- Which disabilities qualify for Bookshare™?
- Which students qualify for free subscriptions underwritten by OSEP?
- How can students read Bookshare content at home?
- What is NIMAC-sourced material and is it available through Bookshare?
- How can a school sign up its students for Bookshare?
- Do I need to upgrade my portable DAISY player or Braille reader?
- Is Bookshare available for individuals with print disabilities who live outside the U.S.?
- IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004) requires Parent Centers to provide information and services to students through age 26. Will the memberships be free through 26?
- Can organizations that are not educational institutions, such as libraries, still sign up for organizational memberships?
- Can non-educational institutions that serve both students and non-students qualify for OSEP-funded organizational membership?
- What does the U.S. part of student qualifications cover?
- What does the K-12 part of student qualifications cover (assuming the student has a qualifying print disability)?
- What about post-secondary, graduate and continuing education?
- What kind of proof of enrollment as a student needs to be provided (not proof of disability, which is covered elsewhere)?
- Can a teacher with a print disability who needs accessible books and textbooks to work with his or her sighted students download free under OSEP funding?
- How does Proof of Disability work if our school or district has an Organizational Agreement with Bookshare where we agree we will not distribute to students who do not have a print disability?
- Is Proof of Disability a form that I would complete and sign as an agent of the school?
- Why do I need to provide a student's name? What about confidentiality?
- What is an electronic roster? How do we submit it? Which organizations use this process?
- Does Bookshare plan to add more textbooks?
- Do you have any early elementary level books?
- Will Bookshare replace textbooks from services such as Learning Ally?
- Are the digital books from Bookshare all proofread?
- Are you able to make college math and science texts accessible? How do you depict graphics and formulas?
- Can I request a book?
- Are your books listed in LOUIS?
- Will Bookshare include images in book files?
- College textbooks are a different breed since U.S. laws don't require the publishers to provide alternate formats. Does Bookshare have access to many of these titles?
- Can students download books by themselves?
- If we have multiple students who need the same book, do we need to download the book for each student separately?
- Do you require a proof of purchase of the printed text before the alternative format is given?
- I cleaned up and embossed a Bookshare title for a specific student. What should I do with the hard copy Braille when the student finishes reading it?
- Once a book is downloaded, can it be burned to a CD?
- How does a student “read” Bookshare books?
- What software and access technologies are compatible with Bookshare files?
- What's the advantage of Bookshare over something like Kurzweil or WYNN?
- Can a student make notes within the DAISY file?
- Are there any training opportunities?
- Can we download the complimentary software for each print-disabled student?
- Why is it legal for our agency/school to provide scanned books to Bookshare?
- Does Bookshare offer specific training for state or local education agencies (SEAs or LEAs)?
- I know you have a sample download and public domain books, but for those of us providing training, could there be a couple of books from special collections etc. to use for training, or a special username and password for training purposes?
- If one student in the class has a qualifying disability, is it acceptable to use the Bookshare book with a class that includes that student, for example displaying it on an electronic write board?
- How do we change the Primary Contact on our account?
- How does Bookshare work with state education agencies?
- Does the federal Bookshare award mean we can cut funding for our Instructional Material Center (or similar entity) that produces Braille and/or Large Print?
- What are some websites to find out where accessible books can be found?
- What types of books that students will want to read can be found on Bookshare?
- How can I subscribe to the Bookshare discussion lists?
- Where can I find Professional Development Workshop information?
- Does Bookshare offer Professional Development Workshops?
- Do you offer Professional Development Workshops for teachers?
1 Which disabilities qualify for Bookshare™?
See Qualifications.[Back to top]
2 Which students qualify for free subscriptions underwritten by OSEP?
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has funded access to Bookshare for all U.S. print-disabled students in K-12, post-secondary, graduate and continuing education classes. Read more about the OSEP award.[Back to top]
3 How can students read Bookshare content at home?
Students are welcome to use Bookshare’s complimentary copy of Victor Reader Soft Bookshare Edition or READ:OutLoud Bookshare Edition. These DAISY readers are designed specifically for Bookshare books. Both applications read the text out loud with synthetic speech while displaying it on the screen.
- Log in to Bookshare.
- Download the software from the Reading Tools page.
- When you are prompted to Open or Save the reading tool, choose Save.
- You can then copy the software installer onto CDs, thumb drives, or any other removable media for distribution to your students.
- Your students can then run the installer to install the DAISY reading software on their home computers.
When you download books for students, just copy the .zip book files onto a CD
or other removable media and distribute them to your students along with your
download password. If you can’t find your book,
the FAQ about where different browsers store downloaded books.
To read the books, your students will need to unzip the book files at home. Please give them the following instructions:
- Select the book file (.zip) and choose Extract All from the File menu. (Or right-click the book file and select Extract All.)
- Choose a location for saving the files and enter the download password when prompted.
Unless students have their own individual memberships, they cannot download books themselves.[Back to top]
4 What is NIMAC-sourced material and is it available through Bookshare?
“NIMAC-sourced books” are digital books produced from publisher files deposited in the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center (NIMAC), a national repository. Bookshare converts these books from the NIMAS format (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) to student-ready DAISY and BRF formats before placing them in the Bookshare library. Accessing these books is different than other Bookshare media because of the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) that established the NIMAC. As a result, these books are subject to the terms of the NIMAC’s Limitation of Use Agreement. There are two key points to remember about accessing Bookshare’s NIMAC-sourced books:
- They are only available for U.S. K-12 students with print disabilities as defined in the Chafee Amendment to copyright law, AND who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
- Only teachers and staff members of U.S. public K-12 education agencies can download these books. To ensure that Bookshare complies with the above limitations, students, parents, transcribers, private school teachers and adults with print disabilities cannot download these books.
5 How can a school sign up its students for Bookshare?
For more information on signing up students, please visit Membership Options.[Back to top]
6 Do I need to upgrade my portable DAISY player or Braille reader?
The following vendors are preparing upgrades to their hardware/software to work with the Zip format. Some upgrades are already available:
- Victor Reader Stream by Humanware (1-800-722-3393)
- BrailleNote Open Book by Freedom Scientific (1-727-803-8600)
- Ikon by Levelstar (1-800-315-2305 #1)
- Dynavox by Dynavox (1-866-DYNAVOX)
- Kurzweil 1000 by Kurzweil (1-888-995-9905)
- Kurzweil 3000 by Kurzweil (1-800-894-5374)
7 Is Bookshare available for individuals with print disabilities who live outside the U.S.?
Back to top]
8 IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004) requires Parent Centers to provide information and services to students through age 26. Will the memberships be free through 26?
Bookshare student memberships are currently paid for by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and therefore free for all U.S. qualified students regardless of age. This includes post-secondary and graduate level students.[Back to top]
9 Can organizations that are not educational institutions, such as libraries, still sign up for organizational memberships?
Yes, any organization serving members or clients with print disabilities can join Bookshare as an organizational Member. Organizations that are not U.S. schools can pay for individual memberships for their students or clients (U.S. $75 for the first year and $50 each year thereafter) or purchase blocks of book downloads ($300 buys 30 downloads). Learn more about joining Bookshare. Libraries that are affiliated with the NLS (National Library Service) can certify their patrons that have qualifying disabilities.[Back to top]
10 Can non-educational institutions that serve both students and non-students qualify for OSEP-funded organizational membership?
(Libraries, rehab agencies, community-based organizations) In general, Bookshare prefers to see these institutions help qualifying students get individual memberships (with parent/guardian approval for students less than 18 years of age). These institutions can help with the individual student memberships by submitting written (or faxed) proof of disability from qualified certifying professionals. When individual memberships are not a feasible alternative, such organizations can set up an organizational account just for the student members in order to benefit from the OSEP funding. The account for qualified students should be named with “-OSEP” at the end of the agency name, for example, “Community Center of Columbus - OSEP.” If the organization would like to register organizational members who are not students, they can set up a second organizational account with a different name for these members.[Back to top]
11 What does the U.S. part of student qualifications cover?
It covers residents of the United States, which includes the fifty states, the District of Columbia and territories such as American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands. Bookshare also serves residents of Freely Associated States of the U.S., which includes the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau. In addition, Bookshare serves U.S. citizens temporarily domiciled abroad, including students being educated by the Department of Defense Education Agency.[Back to top]
12 What does the K-12 part of student qualifications cover (assuming the student has a qualifying print disability)?
Any student enrolled in a K-12 educational institution (public or private), including distance education and GED classes, will qualify for a free subscription. Home-schooled students through age 18 qualify. Students with print disabilities who are enrolled in pre-K programs that are supported by LEAs and SEAs are also included. Infants and toddlers ages birth to three are not included.[Back to top]
13 What about post-secondary, graduate and continuing education?
Bookshare includes students who are enrolled in classes, which are offered by educational institutions, are on-going for a period of at least a month and are part of a course of study or curriculum that follow a named set of course-work. This includes distance education. Examples of classes that qualify:
- Classes that lead to a degree or certificate
- Professional development courses
- Guide dog classes
- Computer training classes
- Hadley School distance education classes
Examples of activities that don’t qualify:
- Short courses (< 1 month duration)
- 1:1 tutoring or training
- Non-academic courses such as exercise classes
14 What kind of proof of enrollment as a student needs to be provided (not proof of disability, which is covered elsewhere)?
Bookshare expects members (or parents/guardians for students less than 18 years of age) to self-certify student enrollment status, but reserves the right to request proof. For example, if a student gets an individual membership citing enrollment in a school that has submitted a student roster that omits that student, Bookshare has the option to request additional information.[Back to top]
15 Can a teacher with a print disability who needs accessible books and textbooks to work with his or her sighted students download free under OSEP funding?
OSEP funding does not cover teachers. Teachers with qualifying print disabilities should sign up for their own memberships (and they or their school will need to pay the subscription fee). If the teacher is also a student and enrolled in classes, the teacher's membership would be free.[Back to top]
16 How does Proof of Disability work if our school or district has an Organizational Agreement with Bookshare where we agree we will not distribute to students who do not have a print disability?
Depending on your type of organization, you either provide signed Proof of Disability by FAX or U.S. mail, or you send this information to Bookshare electronically by uploading your roster. The Organizational Agreement that you sign when you register states that you agree to distribute books only to those students on your roster. By signing the Organizational Agreement, you commit to abide by the terms and to communicate them to the Members served by your organization. Here is an excerpt from the agreement:
I’m responsible for educating my students or clients that they are not allowed to share the Accessible Media with other people.
Access to Bookshare books is a privilege, and it is based on a social bargain between the publishers and authors and the disability community. It’s important to not redistribute these Accessible Media to other individuals, regardless of whether or not they would qualify for Bookshare. I agree to inform my students or clients about these restrictions and that these Accessible Media are for their sole use.[Back to top]
17 Is Proof of Disability a form that I would complete and sign as an agent of the school?
Proof of Disability can be provided a couple different ways, depending on your type of organization. When you select your type of organization online during the registration process, you are guided to the appropriate process and forms. Some organizations certify that they have Proof of Disability on file, whereas others are asked to submit a Proof of Disability Form.[Back to top]
18 Why do I need to provide a student's name? What about confidentiality?
The use of pseudonyms, while on one level protecting students’ privacy also adds complications to the students’ ability to obtain book in accessible formats. Students listed under a pseudonym wanting individual memberships (rather than having books downloaded for them), or transferring to another school are likely to have to resubmit their proof of disability by themselves or through their new school. On the other hand, students registered under their own names can continue their Bookshare membership from school to school, and request their own memberships, because Bookshare has their proof of disability. Please contact Bookshare for further details.
Bookshare suggests that schools discuss the release of information issue at the Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting and ask parents (or guardian) to sign a release allowing the referral to be made in the child's name to Bookshare and others. This will enable Bookshare to contact the parents (or guardian) directly to set up an individual account for the student.[Back to top]
19 What is an electronic roster? How do we submit it? Which organizations use this process?
The electronic roster is basically a spreadsheet containing a list of students qualified for Bookshare membership and Sponsors, the teachers and staff who can download books for these students. This roster includes names, grades, disability information and a few other details, and serves as Proof of Disability in place of sending in the list of students and their proofs of disability on paper or by fax. U.S. K-12 and post-secondary publicly funded educational institutions are automatically guided to download the electronic roster. When completed, these organizations simply click a button to upload and submit the roster to the membership team.[Back to top]
20 Does Bookshare plan to add more textbooks?
Yes, Bookshare’s textbook collection is expanding rapidly, through conversions of NIMAC-sourced books, publishers’ contributions, and contributions of post-secondary textbooks scanned by universities or students.[Back to top]
21 Do you have any early elementary level books?
Yes, Bookshare has a growing collection of books for early elementary readers.[Back to top]
22 Will Bookshare replace textbooks from services such as Learning Ally?
Bookshare increases the choices of accessible materials available to students, so that teachers and students can pick the best format for the student. The existing providers of accessible textbooks, such as Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D), focus on providing human-narrated audio, while Bookshare concentrates on digital accessible text based on DAISY format and digital Braille (BRF). A key difference between Bookshare and Learning Ally is that Bookshare’s memberships and books are completely free to qualified US students, due to a special award from the U.S Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Read more about the OSEP award.
Bookshare books can easily be converted into refreshable Braille, large print and digital audio using synthetic speech. Bookshare sets priorities to avoid duplicating work that is already being done, e.g. acquiring textbooks that are not available from other suppliers in the student’s desired format (i.e., Braille).[Back to top]
23 Are the digital books from Bookshare all proofread?
In general, books marked as “Excellent quality” have been proofread. Books marked as “Publisher quality” come directly from publishers or authors in high quality formats. All books entering the collection after 2007 have been proofread. Bookshare is working toward ensuring that all books in the library are “Excellent quality” or above.[Back to top]
24 Are you able to make college math and science texts accessible? How do you depict graphics and formulas?
Soon, Bookshare hopes advances in technology will make college math and science texts more accessible. A new math markup language called MathML describes math equations so that they display correctly in HTML or DAISY. When MathML is accepted as part of the national textbook standard, production of accessible science and math texts will be much easier. There’s an active discussion about adding MathML to the NIMAS K-12 accessible textbook standard. Secondly, Bookshare is supporting a university grant proposal to convert 1000 college-level science and math textbooks. If the grant is approved, Bookshare will add these texts to the library.
In the meantime, Bookshare expects to add textual descriptions of graphics (pictures of formulas, etc.) to a limited number of textbooks starting in 2009.[Back to top]
25 Can I request a book?
Yes, if you don’t find what you are looking for in the Bookshare library, you can always request a book.[Back to top]
26 Are your books listed in LOUIS?
Currently, no. The American Publishing House for the Blind, Inc. is upgrading its LOUIS database of accessible materials. Once the upgrade is complete, Bookshare plans to begin submitting titles to LOUIS.[Back to top]
27 Will Bookshare include images in book files?
In the spring of 2009, Bookshare plans to add pictures and images for those NIMAC-sourced textbooks that include them. Bookshare also plans to add text descriptions of these images in selected textbooks starting in 2009.[Back to top]
28 College textbooks are a different breed since U.S. laws don't require the publishers to provide alternate formats. Does Bookshare have access to many of these titles?
Yes, Bookshare has access to these files via colleges and universities through partnerships with for scanning and sharing books. Bookshare hopes to build many more partnerships with colleges and universities to legally share their scanned textbooks through Bookshare with other schools. In addition, Bookshare is working on developing partnerships with college textbook publishers.[Back to top]
29 Can students download books by themselves?
Yes, students who have individual memberships (with their own passwords) can download books for themselves. For U.S. students, membership is free through an award from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). To qualify, the student must include the school’s name on the Membership Agreement Form. If the student is already a member of your organizational membership, you can print a special form that will allow the student to register without sending additional proof of disability. Go to My Organization, select the “Members” option, select a student on your roster and use the “Individual Membership Form” button. You’ll be asked to download a PDF form. This form contains a special code that will allow Bookshare to approve disability based on the student’s organizational membership details. Have the student or parent fill out the remaining fields on the form and return it to Bookshare by mail or fax.[Back to top]
30 If we have multiple students who need the same book, do we need to download the book for each student separately?
To protect publishers’ interests under the terms of the copyright act, each book file downloaded is digitally fingerprinted with the information about the student who will be receiving the book. With these fingerprints, Bookshare can detect illegal sharing and identify the Member responsible. In addition, Bookshare has an obligation to its funders to accurately track the numbers of students receiving books and the numbers of books. Therefore, if you want to distribute the same book to multiple students, you’ll need to download a separate copy of the book for each student. During the downloading process, you’ll have the option to select multiple Member names. At the finish page, you will see a separate book file for each Member you selected, marked with that Member’s first and last name. Select each file to begin the download process. Ultimately, downloading files one by one will be faster for you, because file size would increase if multiple student books were in one zipped download. Also, you can distribute the smaller zipped files individually to each student. Please be sure each file goes to the right student, in keeping within Bookshare's digital rights management policy.[Back to top]
31 Do you require a proof of purchase of the printed text before the alternative format is given?
No, Bookshare does not require proof of purchase of the printed text. Bookshare serves only individuals who qualify under the Copyright law (Chafee-qualified). The amendment to the copyright law does not have a purchase requirement for organizations such as Bookshare. Thus, a purchased copy of a book is not a Bookshare requirement.[Back to top]
32 I cleaned up and embossed a Bookshare title for a specific student. What should I do with the hard copy Braille when the student finishes reading it?
You are welcome to share the hard copy Braille book with another student.[Back to top]
33 Once a book is downloaded, can it be burned to a CD?
Yes, Bookshare books can be copied to other media for the purposes of transferring the book to the qualified Member selected when the book is downloaded. While the media containing the books may change, books must stay in the possession of the qualified Member.[Back to top]
34 How does a student “read” Bookshare books?
Bookshare offers free software downloads to access books in the following ways:
- Listen to the book (synthesized speech)
- Read the book with enlarged print (on a PC screen or printed on paper)
- See and hear the words simultaneously (on a PC with a product like Read:Outloud)
- Read Braille (digital or hardcopy)
35 What software and access technologies are compatible with Bookshare files?
Any software or hardware that supports text-based files. Learn more about Reading Tools. Bookshare membership comes with complimentary versions of:Back to top]
36 What's the advantage of Bookshare over something like Kurzweil or WYNN?
They offer complementary benefits. Kurzweil and WYNN are software applications that students and other individuals can use to read Bookshare books in the DAISY format, as well as scan their own books. If your book is already in Bookshare, you can download it and read it with either Kurzweil or WYNN. But, if you need an assignment or article scanned, or if the book you need isn’t in Bookshare, Kurzweil and WYNN offer a great way to scan it in. If it’s a book, please contribute that scanned book to Bookshare so other people can benefit from your efforts.[Back to top]
37 Can a student make notes within the DAISY file?
Depending on what you use to read the book, note taking may be possible. Bookshare’s complimentary copies of both Victor Reader Soft Bookshare Edition and READ:OutLoud Bookshare Edition have note taking features which allow you to insert your own text and move from note to note.[Back to top]
38 Are there any training opportunities?
Yes, Bookshare offers recurring webinars on various topics related to accessing the Bookshare digital library. Learn more about Training.[Back to top]
39 Can we download the complimentary software for each print-disabled student?
Yes, the free software that comes with Bookshare membership can be installed on all computers your Members will be using to read the books, including personal computers at home. Both of these tools are DAISY readers:
- Victor Reader Soft Bookshare Edition
- READ:OutLoud Bookshare Edition
To download the software, log in to the Bookshare website and visit the Reading Tools page.[Back to top]
40 Why is it legal for our agency/school to provide scanned books to Bookshare?
Bookshare was founded to promote the sharing of scanned books legally under Section 121 of the copyright code (frequently referred to as the Chafee Amendment) which states that: "... it is not an infringement of copyright for an authorized entity to reproduce or to distribute copies of a previously published, nondramatic literary work if such copies are reproduced or distributed in specialized formats exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities."
Bookshare has worked with the Library of Congress, the Department of Education, Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D), the Association of American Publishers, an author’s association, and schools to ensure its operations are completely within the boundaries of this important law that permits accessible materials to be more easily provided to people with bona fide disabilities.
The legality question comes in two parts. First, is Bookshare an “authorized
entity” under the provisions of Section 121, which provides the copyright
exemption for our work? Bookshare represents that it is such an entity. In
addition, the U.S. Department of Education confirmed this authorized entity
status in making the Bookshare for Education award: it was a fundamental
eligibility requirement that the recipient of the award meet this requirement.
The second issue is whether schools and education agencies can provide scanned books to an authorized entity. Bookshare addresses this issue in the Volunteer agreement by making all individuals and groups submitting scanned books to Bookshare agents of Bookshare for the purposes of the copyright exemption. So, as long as providers of scanned books abide by their agreements, Bookshare extends its Section 121 copyright exemption for scanning books and providing them to Bookshare. Schools are also permitted to use the scanned books for purposes authorized by counsel to the school, for example to provide access to students with print disabilities under a state law provision or fair use.
One of the crucial benefits for a school working with Bookshare is that it provides a clearly legal avenue for sharing those scanned books with other schools and organizations serving individuals with print disabilities. Bookshare qualifies under Section 121 as an authorized entity, which typical schools do not. Bookshare has written agreements with every entity it serves, and a digital rights management system protecting illegal distribution of Bookshare books. And, Bookshare is committed to supporting each school and student with a print disability. Bookshare provides a legal and effective way for schools to share the benefits of their investments in accessible documents and reduce the high level of duplication of effort that exists nationally.[Back to top]
41 Does Bookshare offer specific training for state or local education agencies (SEAs or LEAs)?
Yes, Bookshare is interested in collaborating with SEAs and LEAs to deliver specific training for specified groups, such as assistive technologists, resource specialists, teachers of the Visually Impaired, special educators, administrators, etc. Request information about training.[Back to top]
42 I know you have a sample download and public domain books, but for those of us providing training, could there be a couple of books from special collections etc. to use for training, or a special username and password for training purposes?
Bookshare does not provide access to other books because of copyright constraints. Anyone can search the Bookshare library to see what books are available. But copyrighted works can only be provided for the purposes of serving people with qualifying disabilities. For demonstration purposes, Bookshare suggests you use any one of the thousands of freely distributable titles (e.g. public domain or Creative Commons licensed), which can be downloaded in alternative formats. For instance:
If you need assistance, please email Bookshare Group Accounts.[Back to top]
43 If one student in the class has a qualifying disability, is it acceptable to use the Bookshare book with a class that includes that student, for example displaying it on an electronic write board?
Downloaded book files from an organizational account are meant for a
particular qualified registered student. It is acceptable to project a limited
portion of the book in a classroom for an assignment as long as the educator is
not physically giving copies to students that the book was not downloaded for,
and that the student with a qualifying disability is in the classroom.
Additionally, the educator is not allowed to keep copies of this downloaded book
once the assignment is complete. The concept is that the Bookshare book is the
textbook for the student with a disability, and actions that would be clearly
acceptable with a print textbook would also be acceptable with the accessible
textbook, such as reading aloud, reading an excerpt together in a small group,
asking assistance from a family member with homework and so on. Similarly,
actions that most people would recognize as not acceptable with a print textbook
are also likely to be not acceptable with a Bookshare book: copying the entire
book for someone else to avoid having to purchase a second copy, for example.
Unlike print books, however, Bookshare books cannot be handed over to someone
other than the student for whom it was downloaded. Following is an excerpt from
the Organizational Agreement that covers this concept:
Each time I download a book from Bookshare, I will select the Member for whom I am downloading the Accessible Media. I will decrypt the Accessible Media using my password and deliver it only to the Member for whom I downloaded that particular Accessible Media. I agree that once I have delivered the book to that Member, I will delete the copy I downloaded.
44 How do we change the Primary Contact on our account?
- If the new Primary Contact is already registered as a Sponsor on your account, Contact us to provide the new Primary Contact's name and contact information.
- If the new Primary Contact is not already a Sponsor:
- Register the new Primary Contact as a Sponsor on your account. This must be done by an existing Sponsor or Primary Contact.
- Contact us to provide the new
Primary Contact's name and contact information.
Tip: If no Sponsor or Primary Contact can be contacted to register the new Primary Contact, the new Primary Contact must sign up for a new organizational membership.
45 How does Bookshare work with state education agencies?
Nationally, Bookshare’s goal (one shared with SEAs) is to see that all students with print disabilities get timely access to the materials they need for academic achievement. Many, many students do not receive instructional materials on the same day as their sighted peers. Bookshare supplements states’ internal programs to create materials for these students in the formats they need. In many cases, states have programs for Braille and large print production, but do not have the capacity to produce the digital files that can be used by so many assistive devices and applications. In general, states’ ability to produce and provide instructional materials is severely constrained, due to lack of resources. Bookshare expects to work with states to minimize duplication of effort in the production of materials and to maximize the availability of materials in accessible formats for the benefit all students with print disabilities.[Back to top]
46 Does the federal Bookshare award mean we can cut funding for our Instructional Material Center (or similar entity) that produces Braille and/or Large Print?
No. Bookshare produces only digital books and not hardcopy Braille or large print. Since Bookshare does not have Library of Congress certified transcribers producing materials, it cannot replace states’ Braille production centers. While Bookshare does not supply tactile graphics, Bookshare digital books are extremely useful to students using DAISY applications and devices, and Braille displays or note takers. Bookshare expects to be a primary source of digital content for such students. In addition, transcribers working for SEAs and LEAs will benefit from downloading Bookshare digital books and using them as a starting point.[Back to top]
47 What are some websites to find out where accessible books can be found?
- NIMAC Inventory Search
48 What types of books that students will want to read can be found on Bookshare?
Bookshare has a large collection of popular children’s literature, award
winning books, teacher recommended reading, supplemental reading and a growing
collection of textbooks, which are essential for classes. The subject areas the
library is especially strong in are English, History, and other courses in the
humanities and social sciences. Bookshare is starting to add more technical and
scientific books, thanks to partnerships with publishers. Giving students access
to the great variety of books from Bookshare can encourage outside reading and
support increased general literacy.
Bookshare is committed to delivering high quality educational materials to students and educational agencies. The new National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) standard requires that K-12 publishers provide the very highest quality versions of their educational materials. Bookshare has automated tools for converting these files into student-ready digital books.
Publishers and authors have provided many high quality electronic versions of selected textbooks (and other books) to the Bookshare library. Bookshare greatly appreciates their support and encourages you to mention Bookshare to publishers as a solution to accessible book needs.
49 How can I subscribe to the Bookshare discussion lists?
- Bookshare Discussion List
- Bookshare Volunteer Discussion List
These are very active lists, with dozens of messages each day. You can subscribe to these lists in digest form, which typically means one email a day containing all of the emails sent to the list that day.
- Bookshare Discussion List: Send a message with “set digest” in the subject
- Bookshare Volunteer Discussion List: Send a message with “set digest” in the
50 Where can I find Professional Development Workshop information?
For the latest information on available workshops, schedules, registration, and full course descriptions, please visit workshops.bookshare.org.[Back to top]
51 Does Bookshare offer Professional Development Workshops?
Bookshare is now offering fee-based professional development workshops (workshops quality for use of ARRA funds!). These comprehensive workshops integrate both instructor delivery and hands-on participation. The workshop curriculum is designed to provide tools, services, and knowledge that result in immediate benefits and long-term solutions. For the latest information on available workshops and full course descriptions, please visit workshops.bookshare.org.[Back to top]
52 Do you offer Professional Development Workshops for teachers?
Bookshare's comprehensive, hands-on, highly participative workshops are designed for teachers/educators. These comprehensive workshops integrate best practices, provide hands-on labs, and include the development of lesson plans that can be taken back into the classroom for immediate implementation. For the latest information on available workshops and full course descriptions, visit workshops.bookshare.org.[Back to top]