Accessibility Excitement in Geneva

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

This is totally the “how sausage and law are made” view, so don’t read this unless you want to know more about global accessibility in detail! WIPO has a mandate from its member states, and is working to address the need to change laws and get more accessible books flowing.

Fair Use Victory Advances a Future of Accessibility for All

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

HathiTrust, a unanimous three-judge panel concluded that digitizing books in order to enhance research and provide access to individuals with print disabilities is lawful on the grounds of fair use —that is, a limitation and exception to the exclusive rights granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work ( Section 107 of the U.S. As a non-lawyer, let me explain from the point of view of a technologist who cares passionately about accessibility for people with disabilities.

Objecting to Accessibility Weaseling

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Last week, the National Federation of the Blind and 22 organizations serving people with disabilities filed detailed objections to a petition from a group of makers of e-reader devices led by Amazon to be exempted from accessibility requirements under the relatively new Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Wouldn''t that create more demand for our Bookshare online library?

Bringing Millions of Books to Billions of People: Making the Book Truly Accessible

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Literacy and access to knowledge underpins just about every social good, from education, to economic development, to health, to women’s empowerment, democracy and respect for human rights. To bring the power of books to everybody on this planet, we must make books truly accessible.

Share Files and Collaborate Online with Box

Tech Soup Blog

Box.org provides organizations with the Box file-sharing, content management, and collaboration service. You can use Box's cloud-based storage and collaboration tools to replace traditional on-premises file servers and traditional file-sharing processes.

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Social DRM: It’s About Equal Access for All

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Bookshare As followers of this blog know, Benetech's largest social enterprise is the Bookshare online library for people with print disabilities. Our commitment is to provide access to books for those who are unable to read a traditional print format and to do so without harming the economic interests of authors and publishers. However, strong DRM turns out to be an impediment to the commercial distribution of accessible ebooks.

Small Library — Big Service to the Community

Tech Soup Blog

How the Natalia Library Helps Patrons Improve Their Lives. The Natalia Veteran's Memorial Library serves the small town of Natalia, Texas. With extremely limited resources, librarian Amy Edge must make difficult decisions every day about what her library can provide.

5 Ways Libraries Support Disaster Relief and Recovery

Tech Soup Blog

The Saskatoon Public Library opened its doors to these evacuees, and staff members stepped up their efforts to help the evacuees communicate with their family and friends. Staffers also let people from outside of Saskatoon check out books from the library and access other services.

Access and Washington

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We have been helping blind and print disabled people gain access to books for over 17 years. Two recent experiences underscored different parts of this struggle to deliver access. It's great to see someone still using one of our products to access books for this length of time. The goal of this repository is to ensure that students with print disabilities have easy access to textbooks.

Lawsuit over denying access to a student with learning disabilities

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

We're really proud of the rapid growth of our Bookshare online library for people with print disabilities. We're up to more than 125,000 users, with over 95,000 books available, and our users are now accessing content at a rate of more than million downloads per year! That's why it's painful to hear about disputes over denying students with very real print disabilities access to these resources.

Calling All Nonprofits and Libraries — Come Celebrate Creativity

Tech Soup Blog

to showcase your nonprofit or library. TechSoup and Adobe have teamed up to bring you a Facebook contest where you can win $1,000 by submitting any and all content your organization has created using Adobe. How fun is that? Here's What You Need to Know About the Contest.

Windows 8 Apps for Nonprofits and Libraries

Tech Soup Blog

Norton Satellite from Symantec is a free app that scans your Facebook feed for malicious links, as well as your Dropbox and local files for malware. With Evernote , you can take notes on your Windows 8 desktop and then access them on your smartphone. File Management.

Guest Post: Nell Taylor on the Chicago Underground Library

Museum 2.0

Last month, I got a chance to talk with Nell Taylor, founder of the Chicago Underground Library. Having only been incorporated for a year and receiving just last week an anonymous donation to cover our 501c3 filing, we still have a little way to go before we get there.

Donor Spotlight: Lavelle Fund for the Blind

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Twelve years ago, the Fund made its first grant to Benetech, in support of the then newly launched Bookshare , our accessible online library for people with disabilities that get in the way of reading print, including visual impairments and dyslexia.

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The Case for Copyright Exceptions and Fair Use

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The Chafee Amendment allows authorized nonprofit entities like Benetech to create accessible versions of copyrighted books without the need to request permission from publishers (or pay a royalty) and then to distribute these versions exclusively to people with qualifying disabilities.

On the Future of Braille: Thoughts by Radical Braille Advocates

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Betsy Beaumon I recently had the honor to speak at the first-ever Braille Summit , hosted on June 19-21, 2013 by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and Perkins School for the Blind.

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The Gift of Reading, a Circle of Life

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

This reality changed when Frank found out about Benetech’s Bookshare accessible digital library for people with print disabilities. Frank’s story exemplifies the life-changing power of access to information and reading.

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Free Webinar Next Week: Assessing the Cloud for Nonprofits and Libraries

Tech Soup Blog

As more applications move to "the cloud," where they can be hosted online and accessed from anywhere, many nonprofits and libraries are wondering whether they should be moving their files, email, or other tech needs to hosted online parties as well. In our free webinar, Assessing the Cloud for Nonprofits and Libraries next Thursday, December 6 at 11 a.m.

Advancing Reading Equality with Bookshare’s Exponential Growth

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I’m thrilled to share with you some of the recent amazing impact of Bookshare , a Benetech Global Literacy initiative and the largest accessible online library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Thousands of ebooks are pouring into the collection each month thanks to the dedication of our volunteers around the world and partnerships with more than 500 socially responsible publishers who donate their digital files.

Apples to Apples? Users in Libraries and Museums

Museum 2.0

On Musematic , Holly Witchey has rigorously recorded her recent experience at WebWise, a " IMLS/RLG/OCLC/Getty sponsored conference" on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World that was held March 1-2. I wonder what the library people in the room thought when they heard this.

The Huddle Perpetual License

Tech Soup Blog

Huddle is offering its online service to charities and libraries at a one-time admin fee, and a very reasonable one at that. provides cloud-based file sharing, file storage (10 GB), content management, task management, collaborative calendaring, reminders, meeting organizing, discussion boards, plus a bunch of other things. In other words, qualified charities and libraries can get the service for up to 25 users year after year with only a one-time admin fee.

The Good (and Bad) News About Mobile Security

Tech Soup Blog

The good news is that there are some basic steps you can take to protect the mobile devices you use in your nonprofit or library. But we also want nonprofits and libraries to explore apps safely and securely. Security library libraries mobile phone mobile phones apps App It Up

App It Up: Survey Results Roundup

Tech Soup Blog

Thanks to everyone who participated in our surveys and follow-up discussions, we've learned a lot about how nonprofits and libraries are using apps. Libraries and nonprofits are already using apps, mostly to engage patrons or constituents and to perform their daily work.

Manage Group Projects Better with Citrix Podio

Tech Soup Blog

It’s all too easy for group projects to bury teams in mountains of emails and file versions that hold you back from what you’re really trying to get done. free Cloud online collaboration nonprofits libraries cloud computing We get it – completely.

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Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server Overview

Tech Soup Blog

Basically it allows one computer to serve several people in a lab or library at very low cost. It is very useful in nonprofits, libraries, schools, telecenters, and any computing lab environment. They can share files, videos, and documents with other people on the WMS network.

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More Computers for Less Money?

Tech Soup Blog

For nonprofit groups with many different missions, it’s helping people access technology. Individual users can work independently, save and share files, customize individual settings, and log in at any station. You can build a computer center with fewer computers.

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Windows MultiPoint Server Frequently Asked Questions

Tech Soup Blog

It is an ideal solution for schools, libraries, small nonprofit offices, and computer labs that are on limited budgets. It is also available as a donation product on TechSoup for eligible nonprofits and libraries. What access devices can I use with MultiPoint Server ?

What’s Your Type? Adding Custom Fonts to Your WordPress Site

Byte Technology

To begin, it’s important to understand that Typekit is a subscription service, which means that you get access to hundreds of types for a flat rate, rather than the other option which requires paying for individual licenses for each font you want to utilize.

Bookshare without Borders: #3/3

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Creating the World’s Largest Collection of Accessible Arabic eBooks Access to knowledge is the critical first step on the path to economic, educational, and social development.

New at TechSoup: Automated PC Maintenance and Disaster Recovery

Tech Soup Blog

Save time and staff resources by automating maintenance of your public access computers, kiosks, and computer labs. It’s also comparable to Faronics Deep Freeze, which is helpful for maintaining public access computers so that libraries can easily restore to an original state and block malware, viruses, etc. The software takes snapshots of an entire hard disk, not just system files, making a rollback quick and easy.

Digital Divide Data: our Partner in Laos

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

For example, our Bookshare online library for the blind, uses several different social enterprises to do data entry and proofreading work on textbooks. The DDD student staff people work half days at DDD, proofing textbooks to make them accessible to students with print disabilities.

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6 Ways to Strengthen Your Nonprofit’s WordPress Security

Nonprofit Tech for Good

Advantages of using premium web hosting: Disk write protection: authorized users are only allowed to make changes to the web server which keeps your WordPress files safe and secure. If they do get in, code can be hidden inside your WordPress theme files and plugins.

Staying in Check: Keeping Up With Important Regular Maintenance Tasks (Part 2)

Byte Technology

From backing up your files to keeping on a schedule of updates to your theme, plugins and other programs to remembering to always change your passwords, there are lots of ways to keep your site purring along and, more importantly, to make it safe from hackers, malware and the like.

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Bookshare Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary at Google

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Bookshare, Benetech’s pioneering digital library for people with print disabilities, celebrated its 10th birthday last night with a terrific party that was attended by many of our long-time friends and supporters.

Flash vs. jQuery Slideshows

Beaconfire Wire

While Flash is an embeddable object created in a specific application, jQuery is a JavaScript library that can add a bunch of really neat-o functionality and effects to elements that already exist on the page. There are hundreds of plugins which exist as additional JavaScript files along with the HTML they need to act on that you can simply copy and paste in to your web page to add whatever slideshow you want. Generally smaller, and quicker (150KB+ though, for the main library).

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Benetech’s Framework for Developing New Social Enterprises

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

To explain our approach, let’s look at Bookshare , our accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Converting and delivering these accessible books was expensive and time consuming.

Why I’m Scared of the SOPA bill

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Stopping fund raising and subscription revenue for Bookshare, the largest online library for people who have print disabilities. Bookshare is an online library for people who can’t read standard print books. We provide accessible ebooks that can be spoken aloud, turned into Braille or large print. Because that’s a lawsuit they are unlikely to win, and it would be a professional error to waste their client’s money attacking a library doing legal things.

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Benetech: the Equilibrium Change Machine

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

From Arkenstone to Bookshare The field of access to books by blind people is where Benetech has twice been the key engine of positive equilibrium change at scale, and we are already working on the third change. Blind people were dependent on sighted people for access to books.

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I Need a Good Lawyer

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

But, I expect that 75% of the job will be about analyzing the legal issues from our programs, especially in our Global Literacy Program, which includes Bookshare, the largest digital library for the blind and dyslexic in the U.S., Here’s a sampling of the kinds of projects on our current list: Operating an open repository of image descriptions to assist blind and other disabled people to access the information locked up in images, especially in education (big fair use question here).

Delivering Bestsellers to the Bookshare Community

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

An Insider Reveals How the Latest Hot Books Are Added to Bookshare’s Collection of Accessible Titles A Guest Beneblog by Liz Halperin After working for many years as a volunteer for Bookshare, I became a paid proofreader for the collection about two years ago.

82 Free or Low-Cost Online Tools & Mobile Apps for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Tech for Good

Snappa is a simple-to-use graphic design tool with a built-in stock photo, illustration, and icons library. For advanced for photo editing, the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan provides users access to numerous Adobe photo editing tools, such as Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC.

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106 Free or Low-Cost Online Tools and Resources for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Tech for Good

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine is an online library of almost 500 billion screenshots of websites since 1996. A LinkedIn Group for nonprofit professionals where they can share and access resources about social media. Dulingo provides access to free online language learning tools.

Upholding The Social Bargain: Bookshare and Copyright Compliance

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech's largest social enterprise is the Bookshare online library for people who are blind or otherwise disabled when it comes to reading print. The deal was: help people with disabilities that can't access books and don't hurt the economic interests of the publishers (and authors). Ensure that only people with qualifying disabilities get access to these books. Because the names of the users who downloaded the content are almost always still in the files in plaintext!