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Students Volunteer to Make Textbooks Accessible for Bookshare Members

The Bookshare textbook image description volunteer program is excited to announce two partnerships kicking off the new school year.

Last winter, Bookshare launched a partnership with BYU students through their Peery Social Entrepreneurship program. The partnership was so successful (and fun) that BYU, led by returning student Ted Jackson, chose to continue the work begun last term. The BYU charter promotes volunteerism by recruiting fellow students to write image descriptions in Bookshare textbooks. Last spring, the BYU Bookshare charter contributed hundreds of descriptions and developed a facilitator’s guidebook for establishing such charters on other college campuses. This fall, their goals have expanded to gaining an understanding of the special educational needs of their peers with disabilities on campus and to promoting Bookshare membership among students who qualify. Welcome to the Bookshare volunteer team, Ted Jackson, Trevor Dixon, Jeff Suppes, Carolina Otero, Stephanie, and Juni Kim.

A second exciting partnership has been developed with Mission Middle College. Last summer, Bookshare lucked out when we hired intern Jennifer Lang Jolliff, one of two instructors managing the Middle College Program. This program, located on the Santa Clara Mission College Campus, allows high school students to get a head start on college classes. Thanks to Jennifer’s initiative and enthusiasm, 40 high school seniors have committed to volunteer with Bookshare to describe images in textbooks for their peers with print disabilities. We had a great kick-off meeting on September 7, with students asking great questions and wanting to learn about the educational challenges encountered by their blind and visually impaired peers. Students will spend 2–4 hours per month working together in class to make textbooks fully accessible to Bookshare students. Thanks to Jennifer and her class for their enthusiasm and for piloting a program that we can take to other campuses!

If you, your organization, or school would like to learn about volunteering to make images in textbooks accessible to our members, you can find out more in this guide or contact the Volunteer Program Manager through our Contact Us page. Please select “volunteering” in the “My question is about” drop down box.

2 Comments

  1. […] variety of backgrounds including colleges, business, and individuals, all wanting to contribute.  A blog post from September gave a couple of examples of teams of students on college campuses getting together […]

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