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Bookshare is free for all U.S. students with qualified reading barriers. But, did you know that includes individuals enrolled in vocational training, continuing education, computer classes, or professional development courses? Learn more about the types of programs that qualify. Adults can use Bookshare to achieve career goals, change jobs, or build new skills.
Bookshare Member Earns MBA to Advance Career
Sylvia Stinson-Perez used Bookshare to help her earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Sylvia is the CEO/Executive Director of the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind in Port Richey, Florida, a nonprofit that provides vision rehabilitation services to help blind and visually impaired individuals achieve maximum independence.
Sylvia was born with a visual impairment that caused extreme nearsightedness that couldn’t be corrected with glasses or medical procedures. In spite of many challenges in school, she earned a B.A. in Psychology and two master’s degrees (one in Social Work and one in Visual Disabilities Education). In her twenties, she lost all of her functional reading vision as a result of retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that involves a gradual deterioration of the retina that can lead to total blindness.
An avid reader, she originally started using Bookshare eight years ago to access bestsellers more quickly. In 2013, she was accepted into an MBA program and knew Bookshare would be a tremendous resource as she progressed through the rigorous academic coursework. Without any functional vision, she relied on Bookshare’s ebooks in audio formats to help her research and write the many papers required in her MBA program. Her diligence paid off and she earned her MBA in 2015.
“I am still an avid fiction and nonfiction reader, and Bookshare is my library of choice. Once a month, I go strolling through the lists on Bookshare’s digital bookshelves and it reminds me of being a young person in the library. I download mostly text versions and don’t mind the digital voices at all—probably since I am used to using it all day at work,” she explains.
In addition to fiction, she enjoys reading about leadership, inspirational stories, business, public speaking, cooking and much more. Reading has always been her favorite hobby. “I started as a print reader when my vision was better, and today, thanks to Bookshare, I can still enjoy all kinds of books through audiobooks,” she says.
Sylvia strives to dispel the stereotypes and misconceptions about individuals with disabilities. “Everyone has the potential to be competent, intelligent, successful, beautiful, and productive. Disability is only a small part of who I am, and how I respond determines if my experience will be positive or negative. I choose every day to be my best,” she says.
Let Bookshare be your passport to lifelong learning and new opportunities. Get started by checking out Bookshare’s special collection of career resources.