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Bookshare Free Online Book Library for Print Disabled


Bookshare Free Online Book Library for Print Disabled

Bookshare offers readers with print disabilities an online library of over 125,000 DAISY books accessible as text, audio, or braille.


Download DAISY Files for Reading Audio Books:

Bookshare is a free online book library of e-books designed to be accessible to persons with print disabilities, especially blindness and dyslexia.

Bookshare books are encrypted DAISY files members download to a computer, mobile device, or special player such as the Victor Reader Stream. Read more about DAISY books.

Once decrypted, readers access books using assistive technology. Files can be opened as text and enlarged for low-vision readers or read using a screen reader. The can also be played as audiobooks or converted to braille and read on a refreshable display.

Bookshare Memberships Are Free to Students with Print Disabilities:

A U.S. Department of Education grant enables Bookshare to provide free memberships to students who are unable to read standard print due to a disability.

Students must register online with Bookshare and provide proof of disability. All others wishing to join pay a $25 setup- and $50 annual fee.

Memberships are also available to institutions such as schools and libraries who serve print disabled readers. Read more...

Bookshare Adds 1,000 New Titles a Month in All Subject Areas:

The Bookshare website provides access to more than 125,000 works, including K-12 textbooks, popular fiction and nonfiction, children's books, and periodicals.

Members can search for works by author, category, new books, and among the site's special collections. These include:

  • New York Times bestsellers
  • Pulitzer Prize winners
  • Teacher recommended reading
  • Newbery Award winners
  • Young Reader's Choice Award winners
  • Hugo Award winners
  • Edgar Allen Poe Award winners
  • National Education Association's Bilingual Booklist (Spanish/English)
Bookshare's educational and commercial publishing partners include:
  • Brookings Institution Press
  • De Capo Press
  • HarperCollins
  • Modern Language Association of America
  • O'Reilly Media
  • Random House
  • Scholastic
  • The Hachette Book Group
  • Townsend Press

How to Play Bookshare Audiobooks:

To play Bookshare books, one needs to install special software or a mobile app, or use a DAISY Talking Book player or the aforementioned Victor Reader Stream.

One of the most popular apps is Read2Go e-book reader for the iPhone. Read more…

Bookshare offers two free e-book readers. Victor Reader Soft Bookshare Edition from HumanWare is designed for readers with low vision. Read:OutLoud Bookshare Edition from Don Johnston Incorporated helps learning disabled students by enabling simultaneous reading and listening to reinforce language acquisition

Bookshare Enables Students to Read Books at the Same Time as Their Peers:

Producing and distributing braille and audiobooks is labor-intensive and expensive. Digitizing text makes any book immediately accessible anywhere and on many types of assistive devices.

Bookshare uses high-speed scanners that capture both sides of a page at once and can digitize an entire book in 10 minutes. Volunteers proof the files.

Bookshare books are often released at the same time as print editions. Students can read the same books as their classmates at the same time - a great leap forward in terms of accessibility

For example, it takes months or years for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) to bring out a current bestseller in braille or audio. Patrons then might wait weeks or months to borrow a copy from their NLS library.

The NLS reproduces about 2,500 titles a year in braille and audio; Bookshare, about 12,000.

Such growth has enabled Bookshare to join NLS and Learning Ally as one of the main book providers for readers with print disabilities.

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