How I Use It
Bookshare is an online library of digital books for people who have print disabilities or learning disabilities. Bookshare is free to individuals and schools once they confirm the account is for a person with a print disability and they agree to provide proof of disability.
Bookshare has provided readers in my classroom with visual impairments a way to enjoy reading materials. Readers can either listen to books by using a text-to-speech synthesized voice, or read books in large print. Students enjoyed reading books in an enlarged font using either the screen magnifier, or by opening the book in a compatible software program that supported the larger font size, color and contrast. In addition, students with learning disabilities benefited by both hearing and seeing the words highlighted as they were read. This is a resource that could take away a lot of an aide's time enlarging text at a copier!
Bookshare is a growing collection of over 300,000 titles. Several aides that have used this resource are amazed how many of the textbooks and class materials they can access through this website. Not only are books available, but so are newspapers and magazines. Bookshare is pretty easy to set up and get started. The majority of your time will be spent searching through the vast titles, unless you have a specific title in mind. Books can be searched by title, author and even ISBN. Bookshare offers a plethora of help on their website as well as a contact number to help resolve any issues or answer any questions. Finding this resource was like discovering a gold mine for students with print and learning disablities.