Individuals with Vision Impairments Can Enjoy All-in-One Integrated Title Searches Thanks to New Collaboration by APH and Bookshare
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July 12, 2013 – Louisville, KY and Palo Alto, CA – The American Printing House for the Blind (APH), and Bookshare, are pleased to announce a new collaboration that gives readers who are visually impaired easier and integrated access to hundreds of thousands of book titles all at one site using APH’s Louis Plus database. “Instead of visiting several websites and searching each site individually, a person seeking accessible books can now search many sites at one time using our Louis Plus database to streamline the process,” said Julia Myers, Director of Resource Services at APH.
In 1989, APH first created a file repository that would later become the Louis Database of Accessible Materials. In addition to materials from APH, the database grew to include information on more than 390,000 accessible books and other materials produced by over 160 organizations throughout the U.S. These items include K-12 textbooks that are available in braille, large print, audio, and electronic format.
“Providing easier access to printed materials through integrated searches has been one of our goals,” said Betsy Beaumon, Vice President and General Manager of the Literacy Program at Benetech. “We’re so pleased that we could collaborate with our partner APH to make it a reality.”
Benetech, whose vision is to create technology solutions that serve humanity and empower people to improve their lives, created the Bookshare online library to serve individuals with print disabilities. Since its founding in 2002, Bookshare has become the world’s largest accessible digital library with tens of thousands of digital files–well over half the collection–contributed by publishers directly to the library, adding to the titles already scanned by volunteers. Nearly 150,000 titles from the Bookshare collection are now part of the expanded Louis Plus database at APH.
About the American Printing House for the Blind
The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is the world's largest company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for students who are visually impaired in the U.S. who are working at less than college level. APH manufactures textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also designs and manufactures hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products. The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to www.aph.org.
Bookshare is the world’s largest online accessible library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Through its technology initiatives and partnerships, Bookshare seeks to raise the floor on accessibility issues so that individuals with print disabilities have the same ease of access to print materials as people without disabilities. In 2007, Bookshare received a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), to provide free access for all U.S. students with a qualified print disability. The Bookshare library offers over 199,000 books and serves more than 250,000 members. Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech, a Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit which creates sustainable technology to solve pressing social needs. Visit www.bookshare.org.