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:
For adult readers:
Bookshare Web Reader, the popular and free reading tool, can now be used on current versions of the Safari browser for Mac!
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!
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:
- Disability in Passing, Blurring the Lines of Identity
- Disabled Veterans in History
- Veterans in Higher Education: When Johnny and Jane Come Marching to Campus
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.
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.
In July 2014, Bookshare announced a partnership with the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) in Canada. This partnership significantly increases the availability of accessible books and services to support Canadian citizens with qualified print disabilities.
CELA is a non-profit organization established by Canadian public libraries with support by CNIB. Its mission is to offer alternative format production and services delivery of accessible books so that CELA member libraries may enrich the reading experience to support children and adults with print disabilities such as vision loss, a physical disability, such as cerebral palsy or a severe reading disability, like dyslexia.
Through this partnership, CELA covers the cost of Bookshare memberships for eligible individuals. The effort aims to champion the fundamental rights of persons with print disabilities to access media and reading materials in the format of their choice, including audio, braille, e-text and descriptive video.
CELA Board Chairman, Catherine Biss, said, “Canadian Library Month is a time to honor librarians and library organizations that work so diligently to enhance the reading experiences of all individuals, especially those with print disabilities. Through Bookshare, we can offer access to so many more titles in accessible formats with unlimited downloads and no expiration dates.”
To assist Canadian organizations who want to make their local communities and schools aware of the Bookshare membership and services, CELA has a bilingual staff and useful information and materials, (in English and French) on its website to support local outreach efforts.
CELA patrons who sign up for Bookshare membership will receive unlimited access to more than 200,000 accessible books today, as well as reading technologies and apps that read digital formats with text-to-speech (TTS). Collections range from novels, nonfiction and mysteries, to cookbooks, children’s books, popular titles on the Globe and Mail Bestsellers Lists and titles by acclaimed Canadian authors such as Malcolm Gladwell, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje.
Recently, Bookshare staff traveled to Canada to spend time with the CELA team and public librarians in and around Toronto. Everyone agreed that accessible books open a world of reading opportunities for persons with print disabilities.
The staff were particularly enthusiastic about how rapidly the Bookshare collection grows with popular titles to pique readers’ interests. They also appreciate the fast and easy membership sign up process and the ease in which patrons can download and read accessible books.
“We are excited to work with CELA and bring new benefits to Canadians,” said Kristina Pappas, Bookshare’s International Program Manager. “Through our partnership, we hope that thousands more individuals with print disabilities will easily find their favorite books and genres in our extensive collection.”