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Tag: accessibility

2016 National Education Technology Plan Resonates with Benetech Priorities of Equity and Accessibility

Benetech is a nonprofit company leveraging Silicon Valley technology and process to create and scale solutions for pressing social issues.  Two Benetech initiatives, the DIAGRAM Center and Born Accessible, are cited in The 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP) released by the Office of Educational Technology of the U.S. Department of Education. The report recommends that “education stakeholders should develop a born accessible standard of learning resource design to help educators select and evaluate learning resources for accessibility and equity of learning experience.” More significantly, though, all of Benetech’s work closely aligns with these two key themes of the report:…

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On the Americans with Disabilities Act at 25: Betsy Beaumon’s Op-Ed

Twenty-five years ago, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the mainstream of American life. As we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ADA, writes Benetech President, Betsy Beaumon, it is imperative to consider not only how far we have come in eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities, but also how to extend the ADA promise to a new generation of Americans, particularly in the education field. In her op-ed, Beaumon argues that the digital revolution could usher in a golden…

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Parent Learns About Bookshare through Twitter Chatter

We first met Jessica Prest, a parent from rural Massachusetts, on Twitter after she posted these tweets about her daughter: “Lily just finished her first chapter book in five days using Bookshare!”  “A year ago she hated to read. Today she finished a 25 pg. chapter book!” “My #1in5 #dyslexia #proudmom Thank u @Bookshare!” So began our quest to learn more about Lily, a young girl who once hated books, but now loves to read them from cover to cover. Jessica, Lily’s mom, describes her daughter as very bright, dynamic, and quite communicative. “At a young age, Lily talked a…

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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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Giving Thanks, Looking Ahead: An Open Letter to the Bookshare Community

Dear Friends, I always appreciate hearing from our members and getting a glimpse into how Bookshare is making a positive difference in their lives. Oftentimes, the stories our members share with us are deeply moving, but there’s something especially rewarding in hearing someone new to our community commenting on what they’re able to accomplish with Bookshare.Consider the following statement that one of our members has anonymously shared with us: “I recently activated my account, and am thrilled with your service and how it works seamlessly with my iPad. This is the first time I have been able to read books…

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Donor Spotlight! Carole H. Lake

Thank you Carole H. Lake, Bookshare Member, for this wonderful guest post! Why do I support Bookshare, the accessible online library for people with print disabilities operated by the Benetech Global Literacy Program?  Well, I support it for a number of reasons, but first let me tell you a story. My grandmother was a highly educated woman and an avid reader. Sadly, she developed glaucoma, and lost her eyesight in her 60s. I used to go down to the Texas State Library and pick up books on records for her. No, not books on tape—books on vinyl! They were heavy,…

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