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Breaking Barriers: Working and Loving while Blind

by Peter Altschul

For some unknown reason, Peter Altschul was born totally blind. He grew up in a working-class town where, with the help of his persistent mother, he broke through barrier after barrier, determined to live a full life. After attending a private school that initially turned him away--simply because he was blind--Peter details how he discovered his gift for music, eventually playing percussion in the orchestra, marching band, and jazz ensemble at Princeton University. But it was only after Peter graduated from college that it became evident he would need a guide dog. Heidi, a Weimaraner with a large repertoire of barks, howls, and grunts, would assist Peter for the next eight years through the halls of New England Conservatory, where he eventually obtained a master's degree in music composition. Peter relays how he blazed a unique professional trail while simultaneously overcoming obstacles; managed his uneasy relationship with music; and embraced his unexpected entrance into an unfamiliar and romantic world. He also provides an unforgettable glimpse into the wonderful ways his five guide dogs supported him on his journey from urban bachelorhood to the light of love. Breaking Barriers shares a compelling account of one man's journey through life as he and each of his specially trained dogs learned to trust each other, ultimately melding into a smooth working team that tackled the world-together.

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Help

Select your format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. To learn more about using Bookshare with your device, visit the "Using Bookshare" page in the Help Center.

Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.

  • Bookshare Web Reader - a customized reading tool for Bookshare members offering all the features of DAISY with a single click of the "Read Now" link.
  • DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) - a digital book file format. DAISY books from Bookshare are DAISY 3.0 text files that work with just about every type of access technology that reads text. Books that contain images will have the download option of ‘DAISY Text with Images’.
  • BRF (Braille Refreshable Format) - digital Braille for use with refreshable Braille devices and Braille embossers.
  • MP3 (Mpeg audio layer 3) - Provides audio only with no text. These books are created with a text-to-speech engine and spoken by Kendra, a high quality synthetic voice from Ivona. Any device that supports MP3 playback is compatible.
  • DAISY Audio - Similar to the Daisy 3.0 option above; however, this option uses MP3 files created with our text-to-speech engine that utilizes Ivona's Kendra voice. This format will work with Daisy Audio compatible players such as Victor Reader Stream and Read2Go.