Text Books & Other Materials for Print Impaired Students

Here's an exciting announcement from Bookshare: They now serve over 150,000 student members & have over 125,000 books in their collection. Of these, 80,000 are educational titles that continue tostream into the library from publishers, as well as hundreds of student textbook requests that are fulfilled every month!

These major milestones have been achieved a year ahead of schedule as part of the 5-year Bookshare for Education (B4E) award from the U.S. Department of Education,Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

To this end, Benetech, the parent nonprofit for Bookshare, has received a new 1-year award from OSEP for a project called Leveraging Impact Through Technology (LIT).

The LIT project, in partnership with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), will advance the work delivered under the B4E project in the areas of new content, tools and increased utilization, with a focus on key areas such as:

-Open-content, publicly available and freely shared image descriptions in NIMAC books and Common Core titles.

-A free, open source Android ebook reader.

-A free web-based ebook reader along with an accessible bookshelf in “the cloud,” enabling teachers to more easily assign books to students and enabling parents and students to add books, accessible from multiple devices.

-Access to Bookshare books in MP3 and DAISY audio.

-Free Professional development for selected districts across the country to increase utilization.

This is all good news for students with print disabilities who rely on new technologies in order to to do their school work as well as teachers and parents of students with these needs.