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Category: Bookshare features

Parent Partners with School Administrators to Advocate for Accessible Ebooks and Dispel Myths

Deborah Campbell with Denver Academy’s Director of Education, Philippe Ernewein, and Director of IT, Anthony Slaughter When Deborah Campbell volunteered at Denver Academy, she had one mission: to educate teachers and families of children with reading disabilities about the benefits of accessible ebooks and assistive technologies for learning. Mrs. Campbell holds a master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction and has a deep understanding of the education process. Alyssa, her eldest daughter, attends Denver Academy and was diagnosed with a learning disability in second grade. At that time she read at a noticeably slower pace than her peers, and it was difficult…

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Helping Individuals Who Are Blind Transition to Work Through Training and Accessible Ebooks

September 8th is International Literacy Day, and Bookshare is honoring those individuals and organizations that make a lasting difference to ensure literacy happens for everyone. Each day, Bill Powell, Assistive Technology Director, and his staff at Bosma Enterprises in Indianapolis, provide job training, employment services, rehabilitation, and outreach to help adults who are blind transition to the working world. To accomplish this goal, the team downloads digital accessible books using Bookshare. Bill says, “With the right education, mentors, technology, and resources like accessible books, individuals with disabilities are highly capable of working in many fields, including training and technology, after their schooling.”…

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Assign and Read: Getting Bookshare Books is Easier Than Ever

The end of summer ushers in a new school year, new students, and a mad rush to get textbooks and other educational materials. How can teachers and school librarians get accessible books for students with print disabilities and save time? Assign and Read Bookshare has made getting students books quick and easy. In one fell swoop, teachers can add students and set them up to read with the newly updated “Assign and Read” feature: Add students to rosters  Give them a Student Login (so they can access Bookshare independently)  Add books directly to Reading Lists    That’s all teachers need to…

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Creating Equal District and Schoolwide Learning Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

Raising academic performance to meet the mandates of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a critical mission for school leaders, yet finding solutions to accommodate diverse student populations across districts and schools can be overwhelming and costly. Students with learning disabilities or visual impairments, for example, have difficulty reading print books. Often, they need accommodations like audio, large print, or braille to make classroom and homework materials accessible. The effort and resources required to produce accessible educational materials (AEM) is significant. Teachers and librarians struggle to find textbooks and Common Core materials in accessible formats. Parents stress about support…

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U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, now Economist, Appreciates Bookshare’s Vast Collection

“The online library helps me to stay current on in-depth issues and research for my profession,” says Tim Fallon. Four years ago, after losing much of his sight in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, Timothy Fallon, a former First Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines, learned about Bookshare at the Central Blind Rehabilitation Center at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. “The staff and the program at Hines for visually-impaired veterans are great,” he said. “They take the time to get to know their clients and knew that I wanted to return to college. They encouraged me to sign up for a…

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Visually-Impaired Veteran Helps Peers Transition to Civilian and School Life

“Technology training, leadership empowerment, and accessible books make all the difference,” says Tim Hornik The word “awesome” doesn’t begin to describe the work of Tim Hornik, a retired U.S. Army Captain and chair of TAVVI , the Technology Association for Veterans with Visual Impairments, the technology committee in the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA). Tim is visually impaired and a long-time Bookshare member. We originally featured his work in 2014, and it’s no surprise that today he remains diligent to help returning veterans make successful transitions to civilian and school life. In our first blog, Tim was a busy new father.…

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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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