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Bookshare Blog Posts

University Partners Help Each Other

Bookshare’s University Partners Program has grown substantially. Today, 25 university partners (please see the list below) regularly contribute books they have scanned on their local campuses to benefit U.S. students with print disabilities. By pooling books scanned on campuses in Bookshare, university partners help each other reduce the nationwide challenge and workload of providing accessible books for postsecondary students.  Scanning once and sharing saves costs associated with scanning and conversion. Finding a textbook that a student needs gets easier and takes less time; campus DSS staff are saying that more and more, they are finding books their students need in…

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NFB 2010: Hot Weather or Human Warmth?

Texas treated NFB 2010 attendees to hot, humid, Texas-like weather, but the weather couldn’t hold a candle to the infectious human warmth inside the conference hall, in spite of the air conditioning. From this conference, I am redoubled in my conviction that coping with challenges in life makes people better people, and knowing people who live with challenges of any variety makes all of us better people. The NFB 2010 convention reminded me of this principle. Nowhere has there been a gathering that exuded goodness and warmth and caring than the group gathered at NFB. It wasn’t just the outpouring…

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“Julie and Julia:” A Total Book – Movie Experience” for the Blind

A guest blog from Gayle Yarnall, Director of Adaptive Technology for the Perkins School for the Blind…Thank you, Gayle! “When the movie Julie and Julia was announced, I knew I wanted to see it because I’m a big fan of Julia Child and I see every movie with Meryl Streep.  My first mission was to read the book and once again I have to say thanks to Bookshare.  Bookshare had the book ready for me to download.  Actually, after speaking with someone at Bookshare, I found out they were sent the book by the actual publisher. (Little Brown & Co.)…

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Bookshare Members Headed to NFB and ACB?

At NFB and ACB, plan on more fun, surprises, and goodies this year than ever.  Come by the Bookshare booth first to say hello. Then get in a party mood and be sure to add the Member party to your calendars.  We have a new game planned that will get everyone thinking and laughing.  Please do save room that evening to enjoy the delicious desserts! At NFB, the party is on July 6, from 7 to 8:30 pm in Lalique, in the Atrium Mezzanine. At ACB, the party is on July 12, from 7 to 8:30 pm in Camelback B.…

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On the Road…with Bookshare’s Summer Reading Contest!

Wow! Bookshare’s Summer Road Trip Reading Contest is off to a great start! In just four weeks, over 300 students have signed up and submitted more than 150 book text messages. Way to go Road Trippers! Contestants are sharing lots of fun and interesting messages about the books they are reading in Bookshare and about U.S. States. You can still sign up for the contest! Here are some of our favorite messages: • I learned that Helen Keller was blind and deaf and still talked to people. She had a harder time than I do. I’m glad I use a…

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Through Virginia’s Eyes – Painting with Macular Degeneration

A famous local artist, Virginia Doyle, has graciously lent her work to Benetech/Bookshare for display on conference room and hall walls. The unique aspect of this display is that in 2002, Virginia was diagnosed with macular degeneration, a medical condition of the eye that makes it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces.  This disease is a leading cause of blindness among older citizens due to the loss of light sensing cells in the retina. Many view her work as representations of the world through the eyes and lens of a person with macular degeneration.  Viewers glimpse the world…

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Resources for Summer Staff Development

Many districts schedule staff development during summer vacation. Some teachers use the time independently for continuing education.  A good topic for this summer is accessible instructional materials (AIM) as these materials are rapidly finding their way into schools and classrooms.  Further, IDEA 2004 calls for use of AIM when indicated by a student’s learning style and IEP. Accessible books from Bookshare for qualified students are a great way to start bringing AIM into your classrooms, and good tools and resources exist to help you get started: 1. There’s a wealth of information on Bookshare’s site and Training page. 2. A…

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Do Accessible Instructional Materials Work?

Every educator would like an answer to this question, as accessible instructional materials, AIM, become more prevalent in classroom use. Think of AIM as the books from Bookshare or content “read” in non-traditional ways, beyond print on a page. Often reading AIM combines multiple modalities such as seeing a word and hearing it at the same time. Good news is emerging that yes, AIM does help improve student outcomes. We have early, encouraging indications from informal research, not from controlled studies, pointing to better performance. The first sign of success comes from an informal survey of teachers in K-12 who…

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Top Talent!

The Bookshare Volunteer Program is very pleased to have the continued assistance of Dr. Scott Rains, the well-known author and consultant on topics about travel and issues in the tourism industry of interest to people with disabilities. The operations team appreciated Scott’s energy, creative new approach, and leadership so much that they decided to extend his interim contract and keep him on board as a Fellow. To support the growth of the Volunteer Program, Scott will develop a curriculum and training materials for volunteers, in addition to recruiting volunteers. For those of you who don’t know Scott, he is the…

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