Bookshare, Benetech's flagship global literacy initiative, helps to reshape opportunities for people with disabilities by making books and periodicals available in accessible formats. Benetech places particular emphasis on providing books through Bookshare that support educational and employment opportunities. Users can download books at any time from the collection of over 100,000 books available globally, with new titles added daily, in a variety of accessible formats; including digital braille, synthetic audio, and enlarged text. Bookshare titles are available as mp3 files that can be played on low cost devices, such as mp3 players and cell phones. Bookshare also provides digital text files that can be played on any Internet-connected computer or smartphone. By employing digital service delivery and building extensive partnerships with publishers who are the source of over 80 percent of Bookshare's newest content, Bookshare is more than fifteen times as cost-effective as traditional methods of delivering services to people with print disabilities, such as human-narrated audio.
With generous support from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, Benetech will provide access to Bookshare for 5,000 people with print disabilities throughout India, with at least 1,500 of these being university students. Benetech will also add a minimum of 1,000 new titles to the Bookshare collection. Working closely with the DAISY Forum of India, a consortium of major vision-related disability organizations, Benetech will ensure that these new titles directly address the needs and desires of Indian users. With support from Google's Androids for Good program, Benetech will distribute 425 Google Nexus 7 tablets with Android operating systems to Indian student users. Additionally, two India-based consultants will be hired to travel throughout the country and provide training on using Bookshare and other relevant technology. In these ways, Benetech will leverage its experience in scaling an immensely successful U.S.-based program, where it serves over a quarter million students, to this new commitment in India.
|Location||India, South Asia|
|Value||USD 430 Thousand|