Bookshare offers accessible books and periodicals for readers with print disabilities by providing a searchable online library. Bookshare offers digital books, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals and assistive technology tools. These are copyrighted materials. Bookshare is a tremendous online resource of accessible books, magazines, and newspapers for people with print disabilities. Bookshare is free to students, and others pay a nominal fee to access over 125,000 publications, available in DAISY and braille formats. You can learn more, including how to register or volunteer, at Bookshare's website.
Bookshare is one of many authorized entities that can create and provide printed materials in accessible formats to individuals with disabilities who meet the criteria for a copyright exemption across the entire lifespan. Such authorized entities can create and provide these materials WITHOUT seeking permission from the copyright holder as long the materials are ONLY provided to individuals meeting copyright criteria. (Another such entity is The American Printing House for the Blind which is funded directly by Congress. Learning Ally – formerly RFBand D –which does not currently receive any federal funding and, of course there are many others that are typically smaller and less widely known.)
Bookshare and other entities registered with the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) can convert NIMAS-compliant source files created by publishers and deposited in the NIMAC as long as those materials are only provided to students who both meet copyright criteria AND are receive services under IDEA. Bookshare and other entities also produce and provide accessible materials using sources other than the NIMAC ("chopping and scanning" printed materials, files obtained directly from collaborating publishers, etc.).
Only students who qualify as having a print disability, such as:
A range of training opportunities are provided which includes 'getting started' Webinars and Quick Start Guides in Bookshare's professional development workshops. Be sure to check out these wonderful resources. This is a great Step-by-Step Instructions to the process.
If you go to the BookShare Site and go to "subscribe" you will notice that there are 3 types of membership. They offer both individual subscriptions and accounts for schools or groups. Select a link below to find out more about each.
- Individual Subscriptions
U.S. residents who have a visual impairment, learning disability or mobility impairment can subscribe.
- School and Group Accounts
Schools or groups that serve individuals with print disabilities can provide books through Institutional Access or Sponsored Subscriptions.
- Access for non-U.S residents
Individuals with qualifying disabilities who live outside the United States can access portions of the Bookshare collection.
If you are a representative of a U.S. school (K-12 and post-secondary), your students 26 years old and under, they may qualify for free access to Bookshare as of October 1, 2007. There are requirements for this access and it is important that you understand the requirements before you get started. The four major decision points in the process include:
- determination of need
- selection of format(s)
- acquisition of format(s)
- selection of supports for use.
- Special education teacher
- Learning disability specialist
- Teacher of the visually impaired
- School psychologist
- Resource specialist
- Family doctor
- Physical therapist
- Clinical psychologist
- How to Add Sponsors and Members How-To Guide - PDF - Word
- Find and Request Books How-To Guide - PDF - Word
- Reading Lists How-To Guide - PDF - Word
- Web Reader Access for Students How-To Guide - PDF - Word
- Bookshare Web Reader How-To Guide - PDF - Word
- Read2Go How-To Guide - PDF - Word
Digital Accessible Books:
What Bookshare Can Do for You:
Technology offers options:
e-Text makes books available in print on the computer, tablet or an eReader. By being able to have access to copyrighted text on a computer, you can then allow students with disabilities to read in new and more flexible ways by:
- enlarging it
- changing the font
- making less words on a page
- color coding it for vocabulary
- highlight important facts
- controlling the color contrast of the text and background
How it works:
Bookshare enables book scans to be shared, thereby leveraging the collections of thousands of individuals who regularly scan books, eliminating significant duplication of effort. Bookshare takes advantage of a special exemption in the U.S. copyright law that permits the reproduction of publications into specialized formats for the disabled.This site allows you access to copyrighted books. This online community enables book scans to be shared, leveraging the collections of thousands of individuals who regularly scan books, eliminating significant duplication of effort. Bookshare takes advantage of a special exemption in the U.S. copyright law that permits the reproduction of publications into specialized formats for the disabled.
What is different about Bookshare from other e-Text sites is that they have the ability to share copyrighted text!!! That is why this is so huge. What you scan in may be added and shared with others. It is a give and take- sharing- approach.
Providing Reading Options:
Bookshare now provides Web Reader in most browsers.
- Google Chrome version 33+
- Safari version 6.1+
- Google Chrome version 14-32 Bookshare Chrome Extension installation required
- Chromebooks version 14+ Bookshare Chrome Extension installation required
- Mozilla Firefox version 6+
- Safari version 6.0+
- Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11
- Safari on an iPad with iOS 7+
Read:OutLoud- Don Johnson has partnered with Bookshare to offer free text-to-speech. It is here! In 2009, students who qualify under the Chafee copyright exemption amendment will use Don Johnston’s Read:OutLoud Bookshare Edition text reader to access thousands of electronic books, educational materials and resources in NIMAS and DAISY from the Bookshare website. The program’s goal is to eliminate barriers for students with reading disabilities and to provide the necessary tools to ensure access to the general curriculum, materials and textbooks. Are you a visual learner? Take some time to watch this great How To Tutorials.
- Highlighting text right from the document as key ideas are found.
- Taking notes to capture ideas, thoughts and predictions.
- Finally, under the Outline Menu, you can insert an Outline.
The iPad and Bookshare:
There are 3 options preferred for bringing audio to your books:
VDR and Capti have become much more preferred over Read2Go but I suggest looking at all 3 to choose what is best for you.
VoiceDream Reader -There are many how to resources available regarding VoiceDream Reader. Be sure to explore this further (but Capti offers much of the same for free)! The cost is $9.99. A few features:
- Improved VoiceOver support for the blind
- Can start speaking text from a chapter, bookmark, or highlight
- Can start speaking from a text search result
- Bookshare offers a guide with step-by-step directions
Bookshare and Chrome:
There are two key points to remember about accessing Bookshare’s NIMAC-sourced books:
- They are only available for U.S. K-12 students with print disabilities as defined in the Chafee Amendment to copyright law, AND who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) issued by a public education agency.
- Only teachers and staff members of U.S. K-12 education agencies can download these books. To ensure that Bookshare complies with the above limitations, students, parents, transcribers, and non-student Individual Members cannot download these books.
At the bottom of this post, I've posted an 8 minute video by Bruce Alter, PT, PCS, AT Consultant, on how to load DAISY with images content into the Read2Go app. Those of you who have used this iDevice app will have discovered that there's no way to do this from within the app. This video explains in detail how to "sideload" content using your computer and iTunes. I hope you find it useful.
Below are some sites to help you through the basic Bookshare process:
- For more information and and easy step-by-step on the Whole Bookshare processes, HIAT has some great guides and tutorials to follow.
- Get it, Read it, Learn it is a PDF will help you with Bookshare and Read:Outloud.
- Kim Para has put together a page of resources worth considering on her site, "Technology Resources".
- This is a slideshow that will tell you about and provide nice clear step-by-step directions. Might be worth printing this one out.
- If you are more of a visual learner, this one is in video format.
- How Do I Download Bookshare Books Using Internet Explorer on a PC?
- How Do I Download Bookshare Books Using Read:OutLoud Bookshare Edition on a PC?
- How Do I Read Bookshare Books Using Read:OutLoud Bookshare Edition on a PC?
- How Do I Find and Request Books on Bookshare?
Finally, think about what YOU can do for Bookshare!
- A 15 minute Introduction to Bookshare can be viewed on YouTube. This will tell you who qualifies, how to get them qualified and how to get started.
- A 17 minute video for how to set up and use the Read2Go App.
- A 7 minute video showing the features in VDR by Karen Janowski.
- An 8 minute How to sideload bookshare content into Read2GO.