Accessible Books For The Blind In India

Benetech committed to expanding its Bookshare program to India, where it will provide accessible books and periodicals to 5,000 adults and students with print disabilities. Benetech will add a minimum of 1,000 new locally-relevant titles to the Bookshare collection, provide 425 Google Nexus 7 tablets to Indian students, and hire two outreach coordinators to tour the country training the blind and their teachers to use Bookshare the variety of accessible formats it utilizes - ultimately creating new opportunities to engage and learn for those with print disabilities in India.

Accessible Books For The Blind In India

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.


  • Benetech

    Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 101-250

    Benetech is a different kind of technology company. They’re a nonprofit whose mission is to empower communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions. Their work has...

  • Daisy Forum of India

    Implementing NGO
    India | Staff size: Unknown

    DAISY Forum of India is a forum of Not for Profit organizations from India who are involved in production of books and reading materials in accessible formats for persons who cannot read normal...

  • Lavelle Fund

    Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 6-25

    The Lavelle Fund supports programs that help people who are blind and visually impaired lead independent, productive lives, together with eye care programs working to prevent and treat...


    Staff size: 26-50 uses Google's strengths in information and technology to build products and advocate for policies that address global challenges. builds technology products to...

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Key Information

LocationIndia, South Asia
  • Start Date 2013
  • End Date 2015
  • ValueUSD 430 Thousand