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Category: Accessible educational materials (AEM)

Follow Us to the NFB and ACB 2016 Conventions

The Bookshare team from Benetech is excited to attend two of our favorite conventions – the 76th Annual National Federation of the Blind (NFB) National Convention in Orlando, Florida, from June 30 to July 5, and the 55th Annual Conference and Convention of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from July 1 to July 9, 2016. Benetech salutes these important organizations and their efforts to ensure equal opportunity for blind and visually impaired people. In support, the Benetech / Bookshare team will attend both conventions and looks forward to meeting attendees, rekindling relationships with long-time members…

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Bookshare Member Amare Leggette Competes in 2016 National Braille Challenge

Amare Leggette, an energetic eight-year-old from Eastover Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina, will compete against nine students in the Apprentice age group at the 2016 National Braille Challenge. “Amare is a fast reader and eager learner,” says Holly Jeffries, his teacher of the visually impaired. “He has a natural ability to skim, comprehend, make contractions, and knows when to reread text. He also loves new vocabulary words and enjoys putting them on our school braille word wall. I know he is prepared for the competition and is ready to take home the prize!” Blind since birth, Amare has read…

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Bookshare Supports Librarian’s Goal for Inclusive Library Service

Many thanks to Kate Owen at Thetford Academy for sharing her advocacy of Bookshare and for training more teachers to be proponents of accessible ebooks. Kate’s Vision As an educator and librarian, I have always worked to build an inclusive library service to meet the needs of all learners. This year, over one-third of our students are eligible for extra services according to their IEP or 504 plans. Many of these students qualify for Bookshare. The online accessible library has become an integral part of building an inclusive library to accomplish my goal. Not So Long Ago… When I first…

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Bookshare’s 400,000th Title Brings Unprecedented Access to Readers with Print Disabilities

Bookshare has added its 400,000th title to the ever-growing online accessible library collection and we are celebrating this record-breaking milestone with you and our 400,000 members around the world! Today, through Bookshare’s extensive collection, any person who cannot read traditional books due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, and physical disabilities can read and enjoy a huge variety of academic, career, and recreational titles just like everyone else. Glory Over Everything, the sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, is the title that helped Bookshare cross the 400,000 threshold. This accomplishment represents an unprecedented level…

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Texas Librarian Appreciates Bookshare’s Accessible Ebook Collection

Special thanks to Adair Apple, a Librarian in Evans Elementary School, Corpus Christi, TX  for sharing the reasons why she chooses Bookshare to support students with print disabilities. “In our district, librarians are responsible for both print and digital accessible resources as well as adaptive technologies. Bookshare is one of the resources we use to support students with qualifying print disabilities, such as visual impairments and physical and learning disabilities that hinder reading. For effective learning, and since many children are more tech-savvy today, we want to get reading resources and technologies into their hands as early as possible. Now,…

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AT Specialist’s Goal: Universal Right to Reading Independence

Reading Independence Fifteen years ago, Michelle Thomas, a seasoned special educator, crossed into the realm of assistive technology (AT) to help more students with disabilities become independent readers. Thomas says, “It is a universal right to read. Instead of viewing AT as a crutch, I wanted to help more teachers view it as an effective learning tool.” Today, this avid digital reader and Bookshare Mentor Teacher shares her thoughts about equity, accessibility, and best practices for using the online accessible library in her district. Academic Achievement through Bookshare and Chromebooks Thomas’ role in one of the largest school districts in…

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2016 National Education Technology Plan Resonates with Benetech Priorities of Equity and Accessibility

Benetech is a nonprofit company leveraging Silicon Valley technology and process to create and scale solutions for pressing social issues.  Two Benetech initiatives, the DIAGRAM Center and Born Accessible, are cited in The 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP) released by the Office of Educational Technology of the U.S. Department of Education. The report recommends that “education stakeholders should develop a born accessible standard of learning resource design to help educators select and evaluate learning resources for accessibility and equity of learning experience.” More significantly, though, all of Benetech’s work closely aligns with these two key themes of the report:…

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Getting Ready for the Outside World: Bookshare Supports School’s Vocational Program

Aha moments and big smiles are the cues Jean Goodwin looks for in her adult students, ages eighteen to twenty, who have complex language, learning, and cognitive challenges. Goodwin holds a Master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis on Mild-Moderate Disabilities. She is a lead teacher in the GROW transition program at Riverview School in East Sandwich, Massachusetts. The GROW acronym stands for “Getting Ready for the Outside World.” About GROW Structured like a college campus, this ten-month transition program enables students to live in dormitories, attend classes, and participate in an extensive internship program to learn how to function…

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High School Bookshare Member Prepares for Transition to College

“It is no longer difficult to find accessible books, and I will use Bookshare for a lifetime,” says Emeline Lakrout. “Just a few years ago, it was difficult to find accessible books,” says Emeline Lakrout, who has degenerative low vision. “I appreciate that my parents sought reading solutions for me starting at a young age. I have always been able to enjoy reading because of their efforts.” Now, at age seventeen, Emeline takes honors classes at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio, Texas. She is an avid reader and technology user. She is interested in all kinds of books…

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Meet the Bookshare Accessible Books for Texas Team at TCEA

TCEA – February 1-5, 2016 – Austin, TX At its annual conference, the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) brings together campus- and district-level educators to explore the role of technology in achieving best practices in teaching and learning. This year’s conference will feature more than 900 industry expert and peer-led presentations on technology integration across all curricula areas for pre-K through higher education. Do you support students with print disabilities, such as learning or physical disabilities or visual impairments? Will you be attending TCEA? The Accessible Books for Texas (ABT) team will be on hand in Booth #1856 to demonstrate…

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