Betsy Beaumon on Benetech's Literacy Program

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The Year That Was and the New Year Ahead Guest Beneblog by Betsy Beaumon, Benetech's VP and General Manager of the Literacy Program 2012 was a year of titanic shifts in the fields of consumer technology, education, and publishing, along with the requisite challenges brought about by such rapid change. At the close of 2012, we are five years into our work in education and are serving over 230,000 students.

How Text Messaging Improves Educational Outcomes for Students

Mobile Commons

According to a new article by The New York Times , a light nudge can make a big impact in the lives of students. The study found that 70% of students who received the texts were likely to enroll in college, compared to 63% for those who did not receive the messages.

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Twitter’s Claire Williams Shares Why Literacy Is Her Cause

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Note from Beth: As a supporter of the work that the Sharing Foundation does for children in Cambodia, I’ve seen first hand the value of literacy programs in developing countries. Read our blog about it, check out our literacy micro-site , and tweet with the cool widget we made.

Are You Passionate about Technology and Social Good? Benetech Needs You!

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech is hiring new Vice Presidents for our Global Literacy and Human Rights programs. We use technology today to help hundreds of thousands of students with disabilities succeed in school, as well as help human rights activists around the world document abuses and seek justice. Our Bookshare service is the world’s largest online library of accessible ebooks for people with disabilities, serving over 350,000 users in 60 countries.

Nonprofit Advocacy Can Be a Force Multiplier for Social Change

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

You see, several months later, the federal Department of Education challenged us to compete against a well-respected national nonprofit 60 times our size in a bid to provide accessible educational materials for US students who are blind, dyslexic, or otherwise print disabled.

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. students with visual impairments, physical disabilities, and severe learning disabilities like dyslexia, but we also serve international members in nearly 50 countries and are working to extend Bookshare’s reach to veterans who need access to books and information.

Interesting Uses of Technology: Virtual Libraries in Second Life

Tech Soup Blog

" Dr. Valerie Hill is an adjunct instructor at Texas Woman's University School of Library and Information Science and is also a librarian herself. The Rise of Virtual Libraries. Virtual libraries aren't a new phenomenon.

On the Future of Braille: Thoughts by Radical Braille Advocates

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Guest Beneblog by Betsy Beaumon, VP and General Manager, Benetech’s Global Literacy Program. With the goal of promoting braille literacy, this landmark meeting brought together braille experts from around the world to Perkins’ campus in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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Robin Seaman, Agent of Inclusion

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The nonprofit Benetech team built the revolutionary Bookshare library for this community, all online, and based on the powerfully flexible ebook. We named this library Bookshare because it was created with an army of crowdsourcing volunteers, many of them blind people themselves, who scan the books using optical character recognition. However, building Bookshare into the world's biggest library for people with disabilities wasn't enough social good for Robin.

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.

10X: CEO’s Update: Spring 2014

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Technology currently serves privileged groups through tools that provide access to education, literacy, health, and justice. Global Literacy Sixth Grader and Bookshare member Kevin Leong with Jim Fruchterman at Benetech''s offices. 10X: ten times the impact.

Benetech: President's Update

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

I want to unveil several of these new initiatives, as well as sneaking in some of the incredible things happening in our core programs in literacy and human rights. It is the world’s largest online accessible library, adding books at nearly four times the rate of the next most prolific U.S.

The Case for Copyright Exceptions and Fair Use

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The tools we develop for that purpose span a range of fields—from human rights , to global literacy , to the environment —but no matter what area we work in, we depend on an IP system that’s friendly to technological advances and to positive social impact.

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. The next challenge we’re working on is to bring this incredible library to the rest of the world.

Support Bookshare for Veterans

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

For them, Bookshare —Benetech’s Global Literacy initiative and the world’s largest accessible digital library for people with print disabilities—opens up a lifeline to reading. The U.S.

Fair Use Victory Advances a Future of Accessibility for All

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The HathiTrust Digital Library (HDL) is a partnership of academic and research institutions that had created (with help from Google ) a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. To most patrons, HDL merely delivers titles and page numbers as results, but the University of Michigan’s Library, one of the HathiTrust members, does allow access to the full text of copyrighted works for people with qualifying print disabilities.

Opposing Salesforce.com attempt to TM "Social Enterprise"

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The great majority of social enterprises are nonprofit organizations dedicated to the social good through employing disadvantaged people, educating students, improving the environment, advancing health care, respect for human rights and so many other beneficial activities. I've been working closely with Kevin Lynch, the CEO of the Social Enterprise Alliance, on countering the efforts of Salesforce.com to attempt to trademark the name of our entire field, Social Enterprise.

Leveraging Impact through Technology (LIT)

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Of course, accessibility is right up Benetech’s alley and the focus of our Literacy program. In my Fall 2011 President's Update , I mentioned some of our incredible recent achievements in this core program, including the amazing milestones of our Bookshare library. Today I’m delighted to share the exciting news about the new award we just received from OSEP to build upon Bookshare’s success and significantly improve access for students with disabilities.

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CEO’s Update: Fall 2014

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

From people in Latin America who face severe water scarcity to at-risk human rights defenders and students with disabilities, our users and their families are the ones who best convey the impact of our work. Consider third grade student Brennan Draves.

Leading the Participant

Museum 2.0

Last month, the radio show This American Life ran a fascinating episode called " Kid Politics ," which starts with a long segment about the Air Force One Discovery Center immersive experience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Benetech: President's Update

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Bookshare Hits 100,000 Members Boy reading at a computer with teacher in the background.Since the beginning of 2009, we’ve tripled the number of people with disabilities Bookshare is serving with our accessible library of ebooks.

9 Amazing Organizations Share Their Tech Success

Tech Soup Blog

Over the past year, we've been doing TechSoup Impact stories about nonprofits, churches, and libraries doing great work with TechSoup product donations. " Waukesha Public Library.

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The Story in the Numbers

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Those who envision what could be possible by having Benetech apply innovative technology to the areas of Literacy, Human Rights, and the Environment, and who enable us to explore new opportunities for creating social good. As an example, in 2008, we accounted for $1,772,761 in capitalization of a major website upgrade for our Bookshare library. Department of Education that enables us to provide the Bookshare library services for free to all qualifying U.S.

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Carrie Karnos, recipient of the 2006 James H. Veale Humanitarian Award.

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Although the members of our board were impressed with all three nominees, they awarded Carrie Karnos of Palo Alto, CA, the 2006 Veale Award for her work with an accessible online library called Bookshare. According to the Bookshare.org Web site, a $25 initiation fee and a $50 annual subscription "gives patrons access to a library of more than 30,000 books and 150 newspapers. Notice that it is because of Carrie's work that almost 10 percent of Bookshare's library exists.

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Access and Washington

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

The goal of this repository is to ensure that students with print disabilities have easy access to textbooks. The goal of this on-line library is to stop the scanning of textbooks for K-12 education - a job which is now done by parents, teachers and students. This agreement would allow our Bookshare.org volunteers to do what they do best: turn these electronic files into accessible books for students with print disabilities.

Online Collaboration: Taking Education to New Heights

Tech Soup Blog

" In this spirit, New Heights provides everything from tutoring services to curriculums, a library with more than 3,000 books, field trips, and online classes. New Heights, by promoting literacy through a wide range of programs, has produced radical results.

Writing and Speech Assistance Tools Are Now Available at TechSoup

Tech Soup Blog

TechSoup has partnered with goQ Software to make their writing assistance and speech recognition software, WordQ + SpeakQ , available to eligible nonprofits and libraries. The National Commission on writing stated that 80 percent of grade school students are not proficient at writing.

Why I’m Scared of the SOPA Bill by Jim Fruchterman

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

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. Flickr Photo by DonkeyHotey.

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TechSoup Volunteers During Data Center Move

Tech Soup Blog

A call went out over a combination of listservs and social media channels asking local nonprofits and libraries to share their most pressing needs and dirtiest jobs with TechSoup via video or text.

3 Email Newsletters "Dos" and 1 Big "Don't"

Tech Soup Blog

TechSoup sends out a few newsletters, including two written by me ( By the Cup and TechSoup for Libraries ). Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit cultural exchange organization that gives young professionals and students the opportunity to work in another country and develop their skills.

Back to School at TechSoup

Tech Soup Blog

For nonprofits, libraries, and their constituents, education is essential to keep knowledge and skills up to date. The National Commission on writing stated that 80 percent of grade school students are not proficient at writing. September's here.

Writing to Change the World

Have Fun - Do Good

For the past five years, the Mercantile Library in Cincinnati has honored Harriet Beecher Stowe's birthday by asking a writer to give the annual Harriet Beecher Stowe Lecture about, "Writing to Change the World." The idea is that students get to put social justice-ee ideas into practice.

Symantec Gives Back

Tech Soup Blog

Symantec gives a lot back to the nonprofit and library community through their donation program here at TechSoup — See what organizations like yours are saying about their donated Symantec products.

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Games for Change 2007: Funders Perspective Panel

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

What do libraries look like in the future? Solicitation on the streets for programs at the k-12 level to train students to use cyber tools for science. Emphasis is on digital literacy. Photo by Rikomatic.

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