Bookshare: Making Reading Accessible To Students With Print Disabilities
What Is BookShare And What Can It Do?
Bookshare is the world’s largest online library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Their goal is to make reading accessible. Individuals have access to a large and diverse variety of texts for both academia and reading for pleasure.
- Read eBooks on computers, tablets, phones, assistive technology, MP3 players and more.
- Listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices, as well as read multimodally. The multimodal feature allows students to see and hear words as they are being read and highlighted.
- Take notes, add bookmarks, and look up word definitions.
- Download free reading tools for PCs, Mac, and Android devices.
- Access to reading material through adaptive technology and Braille access devices, such as refreshable Braille displays.
- U.S. students and schools can join Bookshare for free through an award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
Who Does Bookshare Serve?
- People with visual impairments
- People with physical disabilities
- People with learning disabilities
What Are The Benefits of Bookshare’s Digital and Accessible Books?
Bookshare is in compliance with IDEA 2004 which requires timely access to materials for qualified individuals. It also provides access to most curriculum’s for students with print disabilities. It also helps promote inclusive education and helps create the LRE or Least Restrictive Environment. Bookshare helps reduce the costs associated with special education accommodations as well as use tools that support the Universal Design for Learning. It even eliminates the cost to scan or copy books.
This video depicts a child who has improved his confidence in reading as well as his grades by using Bookshare.