Bookshare® and VETSUCCESS
Bookshare: Books without Barriers
Are you a Veteran who cannot access standard print and who is seeking employment, learning to live independently or returning to school from military service?
Bookshare is a global online library of books and periodicals for readers with print disabilities. Qualified members have access to over 215,000 books and periodicals and can read or listen to them using any number of assistive technology devices such as computers, iPads, Android devices, MP3 players and more.
How does it work?
- Individuals can sign up for membership and access the library on their own. Organizations that serve individuals with print disabilities can sign up and provide access to their students or clients.
- A Bookshare membership offers unlimited access to accessible books, textbooks, newspapers and magazines. Additionally, free access technology makes it easy to read books with a computer.
Who can qualify?
Veterans with a disability that makes it difficult or impossible to read a printed book, will most likely will qualify for Bookshare services. To confirm that they qualify, certifying professionals – such as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor - will be asked to provide Proof of Disability during the registration process. Additional information about what qualifies as a print disability and examples of professionals qualified to make this assessment can be found on the Qualifications page
Frequently Asked Questions
If an individual has a physical disability where he or she is unable to carry their books, would this individual qualify for Bookshare?
- If the individual can’t pick up a book, turn pages, maintain visual focus on a book or don’t have the physical stamina to work with printed material, then they most likely qualify for Bookshare membership. Only a certifying professional can determine qualification for membership. Frequently Asked Qualifications Questions below.
How much does a Bookshare membership cost?
- Memberships for non-students are $50 annually with an additional $25 one-time setup fee. Bookshare subscriptions for qualified individuals includes two free reading tools - Don Johnston’s READ: OutLoud and Victor Reader Soft - that enable books to be read on a computer (PC and MAC). Both programs have the capability of enlarging text, changing background/foreground colors, highlighting text and changing the voice, pitch and speed of the audio output.
- Veterans Who Are Students are eligible for free Bookshare memberships. Many universities have begun programs for Veterans. Bookshare works with the Veterans Resource Centers at the California Community Colleges as well as programs serving Veterans at other colleges across the country.
How can Bookshare help Veterans find a job?
- We have a special collection of books for individuals who are exploring careers, looking for tips on writing resumes, interviewing and more. Veterans can explore the collection independently – or in coordination with an employment program.
Are there any books for Veterans to read for fun?
- With over 215,000 books, newspaper and periodicals in the collection - and nearly 2,000 being added monthly (mostly from publishers) - Bookshare is a place where people find the books they want to read. We have created a special collection for returning veterans. – the collection includes Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell and Breathing the Fire by Kimberley Dozier as well as books about the Gulf War and Viet Nam.
- There are over 2,900 books of military interest.
- The collection has the latest New York TIMES best sellers, as well as many popular series such as the Hunger Games and the Twilight. Additionally, we have nearly 4,900 books in Spanish and offer books in other languages as well.
How do members read a Bookshare book?
- Bookshare members find that digital books read on a computer or other electronic device – such as an NLS player, an iPad, Victor Steam or other portable device - are easy to access. Bookshare books can be read by most all of the reading tools on the market and a Bookshare membership offers two free reading tools.
- Bookshare books are in four formats: DAISY, Braille Ready Format (BRF – for use on refreshable braille displays), DAISY Audio (great for listening to a Bookshare book on an NLS device) and MP3.
- The recently released Read2Go app for iOS devices is a full-featured, accessible DAISY reader. Books are selected and downloaded directly to the iPad. Readers have the choice of font size (up to 70 point), contrasting foreground and background colors, choices of audio speed, male/female voices, and volume.
- Another new app is Go Read for Android devices.
- Read books directly from your browser.
- Learn more about how Bookshare books are accessed.
We know from our work with programs serving Veterans on college campuses, our work with the Western Regional Blindness Center and with the Hadley School’s Newly Blinded Veterans Program, that Bookshare has the books and tools that allow for independent reading and learning that Veterans value.
For more information, contact us!