If you are parent of a child with a print disability or a teacher with students with print disabilities in your classroom you will want to check out Bookshare. Bookshare is the world’s largest online digital library which is available for FREE for students and adults who have a print disability. There are over 1/2 a million book titles in the library including most textbooks found in schools. So for students who qualify, this means that their textbooks or books they are reading in class (oh, let’s say a book such Charlotte’s Web) as can be downloaded directly onto a computer or a device, and using a reader (super easy to download the app on the iPad) have the words read directly to them. This opens up a whole new world to our kiddos who just need access to print, not only able to read what is required in school, but to read for just pure enjoyment.
Just click HERE to learn more about Bookshare.
So, who qualifies for Bookshare? Children and adults who have a print disability. It’s estimated that 2% of today’s school children have print disabilities. This may mean that they have a reading disability such as dyslexia, a visual impairment or a physical impairment which impacts their ability to access text.
On the Bookshare website there are resources that will help you determine if your child, or your students, qualify for this service. It’s important to know that parents can enroll their children for individual accounts or a school district set up accounts for students who qualify. If you are a school and wanting to set up accounts for students, I highly recommend working with your tech department right away to help set up systems for management. It isn’t difficult, it’s just for a district, there are decisions that will need to be made such as who will download the books, which devices will be available, etc.
You may find this video helpful as it describes using this resource from a student’s perspective.
Jus click HERE to watch a video of students with learning disabilities talking about their experiences with using technology.
In recent years technology has come such a long way. For those of you who download books on a Kindle or an iPad just for your own enjoyment, you know how easy that is. Well, that same technology that we use for ourselves, whether it’s on a device or even a smart phone can make such a difference in lives of students with learning disabilities. Please be sure to check out Bookshare.