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ATIA 2014 Conference & Bookshare Roundup!

Educator viewing a Bookshare page on a computer screen
Educator viewing a Bookshare page on a computer screen

This year’s conference was a resounding success, and we thank the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) for the great work they do to organize the conference and other events throughout the year.

Conferences, like ATIA, are very important for learning new knowledge and for special opportunities to meet with new and long-standing Bookshare members in person.

Bringing together such a diverse community of educators, parents, researchers, and developers helps us all to grow and share new and better ways to support children and adults with disabilities.   To that end, here’s a quick roundup of our presentations, trainings and lively member events!

Training and Member Workshops

This year, Bookshare staffers met and presented information to record numbers of educators and parents. We held two hands-on training workshops:

  • The first was a Bookshare Beginner Training, where attendees learned how to get started with Bookshare and download their first book using Bookshare’s free reading tools.

We also held a Bookshare Member Feedback Meeting to thank our members for all the great work and mentoring they do every day with their students, parents, families, and other teachers. These member meetings are an important way to get feedback on Bookshare. We learn a lot about the daily use of the library and take all of the information back to our teams to improve our services.

Gerardo Capiel standing in front of a large screen.
Gerardo Capiel standing in front of a large screen.

ATIA Conference Presentations

In addition to our training workshops, we also presented information to ATIA conference attendees on four topics related to accessible formats and literacy. Here are brief descriptions of the topics:

Metadata Standards Related to Common Core

Gerardo Capiel, VP of Technology at Benetech, presented on new metadata standards and tools to help with the discovery of accessible common core materials.

Route 66 Literacy

Betsy Beaumon, VP and General Manager of Benetech Global Literacy, and Dr. Karen Erickson, Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, presented on the re-launch of Route 66 Literacy and new features to help adolescent and adult beginning readers learn how to read.

Accessible STEM Materials and Assessments

Betsy Beaumon delivered a second presentation on the latest developments in accessible STEM learning materials and assessments.

Reading Bookshare Books with Kurzweil

Mario Oliveros, Sr. Manager at Bookshare, presented with Kurzweil on finding and reading Bookshare titles with Kurzweil 3000 and Firefly.

ATIA was a busy and fascinating conference!  We know that not everyone can attend conferences, so we encourage you to keep your feedback coming. You can do this by subscribing to our discussions lists or commenting on Facebook. And learn more about our ongoing training workshops!

Stay tuned for our TCEA 2014 roundup blog coming soon!

The Bookshare Staff

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