Bookshare International Now Serves Thirty Countries

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

Benetech’s Bookshare library continues to expand its international service providing accessible books and publications to members in more than 30 countries. These partners include the Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille (NLB), the Hoerbuecherei des OSBV Talking Book Library in Austria, and the Dorina Nowill Foundation in Brazil.? This is the area’s very first library and we are told that the kids there very happy to have access to these books.

Our WIPO Statement on the Treaty for Access for People with Disabilities

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

For example, all residents with the qualifying disabilities in Australia, Denmark and Qatar, to pick just three examples, now have free access to Bookshare thanks to our joint efforts with local and national disability groups in these countries. Bookshare now has hundreds of titles in Hindi, Tamil, and Spanish, and we recently announced a partnership with the government of Qatar to develop an Arabic language service.

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Bookshare without Borders: #3/3

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

In the first installment of this series, I described the Bookshare International library and where we hope to take it next. In 2011, we began collaborating with the Mada Center (Qatar Assistive Technology Center) to create accessible Arabic-language digital books. To increase utilization of our Arabic collection, Mada offers free Bookshare memberships to qualified individuals in Qatar as well as training and advice on the use of assistive technology.

Betsy Beaumon on Benetech's Literacy Program

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

What began as a small online library, with a collection built in large part by its users, is now the primary national supplier of electronic accessible educational materials for students with print disabilities. We hope to work on this thorny challenge further with our partner, the Mada Center, in Qatar, and benefit others throughout the region, such as the members served by our new partner, Emirates Association for the Visually Impaired, in the United Arab Emirates.

Benetech: President's Update

Beneblog: Technology Meets Society

It is the world’s largest online accessible library, adding books at nearly four times the rate of the next most prolific U.S. library that serves people with print disabilities (on less than one-sixth the budget)! Through a funded partnership with the Mada Center in Qatar, in 2011 we will pilot Arabic language capability and content, enabling Bookshare to start serving readers throughout the Arabic-speaking world.