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The ADA Turns 32 

Today is the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This landmark legislation affirms and protects the rights of people with disabilities in a wide range of public settings. Since the ADA came into effect, American society has benefited tremendously; nevertheless, there is still significant work to be done. In this blog, individuals share ways the ADA has impacted their lives and the additional support they would like to see.

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Benetech Secures U.S. Department of Education Award to Expand Access to Bookshare for Students with Disabilities

Benetech extends reach to make education more inclusive Benetech, the parent company of Bookshare, is pleased to announce that it has received a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, to expand and improve access to books for students who read differently due to blindness, low vision, a physical disability, or dyslexia. Bookshare, the largest online library of accessible books, will remain free for all U.S. school districts, schools, educators, and their qualified students. “Access to knowledge through reading is a basic human right and a critical step on the path to economic, educational,…

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Wiley Partners with Benetech to Make Content More Accessible to All Readers

Note: This blog is reposted from Benetech’s Blog. By Robin Seaman, Director, Content Acquisition Today, May 21, in recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), we are happy to share that the global publishing company John Wiley & Sons has announced that, starting this month, it will begin including alternative text (alt text) in nearly all of its frontlist books. By incorporating alt text into its workflow, Wiley makes its content accessible to users of all abilities. The company developed its alt text guidelines in consultation with Benetech’s DIAGRAM Center and other industry standards organizations. Wiley is one of the first…

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Support Bookshare on May 5!

Bookshare is the thriving community it is today thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of all of you—members, parents, teachers, mentors, volunteers, partners, and friends! We’re so grateful for your continuous support and can’t wait to bring the gift of reading and educational opportunities to even more people. Please help us bring Bookshare to others who need our services by supporting our Silicon Valley Gives (SVGives) fundraiser on May 5, 2015. For those of you who may not have heard of it, SVGives is a community-wide day of giving hosted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. On Tuesday, May 5,…

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Students on School Accounts Can “Read Now” Using Popular Bookshare Web Reader

Did you know that Bookshare Web Reader, the popular web-based reading tool that was previously available only to Individual Members, is now available for students on school accounts too? Yes! Bookshare Web Reader is so easy to use! All you need is a computer with an Internet connection, and you can find, open, and start reading Bookshare books directly within popular Internet browsers like Google Chrome and Safari. Your reading experience is easier, faster, and efficient! There is no software to install, and you don’t need to worry about downloading and finding book files on your computer or reading device.…

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Full Steam Ahead at CSUN 2015!

  The 2015 CSUN Conference is less than a month away, and we’re excited to be there to share all the great news and developments from Benetech and Bookshare, including product updates, accessible math, 3D printing, accessible images, publishing and more! Join us for these can’t-miss events! The Poet Image Description Training Module, Thursday, March 5, 9:00 AM, La Jolla AB, 2nd Floor, Seaport Tower. Bookshare User Feedback Meeting, Thursday, March 5, 12:00–1:30 PM. The location of the room for the event will be announced on March 4. Space is limited, please RSVP to reserve you space and receive the location…

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Benetech Wins All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development Grant to Improve Literacy for Primary School Students with Disabilities in India

This article was originally posted on Benetech’s blog on February 5, 2015. We are delighted to share that USAID, World Vision, and the Australian Government awarded Benetech a 2015 grant to improve literacy for primary school students who are blind in India. The new grant, under the three partners’ All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development literacy innovations competition, funds our proposed winning project to provide Indian students who are blind with mother tongue instruction and reading materials through Bookshare, our digital library of accessible books. This supports Benetech’s commitment to extend the benefits of Bookshare across borders to…

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Benetech Names New President, COO to Massively Grow Social Impact

Benetech, the parent organization of Bookshare just announced the appointments of Betsy Beaumon as president and Mark Roberts as chief operating officer. Founder Jim Fruchterman continues as Benetech’s chief executive officer, evangelizing Benetech and advancing the technology-for-good field. The goal of the senior appointments is to increase Benetech’s social impact at scale and its capacity to create new social enterprises that use technology to deliver social good. Through its recently launched technological innovation arm, Benetech Labs, Benetech has been increasingly focused on developing business models, partnerships, and technologies that deliver new solutions to unmet social needs while also implementing and…

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Attending ATIA 2015? Get Bookshare Updates and Give Us Your Feedback!

Are you going to the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference in Orlando, FL? On Thursday evening, January 29, we will host a special ATIA session to meet with Bookshare members, ask and answer questions, and share feedback. You can also learn more about new and exciting developments at Bookshare and our parent nonprofit, Benetech. We hope you will join us!  Please RSVP. *****************************************************************  What: Bookshare: Latest and Greatest When: Thursday, January 29, 2015 Time: 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Place: Caribe Royal Orlando Hotel in Rooms Cayman I and II  Light refreshments will be served. ***************************************************************** Please also check out…

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Please Share this Amazing Video, Possibilities Abound with Bookshare!

Did you know that in the U.S. an estimated 2% of all students have a print disability? And that by third and fourth grade*, students who are behind in reading, have a greater chance of falling behind in all their subjects?  You can help to reverse this trend by sharing this awesome video, Possibilities Abound with Bookshare, created by students at Cogswell Polytechnical College. Imagine the realm of possibilities for more individuals with qualifying print disabilities in school and beyond. Watch the animated video now to learn: What is a print disability. How it affects a person’s ability and desire…