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Tag: accessible ebooks

Time to Ratify the Marrakesh Treaty and End the Global Book Famine

By Jim Fruchterman, CEO, Benetech We stand on the threshold of ending the global book famine for people who read differently due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, or a physical disability that interferes with reading. A bill to ratify and implement the Marrakesh Treaty was just introduced in the United States Senate by the chairs and ranking members of the Foreign Relations and Judiciary Committees. This bipartisan bill makes it possible for organizations such as Benetech to create accessible versions of books for all types of readers and to share them across borders through a copyright exception. As a result,…

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Because #RepresentationMatters

Children need and deserve books that reflect themselves and the diversity of the world around them. In addition to people of color, people with disabilities are underrepresented in the popular media. For many children and teens with disabilities, it is difficult to find books with accurate portrayals of disabilities. With this gap in mind, Bookshare has assembled four new collections that feature characters with learning disabilities and visual impairments, because everyone has differences and abilities and representation matters. Books that Feature Characters with Learning Disabilities The novels in these two collections feature characters with a learning disability, such as dyslexia,…

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Bookshare By the Numbers

It was just about a year ago that the Benetech team celebrated 10 million books delivered through our Bookshare library. Shortly thereafter, we celebrated another amazing milestone: access to 500,000 books for Bookshare members. Those milestones speak to Benetech’s ability to use software to tackle social issues—in Bookshare’s case, access to books and information for people with disabilities—and to deliver impact at scale. But those numbers are just part of the Bookshare story. Here are a handful of additional stats to give you a more complete picture of Bookshare’s scale, impact, and reach. (Don’t forget, Bookshare is free for all…

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Back to School with Bookshare: Tips from the Teaching Trenches (Part 1)

Special education teacher shares four steps to reading independence Welcome to the first blog in our Back to School with Bookshare series. Over the next two months, we will publish a series of blogs specifically designed to help teachers, students, and parents get a fresh start to the school year. The blogs will feature tips from the teaching trenches, advice on classroom collaboration, and insights on achieving reading independence through assistive technology. Diane Lurye is a Special Education Resource Teacher at Bells Mill Elementary School in Montgomery County, Maryland. She serves an average of 23 students in K-5 with a…

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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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Bookshare Welcomes Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Series to Collection

Donation by Carol Lake provides 110 engaging leveled books in accessible format to help young readers The Bookshare team receives several hundred requests each month from students and educators looking for specific books. If we can’t get a book directly from one of the 820 publishers we have agreements with, we buy the book, chop it up, and scan it. But what happens when the request is for a series consisting of 110 books? According to Robin Reddell, a member of Bookshare’s Collection Development team, “Many teachers have requested the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) Green System for…

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Learn How to Read Easier with Bookshare at the 2017 ATIA Conference

Are you going to the 2017 ATIA Conference in Orlando (January 18-21)? The 2017 ATIA Conference is where the assistive technology community meets to network, learn and share, and Benetech is excited to be in on the action. We invite you to visit us in the Benetech/Bookshare booth (#419) and attend our presentations. Come see how to get easy access to over 500,000 ebooks in alternative formats for students who cannot read or process printed text. Here’s a preview of what you will learn: New Bookshare Features We’ve made Bookshare faster and easier with new features like Assign & Read,…

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Bookshare Members Now Have Access to Over 500,000 Ebooks

Benetech accelerates toward a future in which all digital content is Born Accessible By Brad Turner, VP Global Literacy, Benetech On November 29, 2016, Bookshare hit a momentous milestone when it passed the mark of 500,000 titles in its collection. That means that people unable to read standard print now have access to 500,000 ebooks in various formats to suit their individual needs. It wasn’t that long ago that the blind community had to rely on braille, a limited number of human-narrated books, or having someone read to them if they wanted to enjoy a book. Even just 15 years…

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Bookshare Touches Lives All Year Long

The goal of Benetech’s Bookshare initiative is to make reading accessible to everyone. Bookshare is the world’s largest accessible online library that serves over 400,000 members with print disabilities. In September, Bookshare reached a significant milestone when it delivered the ten millionth book downloaded. That’s an awful lot of accessible ebooks making reading possible for individuals with blindness, low vision, a physical disability, or a learning disability like dyslexia. Another way we are bringing the benefits of Bookshare to a wider audience is through partnerships with public libraries. Libraries in New York, Georgia, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia now offer free Bookshare…

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Parent Partners with School Administrators to Advocate for Accessible Ebooks and Dispel Myths

Deborah Campbell with Denver Academy’s Director of Education, Philippe Ernewein, and Director of IT, Anthony Slaughter When Deborah Campbell volunteered at Denver Academy, she had one mission: to educate teachers and families of children with reading disabilities about the benefits of accessible ebooks and assistive technologies for learning. Mrs. Campbell holds a master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction and has a deep understanding of the education process. Alyssa, her eldest daughter, attends Denver Academy and was diagnosed with a learning disability in second grade. At that time she read at a noticeably slower pace than her peers, and it was difficult…

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