Latest ABT News

Christine Jones, MBA Education Program Manager Benetech
Christine Jones, MBA
Education Program Manager

Summer Update for Bookshare and Accessible Books for Texas

Milestones: 250,000+ Titles, 300,000+ Members!

Yes, it’s true! Bookshare’s collection just topped a quarter million titles, thanks to publishers such as Penguin Group, Random House, Scholastic and more. As of spring 2014, Bookshare serves more than 300,000 members, mostly students in U.S. K-12 and postsecondary schools.

Investigate the Summer of Sleuths

The summer reading contest started June 16th. It’s not too late for Bookshare Individual Members to put on their detective hats and join the fun! We’ve got some cool prizes planned for all age groups.

Summer 2014: Learn and Earn CPEs

Summer is a great time to bolster your knowledge of accessible eBooks and Bookshare. Your local ABT Outreach Coordinators are standing by to schedule a customized training or appointment. They can help you enhance your skills this summer or plan ahead for the 2014-15 school year.

If virtual training is more your style, sign up for these options from Perkins eLearning for professional credit:

  • Bookshare in Depth online course, moderated by Bookshare Certified Instructor Karen Narvol. This five-week course begins July 7, 2014. Learn more and sign up.
  • Self-paced Bookshare in Depth online course. Register now!

¡Lea libros en español! (Read Bookshare books in Spanish!)

Bookshare’s collection contains 4,700 books in Spanish, including translations of popular books by bestselling authors such as J. K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Isabel Allende, Gary Soto, John C. Maxwell, Joel Osteen, and T. D. Jakes.

Spanish titles are added every month, so members and sponsors are encouraged to request books if you cannot find the title you need. You can also download brochures in Spanish.

Prospective members who prefer to read in Spanish can benefit from an Individual Membership Signup Form in Spanish. Available on the brochures page, this form provides a Spanish translation of the online signup form and should be used for reference only. For faster processing, prospective individual members should still sign up online.

Listen to Spanish Books in a High Quality Audio Voice

When you download them in audio format (either DAISY Audio or MP3), all Spanish Bookshare books are provided in a high-quality text-to-speech (TTS) Spanish voice which ensures a pleasant listening experience. Spanish books downloaded in DAISY Audio can be read in Read2Go, the Bookshare app for the iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone.

Check our updated support portal for more details. Bookshare members can also read Spanish books using reading software that has a Spanish TTS voice. The DAISY Consortium Reader and several commercially available reading software programs offer Spanish TTS voices.

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TEA Funds ABT for Fourth Year – Fall Update 2013

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently approved funding for Benetech’s Accessible Books for Texas (ABT) program for a fourth year, from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014.

Through ABT, local Outreach Coordinators deliver customized, face-to-face AIM and Bookshare training to schools and districts throughout Texas.

In addition, Benetech applies dedicated resources to Texas membership and support questions and Texas book requests. As a result, the number of Texas public K-12 schools using Bookshare, and the number of Texas students getting accessible eBooks through Bookshare, have grown at twice the pace of the national average.

ABT is an excellent example of a state-level partnership that augments the services that Benetech can provide nationally. Generous support from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funds provide free Bookshare memberships for all qualified U.S. students and the schools that serve them.

OSEP funds also enable Benetech to provide free online training and responsive phone and email support to +260,000 Bookshare members around the country and to add thousands of school-related titles to the Bookshare library upon request and at no charge. With supplemental funding from states or other organizations, Benetech can support educators, parents, and students even more comprehensively.

If you are interested in a customized partnership with Benetech, please contact me, Christine Jones for more information.  Thank you.