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Category: Educational reading resource

Educational topics and resources related to accessible ebooks for students with disabilities.

Bookshare Volunteers Expand Collection

We are grateful for the dedicated volunteers who help us bring more books to more members By Vanessa Wai, Communities Manager, Benetech Global Literacy Program April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week. This year the theme is “Service Unites.” This theme aptly describes the amazing work of our incredible Bookshare members and volunteers. Bookshare started as a community program that connected blind and visually impaired individuals in order to share their scanned books with each other. Members scanned and uploaded their books so that other members could enjoy them without duplicating the effort of scanning the books themselves. Since then, the…

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Visits to Largest U.S. School Districts Yield Valuable Insights for Bookshare Team

By Christine Jones, Senior Education Program Manager, Global Literacy Program, Benetech Early in 2016, Benetech began a concerted effort to learn even more about how schools are providing services to students who experience barriers to reading printed text and how Bookshare can work more seamlessly in these diverse environments. We decided to go “under the hood” by partnering with some of the nation’s largest and most under-resourced school districts. To date, we have met with key team members at more than thirty districts and have learned a great deal about their needs and challenges, as well as how Bookshare can…

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Omree Sabo, High School Student with Dyslexia, Advocates for Ebooks

Bookshare member dives into the deep end of reading with accessible ebooks! Omree Sabo, a sophomore at Redwood High School in Marin County, California, is an avid user of Bookshare; so much so that he decided to help other students and teachers at his school and in his county learn about the free, online  library of accessible ebooks for U.S. students who cannot read standard print. “Bookshare gets a big thumbs up from me,” says Omree. “I don’t know where my grades would be if my parents had not found Bookshare and signed me up for an Individual Membership.” In…

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Bookshare Has the Books for Teen Read Week

By guest author Kathy Swartz, Bookshare Operations Administrator and Librarian Teen Read Week, October 9-15, is a reading event sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). The goal is to get tweens, teens, and young adults reading and talking about books. Bookshare, an accessible online library for individuals who cannot read traditional print books because of a visual impairment, physical disability or severe learning disability, has many books for this audience, and now we have even more. Thanks to a generous donation by Carole Lake, a long-standing supporter of Bookshare, we have been able to add an additional…

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Indiana Assistive Technology Expert Finds “Gem” in Bookshare

Special thanks to Laura Medcalf  for her contribution to the Bookshare blog. We appreciate the mission of the Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) Project and Laura’s “on the record” testimonial.  “When you read my blog or listen to my podcasts for the Indiana Assistive Technology Act Project (INDATA), you will notice a common theme. I focus on one form of disability or assistive technology that benefits individuals with a single disability (e.g., visual impairment, hearing loss, autism, etc.). Assistive technology is my passion and my goal is to educate Indiana patrons (“Go Hoosiers!”) and readers across the world who are interested…

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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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Can Accessible Ebooks Be the Pathway to Reading Comprehension and Summer Fun?

Parents of children with disabilities often ask Linda Sherouse, a Library Media Specialist at North Hampton School in New Hampshire, how can I encourage more quiet time for my child who has a disability?” Linda’s reply is to find a good book and consider resources, like Bookshare, the world’s largest online library of accessible ebooks for people with print disabilities. “Over the years, I’ve helped many kids love to read voraciously and on their own,” says Linda. Bookshare – A Viable Reading Resource As an avid proponent of accessible books, Linda provides reading support for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. She…

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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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