News Articles and Coverage Archives 2001 - 2010

Archives 2010

July through November 2010 News

News about Bookshare was covered around the globe in the second half of 2010. We celebrated two major milestones, which were covered extensively: 100,000 Member milestone and 100,000 Student Members milestone. Bookshare was featured on the Rachael Ray show during a segment profiling Chrissy Steltz, the first woman in America to receive a face transplant. Our ADA promotion received worldwide coverage and resulted in an influx of new, qualified members. International partnerships and memberships continued to increase. And our ever-expanding publishing partner program has drawn attention around the world due to the significant number of major publishing houses that have agreed to provide Bookshare with digital book files. Here are just a few highlights:


November 2010


September & October 2010

  • College News Reporter, Mike Thompson, Describes Bookshare Visit and Tour (pg. 41)
  • The Teachers’ Lounge Bookshare ‘Reading for All’
  • Rachel Ray Features and Gives the Gift of Bookshare on Show Featuring Chrissy Steltz, ‘The Girl Without a Face’
  • DAISY Consortium - ‘How to Get Accessible Books’


August 2010


July 2010


February through June 2010 News Update

News about Bookshare traveled the globe the first half of the year. Our Summer Reading Contest, the DIAGRAM Center, and many new publisher partnerships were covered.  Here are the highlights:

June 2010

April & May 2010


February & March 2010

  • Disability News Radio interviewed Betsy Beaumon, our VP of Literacy Programs.
  • RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) published our online webinar series to its national readership.


November & December 2009 and January 2010 News Update

Educators, publishers and the general public read about Bookshare in many leading online and print publications. You can also check out the latest press releases. Here are the highlights:


Archives 2001 - 2009

April 9, 2009--Bookshare for Educators-- This podcast was recorded in an interview with Chauncy Rucker for the ConnSENSE Bulletin.

March 13, 2009--Press Covers Launch of New Bookshare Library--The launch of Bookshare's new accessible online library for people with print disabilities has been covered by a number of publications that follow developments in assistive technology. On December 17, 2008, the SoundPrint Radio Show aired a story about the new Bookshare library and the January 2009 issue of AFB Accessworld also posted a news item announcing the new library. ATMac Assistive Technology for Apple and Mac Users, published a story entitled Bookshare Gets A Makeover on January 28. On February 10th, Exceptional Parent Magazine published a story entitled World's Largest Online Library for People With Print Disabilities Offers More Accessibility and Ease of Use The blog for the nonprofit organization CS CouchSurfing offered an informative item on Bookshare and on Feburary 1st, an article about the new library appeared in Disabled World. Yahoo News also published a story on March 6 about Bookshare's publishing partnership with the Hachette Book Group.

November 12, 2008--Bookshare Videos On YouTube--Eight videos of Bookshare® student Members have been uploaded to the popular video website The videos include a profile of Bookshare member Steffon Middleton, a student at the Alabama School for the Blind. Steffon is one of four students profiled in this video series which also includes comments from the students’ teachers and parents. Each student is also featured in a shorter "how-to" video in which they demonstrate how they read books from the Bookshare library. You can view all the videos, plus accessible MP3 files of these videos, on the Member Stories page.

October 26, 2008--Bookshare Covered By Indian Press--Several media organizations in India recently covered Benetech's new partnerships with Indian organizations to support the Bookshare library and provide accessible digital texts. These partnerships will help International Bookshare begin to serve India's ten million blind people, three million of whom are children. The Times of India posted a story titled For Print-Disabled Reading Best Sellers Is Just A Click Away and the Hindustan Times ran a story about the Online Library for The Blind.

The article in the Indian Express, Bookshare Inks Pact With Three Organizations in India, quoted Dr. Taraporevala, Director of Xavier's Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) in Mumbai which will manage the registration of qualified Bookshare Members in West India. "Print disabled persons cannot be kept away from the printed books and hence the partnership will play a key role," said Dr. Taraporevala.

October 17, 2008--Bookshare Launches Newsletter--Read the premiere edition of the Bookshare newsletter, The Bookshare Bulletin, which provides news and information to the Bookshare community. The Bookshare Bulletin offers a collection of stories describing how Bookshare is making an impact on the lives of people with print disabilities and where it's headed in the future.

September 22, 2008--High Technology For Low Vision--The Health Journal section of the Wall Street Journal included Benetech's Bookshare® service in a story entitled High Technology For Low Vision. The story notes that readers with low vision can use the text-to-speech engine in the BookCourier portable reading device to read books from Bookshare. The story quoted Eleanor Roth who has lost much of her vision to retinitis pigmentosa and now volunteers with Lighthouse International, a nonprofit organization that offers vision rehabilitation services. "It's the best thing ever invented," said Roth of the books on her portable device.

August 2008--Accessible Electronic Books--SpeakUP, the publication of the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC), has published an interview with Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman about accessible electronic books in the Bookshare library. The USSAAC supports Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) that provides different communication methods for individuals who have significant speech impairments. USSAAC's primary mission is to support individuals who use nonverbal communication. The story includes testimonials from several Bookshare Members including 15-year-old Nichole Maples from Tupelo, Mississippi.  You can read the story here.

May 2008--AFB Report CSUN Conference--A report on the 2008 CSUN Conference that includes a description of Jim Fruchterman's keynote speech about Bookshare.

February 13, 2008--Blindskills, Inc.: The $32 Million Question: Q & A With Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman On The Future of Bookshare

February 6, 2008--Closing the Gap: Bookshare Supports Student Readers

November 1, 2007--WinnetkaTalk: Bookshare's partnership with The Hadley School for the Blind, which provides tuition-free distance education programs for 10,000 blind students and their families each year.

November 2007--School Days--Jim Fruchterman, CEO of Benetech, recently announced that has been awarded a $32 million grant from the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education, to be delivered over the next five years, for the purpose of making educational texts accessible to students who are unable to read print. The story covered the details of that announcement.

October 19, 2007--The San Jose Mercury News: U.S. Department of Education's gives $32 million five-year grant to Benetech's Bookshare project. The article gives well-deserved credit to Carrie Karnos and collection Development Manager Claire O'Brien who see to it that Bookshare members have access to the latest bestsellers and educational books.

July/August 2007--Stanford Magazine: The Stanford Magazine has published a profile of Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman entitled Geeks For Good. Fruchterman was a PhD student at Stanford and together with another Stanford student, built a reading machine for the blind that became the first of many social technology projects from Benetech.

February 22, 2007--CBS Evening News: Bookshare Profiles In “American Spirit” Series. You can view this interview at:

January 2007--AFB AccessWorld: Celebrating the Naming of a Genius: An Interview with Jim Fruchterman covers Fruchterman's 2006 MacArthur Fellowship and the expansion of Bookshare.

December 6, 2006--Fairfax County Times: Bookshare volunteer Matthew Devcich, who created an Eagle Scout service project that scanned and proofread 24 books, has been profiled by his hometown paper. The Fairfax County Times published a story entitled, "Helping Everyone Read," which described how Devcich recruited a group of volunteers to scan in his favorite books on thoroughbred racing.

December 2006--IEEE: The IEEE Spectrum magazine has published an extensive profile of Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman in its December issue. Together with an introduction by Senior Editor Tekla S. Perry, the story "Doing Well by Doing Good," offers a detailed history of Benetech, its current projects, and Jim's role in promoting social entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.

November 13, 2006--San Jose Mercury News: Benetech Founder and CEO Jim Fruchterman published an OpEd in the San Jose Mercury News urging Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and technologists to apply their skills to solve pressing social problems. Fruchterman's essay, Build Great Companies, Then Help Build A Great World points to current projects launched by high-tech philanthropists and encourages social entrepreneurs to link up with like-minded people.

August 9, 2005--KPIX (CBS 5) Newscast: San Francisco-based television station presents a news story that highlights the work of Benetech’s Bookshare. Read KPIX broadcast transcript.

July 15, 2005--San Francisco Chronicle: Article by Maura Thurman: Books ripped up, fed to online library for the blind. Focuses on Bookshare library containing more than 24,000 books. Read "Books ripped up..." article.

October 2, 2002--eSight's Network News: Blossoming of the eBook and What It Means to Blind and Visually Impaired People

March 7, 2002--The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Bookshare was inspired by Napster, but with one big difference. Unlike the embattled music-sharing service, Bookshare expects no legal fights over its use of copyrighted materials. Read Charity's First Project Puts Digital Books in Hands of Disabled

February 25, 2002--LA Times: Blind Gain New Site for Literature (This is an abstract; the full article is available for a fee.)

February 21, 2002--Christian Science Monitor: Putting Books Online for the Visually Disabled

February 21, 2002--USA Today: Bookshare Opens Up Choices for Disabled Readers

February 20, 2002--San Jose Mercury News: Improving Life for People With Disabilities (This is an abstract; the full article is available for a fee.)

January 29, 2002--Large Print Reviews: Bookshare: An Online Library for the Print Disabled

November 2001--Braille Monitor: Bookshare: Books Without Barriers