partners will conduct baseline testing on 135 students in our three target schools.

We are looking forward to carrying out the subsequent phases of this project with our funders and Adult student in India reading an accessible ebook on a computerpartners. Benetech and the Bookshare team are excited to leverage a multimodal approach to help students develop early reading skills. We believe that the delivery of accessible educational content, when combined with teacher training and parent outreach, is the best approach to address the massive lack of accessible educational materials that so many individuals with disabilities still face. Moreover, this project is poised to demonstrate how the availability of accessible educational content in the students’ mother tongue impacts academic outcomes for students who are blind, and will inform our plans as we seek to replicate this work on a larger scale and in other countries.

I hope you join in our efforts to empower individuals with disabilities around the world to improve their lives. I invite you to learn more about Benetech’s work to extend access to books and information to all people who need our services, regardless of where they live. Because inclusion matters.