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Bookshare: A Free Resource for Kids with Dyslexia

If your child struggles with reading, you must check out Bookshare, the free service that provides electronic audible versions of books to students with reading disabilities and vision problems.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this member-based service turns traditional books from print into speech allowing children to access the content via listening. In addition, Bookshare can reformat text to increase the font size and adjust spacing for easier reading.

In an article appearing in the Nov 1 online edition of Education Week, Bookshares’s V.P. of Literacy and General Manager, Betsy Beaumon, explained that the 10-year-old service has agreements with approximately 160 publishers. “We get an electronic feed from our publishers the same time a book is hitting Amazon, the same time it’s hitting iTunes.”

In addition to receiving books from their stable of publishers, Bookshare also gets electronic copies of textbooks from the National Instructional Materials Access Center, a federal repository created under special education law. To date the company has more than 125,000 titles and is open to suggestions for others

To learn more about Bookshare go to http://www.bookshare.org.

3 Responses to “Bookshare: A Free Resource for Kids with Dyslexia”

  1. Davis Graham Says:

    Memberships to Bookshare.org are available for non-student for a small yearly membership fee. When suggested by my local librarian I was hesitant but oh…today I can tell you Bookshare.org has changed my life. From my Blog (mygiftofdyslexia.blogspot.com)

    Today the successes which have taken place in my life have been from a compassionate ear, a foundation of a solid family, Jesus Christ’s presence in my life and technology.

    Bookshare.org has for the first time in my 50years of life, put me on the edge of a reading chair which was never in my life before. This chair is at work, at home, on vacation, and in my conversations with many.

    Today the written word is not a hurdle to me nor should it be in the way of education for any student in the academic environment in the United States of America. By combining technology of text to speech, and gathering the printed word in digital format, Bookshare has overcome the initial hurdle; Bookshare has made a pioneering pathway for an unbridled learning environment.

    Never in my life before Bookshare have I ever felt more a part of my community and industry. Bookshare’s partnership with Victor Reader Soft and Read:OutLoud have enabled me to read the Wall Street Journal, The World is Flat, Same Kind of Different as Me, Just As I am and more to be read. In the past, if someone were to come to me and say, “Did you read…,” this would send ripples of memories of failure and frustration which came from hurts from the casualties of dyslexia.

    Dyslexia is a “gift” to me today, because of the barriers which have been leveled by technology; Bookshare has picked up the baton and made reading for me today a pleasure while allowing me to sharpen my mind and spirit by the printed word.

  2. Jane Says:

    Davis, Thank you for posting this information, and the tremendous difference it has made in your life.

  3. Davis Graham Says:

    Thank you for serving those persons with the Gift of dyslexia.

    If any one has dyslexia they are living in a technical dream come true world which can equip the 10-20% of those who have the Gift of Dyslexia which will change the landscape of their future outlook. It is my hope nobody has to go through what I went through in high school, grade and middle school, but the word needs to get out to the public.

    Today I read with not boarders or hurdles to the written word at speeds of 340 to 510 words per minute with 90+% comprehension.

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