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Learning at Home with Bookshare During COVID-19

How teachers (and parents) can continue to educate students during school closures

Is your school on extended spring break or closed due to the coronavirus? Are you wondering or worried about how you will be able to continue teaching your students? Do you support students with learning differences and specific needs?

As learning shifts from classroom to home, we all need to make adjustments. Luckily, more solutions that facilitate school-to-home learning are available and can make teaching AND learning smoother during COVID-19.

Bookshare is a federally-funded, online library that makes reading easier for students with dyslexia, blindness, low vision, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers. Teachers (and parents) can help students access over 800,000 ebooks in easy-to-read formats like audio, audio + highlighted text, braille, and large font.

Read Books in a Variety of Formats on Multiple Devices

Teachers can easily assign books to students remotely, and students can read their books on their own at home on a computer, laptop, tablet, smart device, or assistive technology device. And because of Bookshare’s accessibility features like audio, synchronized word highlighting, customizable fonts and colors, students with reading barriers can truly be independent.

Learning at Home Guide Gets You Started

Bookshare is free for U.S. students with qualifying disabilities and schools. Visit Bookshare’s Learning at Home guide for information on how to:

  • Find and assign books to students
  • Get Reading Tools
  • Explore hundreds of special collections and reading lists including:
    • New York Times Children’s Best Sellers
    • Popular series like Percy Jackson, Sammy Keyes, and Dork Diaries
    • High Interest books for young readers
    • Healthy habits for kids
    • Lexile collections and leveled readers
    • NIMAC collections
    • Common core text exemplars
  • Get individual access for students so they can select their own books and become more independent
  • Download the one-page Educators Shortcut Guide

We wish the entire Bookshare community of educators, parents, students, and adult members a safe and healthy time as we all cope with this crisis together.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Bookshare:
    I just want to clarify, is every student in the US eligible to use Bookshare? They don’t have to be on a 504 or an IEP as we deal with the COVID-19 situation.?
    Please let me know, Thanks

    • Michael Tran

      Hi Karin: At this time, Bookshare is still only available to those with reading barriers like dyslexia, blindness, and cerebral palsy. However, an IEP or 504 is not required to join. Bookshare’s qualifications are determined by copyright law, not educational law. To join Bookshare, an individual must have a qualifying reading barrier as certified by a competent authority. Bookshare members may have an IEP, a 504 plan, or no plan at all.

      Bookshare offers nearly 10,000 public domain books that anyone, including non-members, can read with Bookshare Web Reader and other compatible tools. Explore our resource page for your students that do not have a reading barrier: https://www.bookshare.org/cms/help-center/learning-center/learning-at-home/more-ebooks

  2. Karen

    Hi My son has an IEP what documents do we need? The school said to use this resource and of course the situation with Corona

    • Laura Deck, Bookshare Communications

      Karen: Thank you for contacting us and we are happy to help. Since Bookshare’s qualifications are determined by copyright law, we are required to get proof of disability. Please contact Bookshare Customer Support so they can help your son get signed up. Call: 650-352-0198 (M-F 9-5 Pacific Time). Email: support@bookshare.org I will also forward your request and email address to our support team.

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