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Category: Bookshare features

Bookshare By the Numbers

It was just about a year ago that the Benetech team celebrated 10 million books delivered through our Bookshare library. Shortly thereafter, we celebrated another amazing milestone: access to 500,000 books for Bookshare members. Those milestones speak to Benetech’s ability to use software to tackle social issues—in Bookshare’s case, access to books and information for people with disabilities—and to deliver impact at scale. But those numbers are just part of the Bookshare story. Here are a handful of additional stats to give you a more complete picture of Bookshare’s scale, impact, and reach. (Don’t forget, Bookshare is free for all…

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Back to School with Bookshare: Tips from the Teaching Trenches (Part 3)

Welcome to the third blog in our Back to School with Bookshare series that helps teachers get a strong start to the school year. In this blog, we take you on a tour of Bookshare’s bountiful Special Collections, recognize an award-winning author, and share a few literary gems that students are reading. Special Collections are a Huge Hit Are you looking for books for your students? Bookshare librarians have created over 110 (and growing) lists of specially curated books that will engage your students and keep them reading. Teachers love this feature and have already assigned lists to over 5,000…

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Back to School with Bookshare: Tips from the Teaching Trenches (Part 2)

Equal access means equal opportunity for students with disabilities Welcome to the second blog in our Back to School with Bookshare series. These blogs help teachers get a strong start to the school year so they can help their students be successful. The first blog featured Special Education Resource Teacher Diane Lurye and the ways she uses Bookshare to encourage reading independence. “Technology is the equalizer for students with disabilities,” says Deirdre Watkins, an Itinerant Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments in the Dekalb County School District in Georgia. She serves sixteen students in pre-K through 12th grade across six…

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Back to School with Bookshare: Tips from the Teaching Trenches (Part 1)

Special education teacher shares four steps to reading independence Welcome to the first blog in our Back to School with Bookshare series. Over the next two months, we will publish a series of blogs specifically designed to help teachers, students, and parents get a fresh start to the school year. The blogs will feature tips from the teaching trenches, advice on classroom collaboration, and insights on achieving reading independence through assistive technology. Diane Lurye is a Special Education Resource Teacher at Bells Mill Elementary School in Montgomery County, Maryland. She serves an average of 23 students in K-5 with a…

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Browsing is Better with New and Improved Special Collections

By Ginny Grant, Senior Product Manager, Benetech Global Literacy Program Have you noticed something different about Bookshare’s Special Collections? They are much easier to use and you can subscribe to them like a Reading List! After hearing how much people enjoy building their own Reading Lists, and seeing how teachers are using and sharing Reading Lists in their schools, Bookshare went the next step to make Special Collections even easier to use. Special Collections are customized Reading Lists that are curated by the Bookshare Collection Development team. The staff is actively looking for books that members will enjoy and organizing…

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John Miller’s Story: You Don’t Need Sight to See the World

Bookshare member navigates life transitions with a positive attitude, assistive technology, friends and family, and a dose of humor. John Miller, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a graduate student, aspiring journalist, and author of a travel blog. You may not think this is unusual until you learn that John is blind. John has an insightful way of seeing the world and that perspective shines through his poignant – and often humorous – blog posts. One reader commented: “I feel the special warmth and generosity of your character that shines through your words.” When I interviewed John last month,…

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Help Your Child Become a Reading STAR

Follow these guidelines to set your child up for summer reading success As the end of school draws near, students dream of summer freedom – freedom to choose some fun activities as well as the books they want to read. Is your child ready for summer reading? Make sure they have access to Bookshare, either with a Student Login provided by their teacher or with an Individual Membership. Then follow these guidelines to help your child become a reading STAR*: Space Encourage reading anywhere and everywhere Try places like the beach, the pool, grandma’s house, a tent in the backyard,…

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Veronica Lewis is a Champion of Self-Advocacy

Bookshare member successfully navigates college life and offers valuable advice for students with disabilities “A disability is something you have, not who you are.” As graduation nears for many high school students, thoughts turn to college and the importance of survival skills. Topping the list is the ability to advocate for yourself because the days of spoon-feeding and hand-holding are over. This advice is especially important for students with disabilities, and a student who embodies this sentiment completely is Veronica Lewis. “Self-advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, as well as learning, building a support network, problem solving,…

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Bookshare and Assistive Technology Help Young Adult Pursue Dreams

Elina Hughes has athetoid cerebral palsy which makes it almost impossible for her to hold a book or pencil, yet this disability doesn’t stop her from pursing her dreams, acquiring knowledge, attending college, and creating beautiful works of art using two important resources: Bookshare and assistive technology (AT). In 2015, Elina and her mom, Karla Hughes, created a video, “Assistive Technology Rocks My Classroom,” to submit to President Obama for the White House Student Film Festival. This amazing mother-daughter duo are on a mission to emphasize the need for more assistive technology in the classroom and to shine a spotlight…

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