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Category: deaf-blind

Anna Martinez Wins Second Place in Technology Olympics for the Visually Impaired

  Brenda Szymkowiak, a Teacher of the Visually Impaired for Plano ISD in Texas, is beaming with pride over the accomplishments of her eighth grade student, Anna Martinez. Anna just won second place in the Digital Media Access event at the 2013 Region 10 Technology Olympics. “Anna is quite the reader and competitor,” said Ms. Szymkowiak.     The Region 10 Technology Olympics is an annual event held at the Education Service Center in Richardson, Texas. Students in third through twelfth grades compete and demonstrate their skills and knowledge of the latest technology equipment and educational resources for blind or…

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On the Future of Braille: Thoughts by Radical Braille Advocates… by Betsy Beaumon

On the Future of Braille: Thoughts by Radical Braille Advocates by Betsy Beaumon, VP and General Manager, Benetech’s Global Literacy Program   I recently had the honor to speak at the first-ever Braille Summit, hosted on June 19-21, 2013 by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and Perkins School for the Blind. With the goal of promoting braille literacy, this landmark meeting brought together braille experts from around the world to Perkins’ campus in Watertown, Massachusetts. My biggest takeaway from the summit: the time could not be more urgent, and more hopeful, for the future…

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Bookshare Celebrates 250,000 Milestone and Members of All Ages!

Bookshare is helping people with print disabilities around the world to read books for school, work, and fun so they can reach their personal goals and more fully participate in society. This summer, we celebrate a very important milestone: we now serve 250,000 members! Did you know that Bookshare members include students, adults, seniors, veterans, and international members in over 40 countries? We could not have achieved this milestone without the help of members, advocates, and partners like you. Your tireless efforts have helped to build Bookshare’s thriving community. And your continued support will help us reach hundreds of millions…

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Just in time for summer reading…Book recommendations for all ages!

Just in time for the Bookshare summer reading contest, check out our 2013 Summer Reading List!  These include fun, fascinating, suspenseful, and inspiring stories recommended by The American Library Association . And, if you are not yet participating in the Bookshare “Catch Up on Summer Reading” contest for individual student members, start today and enter for a chance to win cool prizes like a tablet, gift cards, or Read2Go apps from Bookshare!  Many thanks to the Bookshare collection staff for pulling these book recommendations together. Titles for Younger Readers   Extra Yarn. By Mac Barnett . Illus. by Jon Klassen.…

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New Deaf and Deaf-Blindness Special Collection

We are proud to announce that Bookshare has a new Special Collection on Deaf and Deaf-Blindness. Now, rather than doing a subject search, books on these subjects can be found in one place. (If this link doesn’t work for you, go to the Bookshare homepage and choose “and more…” under the Browse Booklist link, where you’ll find our full list of Special Collections.) The current 200+ books gathered into one easy-to-locate group are categorized by topic: Culture, Biography/Autobiography, Sign Language/Training, Other Nonfiction, and Fiction. (Please note—while all fictional books have deaf characters, some are very minor or poorly portrayed.) Books…

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Can We Give Too Much?

A guest post from Lucy Greco, a blind advocate for accessible technology. An Assistive Technology Specialist at UC Berkeley, San Francisco Bay Area, Greco is the user of various assistive technologies since the early 1980s. She is passionate about the ways technology makes the world more accessible to everyone but especially to individuals with disabilities. “For students with disabilities in college and universities, where do we draw the line between providing them support services and teaching them to be independent,” asks Lucy Greco. I graduated from California State University Hayward in 1997. The ADA was only six years old and…

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Boy Scout Manuals on Bookshare!

Credit for this post goes to Bryan Wendell, with the Boy Scouts of America. Here’s the original. For some boys, reading doesn’t come easy. And that makes the Boy Scouts of America a challenging place. The Boy Scout Handbook. Merit Badge pamphlets. BSA training manuals. Daunting prospects for boys with print disabilities. Fortunately, the BSA has some great resources for those Scouts. Starting with Bookshare. This summer, the BSA signed a memorandum of understanding that cements a partnership aimed at improving the Scouting experience for boys and girls with print disabilities. Bookshare’s cool online library (bookshare.org) allows Scouts in your…

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The American Association of Deaf-Blind (AADB) Symposium 2011

During the week of June 19 – 25, over 600 individuals participated at the American Association of the Deaf-Blind National Symposium – “The Future is in Our Hands”- in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky. For Bookshare, it was the first time to be an exhibitor at this conference. “Delegates” are association members who have combined hearing and vision losses and voting rights in the General Assembly meetings. Each had at least one accompanying SSP (Support Service Provider) to enable them to access their environments and make informed decisions. In other environments, SSPs only provide visual information, via sign language. In this specific…

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