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Benetech Secures U.S. Department of Education Award to Expand Access to Bookshare for Students with Disabilities

2017 November 27
by Amaya Webster

We here at DIAGRAM would like to take a moment to share some exciting news about one of Benetech’s other initiatives, the Bookshare program. For those of you unfamiliar with Bookshare, it is the largest online library of accessible materials for students who read differently due to blindness, low vision, a physical disability, or dyslexia. We are thrilled to announce that Benetech has received a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, to expand and improve access to books for these qualifying students. Thanks to this new award Bookshare will:

  • Continue to offer free memberships for all qualified students at U.S. public schools, community colleges and universities, charter schools, and homeschools.
  • Expand to over 800,000 books with a goal of delivering four million book downloads.
  • Continue to support an ever-increasing number of reading tools, apps, and devices.
  • Continue to provide expert training and customer support
  • Work directly with publishers to ensure accessibility features are included in production and are present in over 50 percent of educational books by 2022.

To learn more about Bookshare and the new award, read the official press release or the TechCrunch article: “Palo Alto nonprofit Benetech wins a $42.5M Dept. of Education grant, a nod to founder Jim Fruchterman’s quest to help the blind.”

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