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Tag: blind

A New Perspective on Literacy for Students with Low Vision

By guest author Allison Hilliker Imagine a reading solution where students with low vision could read for an extended period of time without eye fatigue. A solution where their ability to distinguish among letters was not dependent upon print size, contrast, lighting, color, or font style. Where skimming or rereading a paragraph or page wouldn’t be cause for frustration or eye strain. Where students could easily discern the subtleties of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and paragraph layout. Imagine a reading option in which individuals didn’t have to hold the book close to their face or hunch over a tablet screen in…

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Students with Print Disabilities Accelerate Reading with Bookshare

Assistive technology helps students with disabilities love books Bookshare has been a game changer for Brennan Draves, a fourth grader with a visual impairment, and Reagan Reeves, a ninth grader with dyslexia. Both students need schoolbooks in alternative formats to help them read and study. Brennan, a fourth grader at Mackensen Elementary School in Michigan, has retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that makes it impossible to read traditional books. He used to read and study with printed braille books which were heavy and took time to produce. Since using Bookshare, reading books and doing homework is easier and more cost…

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75 Reasons to Love Bookshare

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind Earlier this month, members of the Bookshare team traveled to Orlando, Florida, to attend the 2015 Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Founded in 1940, the Federation is the largest organization of blind and low-vision people in the United States with over fifty-thousand members. Thousands of members and supporters celebrated the NFB’s 75th anniversary and are a living testament to the NFB’s motto: You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back. The Bookshare team was excited to have the…

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Bookshare a Notable Advantage for People With Visual Impairments, says The New York Times

This post originally appeared in Benetech’s Blog on July 6, 2015 For people who cannot use standard print, the increasing availability of digital books and services such as Benetech’s Bookshare library are a boon that is unlocking the world of reading, says The New York Times. In a story titled “An App to Aid the Visually Impaired,” author Jonah Bromwich highlights Bookshare as a “notable advantage” of an app called Spotlight Text. This reading tool, explains Bromwich in App City, The New York Times’ biweekly column about influential mobile apps, is outfitted with adjustable scrolling text, adjustable font, sharp contrast,…

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Counting the Reasons to Celebrate in July

Bang the drum! Toot the horn! Throw the confetti! July is a momentous time to celebrate, and we hope you’ll join us in this month-long party. Happy 25th anniversary to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On July 26, 1990, the ADA was signed into law to ensure the civil rights of people with disabilities. This legislation established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA has expanded opportunities for Americans with disabilities by reducing barriers and changing perceptions, and increasing full participation in community life. Through its global literacy initiatives…

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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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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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It’s Only About Copyright!

Post written by Jim Fruchterman, Benetech/Bookshare Founder and CEO. Which students qualify for Bookshare in the United States? This is an important question for American students with disabilities, since Bookshare is the largest online library designed to provide accessible eBooks to people who cannot read standard print. The answer: it’s only about copyright. It’s not about special education, and not about special education disability categories. It’s not about 504 plans or Individualized Education Programs. It’s not about state policy, or local policy. It’s not about private schools or home schools. It’s not about medical doctors. It’s not about whether your…

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Objecting to Accessibility Weaseling

Post by Benetech CEO, Jim Fruchterman In early September, the National Federation of the Blind and 22 organizations serving people with disabilities filed detailed objections to a petition from a group of makers of e-reader devices led by Amazon to be exempted from accessibility requirements under the relatively new Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Benetech was a proud endorser of these objections (under our legal organizational name of Beneficent Technology, Inc.). You might ask: why would an organization that in many ways provides a competitive alternative to e-readers object to e-readers being exempted from accessibility requirements? Wouldn’t that…

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2010 – A Tremendous Year

2010 has been a tremendous year for the Literacy Program at Benetech.  We’ve enjoyed working with all of our members, sponsors, partners, volunteers and funders, and we have much to celebrate together.  Thank you for your support in achieving our mission! Bookshare passed a number of major milestones this year: We are now serving over 120,000 people with print disabilities; Our US members now have access to over 95,000 books and periodicals; Users downloaded over 800,000 books in 2010; Under our Bookshare for Education (B4E) project, we passed our 5 year goal of adding 100,000 student members in under 3…

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