Press Releases

Benetech Delivers 10 Million Accessible Ebooks

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Sept. 20, 2016 — Benetech, the leading nonprofit empowering communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions, today announced that over 10 million accessible ebooks have been downloaded through its Bookshare initiative. Bookshare is the world’s largest online library for people who are blind, visually impaired or have a physical disability that interferes with reading, such as dyslexia.

George Kerscher Joins Benetech as Senior Advisor for Global Literacy

Palo Alto, California, August 16, 2016 — Benetech announced today that Dr. George Kerscher has joined the organization as Senior Advisor to the Benetech Global Literacy program. Dr. Kerscher brings a wealth of experience and long-time leadership in the accessible information field. He began his accessibility technology innovation in the 1980s and coined the term “print disabled” to describe people who cannot effectively read print because of a visual, physical, or learning disability. George has been recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change and received awards from the American Foundation for the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind, and many more.

Pennsylvania Libraries Partner with Benetech/Bookshare to Expand Accessible Reading Opportunities for Patrons with Print Disabilities

Palo Alto, California, August 1, 2016— In a mission to expand more meaningful and accessible reading experiences for Pennsylvania residents who cannot read standard print, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Free Library of Philadelphia have entered into a partnership agreement with Benetech, a Silicon Valley nonprofit that manages Bookshare, the world’s largest online accessible library for individuals with qualifying print disabilities.

Benetech Partners with Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services to Bring Bookshare to Patrons with Print Disabilities

Palo Alto, California, June 28, 2016—Benetech, provider of Bookshare, is proud to announce a new partnership with Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS), making over 425,000 accessible ebooks available for free to patrons who cannot read printed books due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, and other print disabilities. GLASS is the statewide network of talking book centers that provides library services for the blind and others whose physical abilities require the use of books and magazines in digital audio formats or in braille.

Benetech Receives Google Impact Challenge Award to Expand Bookshare’s Global Reach

Palo Alto, California, April 12, 2016— Benetech is pleased to announce that it has been selected by as one of twenty-nine nonprofits to receive funding to increase access to opportunity and independence for hundreds of millions living with disabilities around the world. Launched in May of 2015, the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities put $20 million in grants behind nonprofits using emerging technologies to increase independence for people living with disabilities. This program aims to scale impact through technology and extends funding to “entrepreneurial nonprofits to bring innovative tech ideas to life and test their potential for scale.”

Benetech Names New President, COO to Massively Grow Social Impact

Palo Alto, California, January 27, 2015—Silicon Valley technology nonprofit Benetech today announced the appointments of Betsy Beaumon as president and Mark Roberts as chief operating officer. 

Springer Signs Agreement Granting Worldwide Rights to Bookshare

July 12, 2013 - Springer, the leading global scientific publisher, has signed an agreement to provide Bookshare, an international leader in providing copyrighted digital accessible books to people with print disabilities, with world rights to its titles.

All-in-One Integrated Title Searches with a Collaboration by APH and Bookshare

July 12, 2013 - 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. 


Simpler, Quicker Way to Read Bookshare Book

February 4, 2013 - Last week at the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference, Bookshare®, a global leader in providing copyrighted digital accessible books to people with print disabilities, introduced two innovative product additions: the Bookshare Web Reader and Bookshelf.

Benetech Wins Five-Year Award to Dramatically Improve Accessibility of Educational Materials

July 23, 2012 - New cutting-edge technologies will help give students with print disabilities the same opportunities as their peers

As major changes in technology dramatically disrupt education, Benetech, the Silicon Valley nonprofit that uses technology for social change, has won a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education.

Bookshare and Mada Launch Accessible Arabic eBook Collection

June 19, 2012 - New Titles Expand Reading Opportunities for Arabic Readers with Print Disabilities

Bookshare, in partnership with Mada (Qatar Assistive Technology Center), has released 100 new titles in Arabic, giving Arabic readers with print disabilities the opportunity to read a diverse range of material..


Benetech Releases Image Description Tool to Improve Accessibility of Graphical Content for Students with Print Disabilities

May 10, 2012 - Poet Open Source Web Application Allows Crowdsourcing of Image Descriptions in Accessible Books

The Benetech DIAGRAM Center has released an open source web application for creating and editing crowdsourced image descriptions in books used by students with print disabilities.


Early eBook Pioneer Bookshare Marks Decade of Innovations

March 12, 2012 - Ten Years Motivated by Need to Change Lives of People with Print Disabilities

Bookshare today announced its 10th anniversary. Throughout the last ten years, Bookshare has been at the forefront of the digital book revolution, applying Silicon Valley technology to pioneer an innovative new approach to a library for individuals with print disabilities.


Bookshare Passes 150,000 Student Members & 125,000 Titles, Wins a New Award

October 11, 2011 - Bookshare is dramatically overachieving its five year targets and wins a new OSEP award

Bookshare passes 150,000 student members and 125,000 titles, wins a new 1-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).


Accessible e-Book Reader, Read2Go, Now Available

September 8, 2011 - App for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch Allows Users to Read Bookshare Books

Benetech®, the parent nonprofit for Bookshare®, announced the immediate availability of Read2Go, a new accessible e-book application (app) for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.


Bookshare and HumanWare Simplify Access to Bookshare Books

June 30, 2011 - Direct Connection to Bookshare Facilitates Transfer of Books to Devices

HumanWare and Bookshare are pleased to announce a new version of the FREE HumanWare Companion Software that simplifies the process of finding, downloading, and transferring  Bookshare books to the Victor Reader Stream digital talking book player. more…


Bookshare Showcases Student Technology and its Free, Federally Funded Accessible Book Initiative

May 16, 2011 - DCPS Students with Disabilities Speak about Academic Equality, Higher Education, and Lifelong Learning

Students with print disabilities and administrators from the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), along with library and government officials, shared their stories and progress toward improving academic equality and lifelong learning through the use of technology at an event last week at the DC Public Library. more…


John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Signs Agreement to Provide Titles to Bookshare

April 14, 2011 - Partnership Expands Bookshare Collection and Makes it Easier for People with Print Disabilities to Gain Access to a Wide Range of Titles

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (JWa, JWb), a leading publisher serving the professional, consumer, scientific, technical, medical and academic communities worldwide, has agreed to provide Bookshare with digital files of professional and trade titles for their collection. more...


Benetech Launches “Accessible Books for Texas” with Funding from the Texas Education Agency

March 14, 2011 - Project to Help Educators Use Accessible Instructional Materials with Students with Disabilities

Benetech today announced that it was recently awarded a contract with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to conduct training and outreach on the benefits of accessible instructional materials (AIM) for K-12 students with disabilities in Texas.


Benetech Announces New Accessible e-Book Reader for Apple iOS devices - iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch Users Can Read Bookshare Books with Read2Go

January 26, 2011 - At the 2011 ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) conference in Orlando, Florida, Benetech®, the parent nonprofit for Bookshare®, announced Read2Go, a new accessible e-book application (app) developed in partnership with Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd, known for its PLEXTALK® brand of digital talking book players.


Internet Archive and Bookshare Partner to Combine Search Results: Single Search Finds Public Domain and Copyrighted Titles in Accessible Formats

October 21, 2010 - Internet Archive and Bookshare announced today at the Books in Browsers conference that they have entered into a partnership that provides Internet Archive users and Bookshare members the capability to search for digital accessible books from Bookshare on The ability to search Bookshare titles on provides links to over 80,000 copyrighted titles, and further simplifies the process of finding an accessible book, thereby increasing ease of access to accessible books and periodicals for people with print disabilities.


Bookshare Celebrates Major Milestone: 100,000 Students: Exceeds target & serves more students

October 4, 2010 - Bookshare®, a global leader in providing copyrighted, digital accessible books to people with print disabilities, today announced that 100,000 students now benefit from Bookshare’s collection of digital accessible books. Bookshare hit this target, a five-year goal set as part of the organization’s award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, in under three years, demonstrating the tremendous need for accessible instructional materials in flexible formats to serve students with a range of qualifying print disabilities.more...


Blind Woman Uses Accessible Cookbooks from Bookshare to Cook on Rachael Ray Show

October 4, 2010 - Chrissy Steltz, a woman who lost most of her face in a gun accident, and received the first-of-its-kind prosthetic face, will be on the Rachael Ray show in a segment featuring Bookshare.


Leading International Organization, CABI (Center for Agricultural Bioscience International), to Provide Collection of over 500 Scientific Publications to Bookshare

September 30, 2010 - CABI, the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International, has entered into an agreement with Bookshare to provide their collection of nearly 500 titles in the areas of agricultural, animal and veterinary sciences, environmental sciences, human health, food and nutrition, leisure and tourism, microbiology and parasitology, and plant sciences. more...


Partnerships in Multiple Countries Expand Bookshare Internationally

September 29, 2010 - Bookshare International today announced partnerships with Vision Australia, Western Australia Association for the Blind, the South Africa Library for the Blind, TPB (The Swedish Library of Talking Books or Talboks-och punktskriftsbiblioteket), and NOTA, the Danish National Library for the Blind to make accessible books available for their citizens with print disabilities.


University of British Columbia Press Becomes First Canadian Publisher to Partner with Bookshare

September 28, 2010 - The University of British Columbia Press (UBC Press), one of the largest university presses in Canada, has entered into an agreement with Bookshare® granting world rights to its collection.


Bookshare Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with Free Membership Offer

July 26, 2010 - In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Bookshare announces a free membership opportunity for all Americans with qualifying print disabilities, regardless of age or student status.


Bookshare Crosses 100,000-Member Milestone

July 6, 2010 - Bookshare, the world’s largest online accessible library of copyrighted content for individuals with print disabilities, today announced a milestone event – surpassing 100,000 qualified members around the world.


Cambridge University Press Grants Worldwide Digital Rights to Bookshare

May 20, 2010 - Cambridge University Press has entered into a license agreement with Bookshare.


Simon & Schuster Provides Digital Files to Bookshare

April 14, 2010 - To serve individuals and students with print disabilities and to provide timely access to digital books, Simon & Schuster has signed an agreement that will give Bookshare’s members access to an extensive selection of titles from all imprints.


Merriam-Webster Signs Agreement to Provide Digital Files with Worldwide Rights to Bookshare

April 14, 2010 - Merriam-Webster, America's foremost publisher of language-related reference works, has signed an agreement to provide Bookshare with worldwide rights to its entire collection of key references works.


Benetech, with the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media and the U.S. Fund for DAISY, Receives $5 Million Award to Transform Production of Accessible Images

March 3, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), awarded $5 million to Benetech, in collaboration with The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH and the U.S. Fund for DAISY (USFDAISY), to create a research and development center that will...