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Category: deaf-blind

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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Making a Direct Impact on the Lives of People with Vision Loss

Disability advocates are often the first to say that people who are blind or visually impaired make excellent workers. Why? In addition to their unique strengths and talents, these workers are more likely to use assistive technology and have specific workforce training. They may have mentors, teachers, and close family members who support them. They may also take full advantage of knowledge resources, like Bookshare, to learn about their professional interests. When it comes to knowing about workers who are blind and about braille literacy and resources to train blind workers, Bookshare member Bill Powell, an Assistive Technology Director for…

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Monthly Support Tip: How to Get NIMAC Textbooks for Students with IEPs

As one of your trusty support specialists, I often receive calls from teachers asking how students with Individual Memberships and IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) can access textbooks, particularly those from the NIMAC repository. I tell them that this can easily be done with Reading Lists! Reading Lists are virtual bookshelves that let teachers and members save books for future reading. Teachers can create Reading Lists with assigned reading, including NIMAC-sourced textbooks for students with IEPs, and share them with students linked with their organization. (Note: Students must have an Individual Membership to access shared Reading Lists.) To read the books,…

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Suspenseful High School Fantasy Takes Teens On Life-Lesson Journey

Bookshare members and educators alike will enjoy The Heart of Applebutter Hill, a suspenseful novel written by Bookshare member and author Donna W. Hill. Donna, who has been blind since birth, takes young readers on a fast-paced journey of high school mystery and fantasy to teach important lessons about bullying and stereotyping kids with disabilities. This is a great read for middle school and older readers. The main character, Abigail, is a gifted teen who is blind. She and friends, including a boy who uses a wheelchair, go on an amazing journey, encountering many prejudices along the way. They travel…

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Winter Holiday Titles That Will Tickle Your Funny Bone!

Looking for some holiday cheer? Check out these witty and quirky holiday titles!  We bet one or more will tickle your funny bone, so put away those serious books and put on a smile. Why not share your favorite holiday read on Twitter or post a fun picture on Facebook of yourself reading? We’d love to be a tiny part of a reading experience that brings joy to you and all people.  Ho ho ho and happy holidays! For Young Readers Honeyky Hanukkah by Woody Guthrie: A rollicking celebration as a boy and his dog invite friends and family to…

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How did an Occupational Therapist Help to Build Statewide Delivery of Accessible Instruction Materials?

In 2010, the Iowa Department of Education (DOE) developed True AIM, a statewide initiative to ensure that all students with qualified print disabilities receive timely access to accessible instructional materials (AIM). To deliver on this promise, the Iowa DOE partnered with Benetech, Bookshare’s parent nonprofit. Nancy Dunn, an occupational therapist and Bookshare Mentor Teacher, supported this initiative at the Iowa Heartland Area Education Agency. She and others on the assistive technology team trained educators about the benefits and delivery of accessible instructional materials. Their efforts helped to build capacity in more than ten Iowa districts. What did Nancy and the…

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Learn About Thanksgiving With These Bookshare Titles!

There’s nothing more satisfying than curling up with a good read.  So, we’ve selected these fun Thanksgiving titles for Bookshare readers of all ages to learn why the holiday is so special.  As we turn indoors for some good ole fashion fun, we hope your holiday is warm and enjoyable! You never know what you can learn from a good book. Gobble, gobble! * * * * * *   For younger readers: I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie Ready, Freddy! #15: Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble The Thanksgiving Day Platter Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved…

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Bookshare’s Updated Website Is Live and Helps You Do More!

Bookshare’s updated website is live, so please tell everyone you know who uses the library! This year, our team has been working extra hard to make some great new improvements to our website while keeping many core features you know and love. What’s extra cool is that the updated website is now mobile-friendly, so members can enjoy an improved on-the-go reading experience on tablets and smartphones.  And as always, our website continues to be fully accessible. Let’s check what’s under the hood with the updated site! What’s New? Clear, streamlined information—Find out if Bookshare is right for you, and read…

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Celebrating Canadian Library Month and the CELA-Bookshare Partnership!

In July 2014, Bookshare announced a partnership with the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) in Canada. This partnership significantly increases the availability of accessible books and services to support Canadian citizens with qualified print disabilities. CELA is a non-profit organization established by Canadian public libraries with support by CNIB. Its mission is to offer alternative format production and services delivery of accessible books so that CELA member libraries may enrich the reading experience to support children and adults with print disabilities such as vision loss, a physical disability, such as cerebral palsy or a severe reading disability, like dyslexia.…

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Bookshare Mentor Teachers Go Extra Mile to Inspire Independent Readers

Dedication is the one word we use when referring to the more than 500 U.S. teachers and specialists who participate in the Bookshare Mentor Teacher program. Because of their commitment throughout the school year, hundreds, if not thousands, of new educators, parents, and students with qualified print disabilities are now members of Bookshare. They can effectively use the library and reading technologies for academic success. Are you an educator who wants to go the extra mile to ensure reading equality and independence? Do you want to empower more students to stay on task with reading assignments in school and become…

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