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New OSEP Award to Benetech Also Aids Accessible Images

2012 July 25
by Amaya Webster

A new major award from OSEP to Benetech will also positively impact DIAGRAM’s work on accessible images. The new award will not only allow Benetech to continue its work on the digital accessible library Bookshare, but also to further disseminate the tools developed by DIAGRAM. The following is an excerpt from the award announcement:

Benetech has won a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, to continue its groundbreaking Bookshare initiative. Even as major changes in technology disrupt education, Bookshare ensures that educational materials are accessible to students with print disabilities. The award, named “Bookshare and Innovation for Education” (BI4E), allows Benetech to meet the challenges of the changing educational landscape by also creating free open source tools for content providers and working with those providers to make educational materials accessible from the start. Benetech’s innovative tools will tackle such major challenges as accessible math and graphic illustrations. This project will increase dissemination of tools developed under the DIAGRAM R&D Center and promote better ways to find and read accessible materials.

“While more content today is ‘born digital,’ it also needs to be ‘born accessible,’” said Betsy Beaumon, Vice President and General Manager of the Literacy Program at Benetech. “As a nonprofit that uses the technology tools pioneered in Silicon Valley, we are committed to continue revolutionizing the field of accessibility at a fraction of the cost of current approaches, delivering the next generation of innovation.” The full press release detailing Benetech’s award from the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, is here.

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