Bookshare.org – Reading for All
Budgeting within the confines of very limited resources can be extremely challenging – especially for students with learning challenges. Bookshare.org is a wonderful program, currently funded by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education, that provides free reading material to those who have print disabilities. According to their guidelines, anyone with a disability that prevents them from being able to read printed material, such as a physical disability, visual impairment, or documented learning or reading disability, is potentially eligible to use their free digital library.
Students can download copies of text books, newspapers and magazines in a digital format. These digital copies can then be integrated into classroom or home use by playing them on a talking-book program such as the DAISY system and Kurzweil program. They are also available in digital Braille format.
So how do books get on Bookshare? There are a number of ways. Educators can assign books to the site from the NIMAC repository, universities and volunteers can contribute the books that they have scanned, and publishers and authors can grant permission for their books to be used. Teachers can even send in their recommended reading lists!
For more information on how you can help get Bookshare resources for your students, be sure to check out their K-12 Educators resource page. You can also volunteer to upload books or support or sponsor a child for the program. Bookshare.org helps all students, regardless of a disability, have access to free digital books. If you know a child in need, see how Bookshare can help.