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Accessible Books for Texas Program Funded for Fifth Year and Offers Enhanced Spanish Language Support

ABT Logo with url and an image of the State of Texas.
ABT Logo with url and outline image of the state of Texas.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has just approved funding for Benetech’s Accessible Books for Texas (ABT) program for a fifth year, from September 2014 through August 2015. Benetech is the parent nonprofit of Bookshare. This funding supplements an existing award from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education, and allows Benetech to do even more via a state-level partnership with Texas.

Through ABT, local outreach coordinators deliver customized, face-to-face AEM (accessible educational materials) and Bookshare training to Texas educators, parents, and students. Additionally, Bookshare applies dedicated resources to Texas membership and support questions and book requests. As a result, the number of Texas public K-12 schools using Bookshare, and the number of Texas students getting accessible ebooks through Bookshare, are growing at twice the pace of the national average.

Parent working with son to read accessible books on a computer.
Parent working with son to read accessible books on his computer.

¿Lea en Español? 

Texas parents, students, and educators who prefer to read in Spanish can now learn all about ABT from a new Spanish version of the ABT website. In addition, Bookshare brochures are now available in Spanish on the ABT website.

Prospective members who prefer to read in Spanish can also benefit from an Individual Membership Sign-Up Form in Spanish. This form provides a Spanish translation of the online sign-up form and should be used for reference only. For faster processing, prospective Individual Members should still sign up online.

Teen boy with headphones listens to accessible books read aloud on his computer while following along with the text.  His computer is piled high on top of printed books.
Teen boy with headphones listens to accessible books read aloud on his computer, while following along with the text. His computer is piled high on top of printed books.

Did you know that Bookshare offers nearly 5,000 books in Spanish? These include Spanish translations of popular books by bestselling authors such as J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Isabel Allende, Gary Soto, John C. Maxwell, Joel Osteen, and T. D. Jakes! More Spanish titles are added each month, and members are encouraged to request books that aren’t yet in the collection.

Bookshare members can also listen to Spanish books in a high-quality audio voice. When downloaded in audio format (either DAISY Audio or MP3), all Spanish Bookshare books are provided in a high-quality text-to-speech (TTS) voice. This helps ensure a pleasant listening experience. Spanish books downloaded in DAISY Audio can be read in Read2Go, the Bookshare app for the iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone. Check out instructions here.

Bookshare members can also read Spanish books using other TTS reading software. The DAISY Consortium Reader and several commercially available reading software programs offer Spanish TTS voices.

Teacher working with young students who are wearing headphones and reading digital accessible books on their computers.
Teacher working with young students who are wearing headphones and reading digital accessible books on their computers.

Feel free to pass on this information to Texas parents, students, and educators who serve students with print disabilities!  Thank you.

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