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Meet the Bookshare In-House Summer Volunteer Team!

Bookshare is fortunate to have a variety of summer interns and volunteers working in our Palo Alto office this year.  Our main focus has been our text book image description project.  Our summer volunteers write text book image descriptions, review and revise descriptions, provide technical assistance, and proofread children’s books with new image descriptions.  We’re especially grateful for the participation of two blind Bookshare members, who have provided input on how to write the best image descriptions.  Volunteers have also helped us prepare for the ACB and NFB summer conferences, and contributed to our marketing, collection development, and international departments.  We are sincerely grateful to our enthusiastic and dedicated group of volunteers.

Nilofer Chollampat

I’m a Natural Science major at U.C. Davis with minors in Education and Statistics. I was born and brought

image of Nilofer Chollampat
Nilofer Chollampat

up in Palo Alto and graduated from Gunn High School a year ago. I hope that one day I can live my dream of becoming either a teacher or a Hospital Administrator. (Yes, I know those are two very different careers, but I think they seem the most fun and rewarding.) I love watching TV and movies and eating just happens to be one of my greatest hobbies. I have watched every single episode of The Office and Seinfeld. Don’t get me wrong, my love of TV doesn’t make me hate the outdoors; I love meeting new people and getting to know them.

It was the UC Davis website that actually brought me to this amazing company. I was looking for things to do this summer and came across this company that just happened to be in Palo Alto! I started looking over the website and I really loved the idea and drive behind this company. I shot Alisa Moore an email, and three weeks later here I am, editing children’s books that are mostly about trees and leaves. And I LOVE it! I’m so happy to have found Bookshare! It’s a great place to work and I love having a desk! It makes me feel so professional. I have only been in the job force for the last four years, but I must say, that working here has been the most fun.

John Pastorius

I am from Smithfield, Virginia. I attend Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia where I am studying

an image of John Pastorius
John Pastorius

music performance. I play French horn in the college wind symphony and orchestra. I first found out about Bookshare when it was starting as I found a technology tutor, and she showed me how to get books in electronic form so I didn’t have 26 volumes of a textbook. I am doing this internship as I want to make sure the textbooks that go out electronically are as accessible for blind kids as they can be. I also want to make sure that blind kids have the textbooks as early as possible. I also want blind kids to be able to read books electronically as soon as possible as I did not get electronic books until 6th grade, and before that, all my braille books I read for leisure took up a whole room in the house.

Kelli Lee

I recently graduated from Foothill College with an Associated Arts degree in Business Administration and

Kelli Lee
Kelli Lee

will be attending San Jose State University in the fall. As I am disabled, I have used several programs that Bookshare/Benetech provides for their consumers. In my spare time, I love biking, going to the movies and hanging out with my friends.  I am disabled and proud and an advocate for the disabled.

Yue-Ting Siu (“Ting”)

I’ve been a longtime fan of Bookshare’s services, and this summer, I’m thrilled to be working with the people that develop these amazing resources. I’m a recent transplant to California, and just finished my first year as an NLCSD Fellow in the Joint Doctoral Program for Special Education at UC Berkeley/San Francisco State.

a photo of Yue Ting Siu
Yue Ting Siu

Previously, I taught in NYC in the Department of Education’s branch of Educational Vision Services (EVS). I worked with students with visual impairments as well as other teachers, focusing on needs and training to use assistive technology. I am excited about how technology continues to progress and am particularly invested in helping to improve the quality and access to materials that will promote equal opportunities for students’ success. I’m glad to have this chance to work with Bookshare this summer, as well as catch up on other fun (albeit nerdy) endeavors such as learning how to write computer code for my new blog:

Mark Lind-Hanson

I have been involved in nonprofit administrative and development work for a decade and a half, and came to Bookshare in the summer of 2010 as a volunteer. Originally I did book metadata adjustments and wrote

a photo of Mark Lind-Hanson
Mark Lind-Hanson

synopses. I have been working with image description since the project began, first doing QA for the Poet tool and now involved in writing and editing the illustration captions. I enjoy what I am doing primarily because it’s socially useful-(socially needed!) and because it’s very much a field which is new and growing, and the technology to support this is as well. “Getting it right” is my highest priority and ever-present concern.

Robin Sanders

I have been doing community service regularly for the past 5 years, and this summer I decided to kick it up a notch by volunteering in an internship for Bookshare. Previously, I have helped out at volunteering centers such as R.A.F.T. (Research Area For Teachers), as well as taking part in programs helping preserve California’s wetlands.

a photo of Robin Sanders
Robin Sanders

When I’m not helping out the community, you can find me in a multitude of places. In school, I participate in a number of activities. I am an editor of the high school newspaper, and I play on the Varsity basketball, swimming, and cross country teams. Outside of school, I participate in PACO (the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra), where I am co-principal for the violists. I also like to enjoy life, meaning that I spend much of the little free time I have watching movies and hanging out with friends.  I enjoy working as well, and I think helping vision-impaired students reach their academic goals is a great way to utilize my knowledge. I love the amazing atmosphere at Bookshare, and I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the company.

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