Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Bookshare® -- Bringing Books to the Blind

Recently I received this letter from one of my readers:

I just wanted to let you know I finished Deceit and loved it, as I've loved everything I've read of yours.

I just wanted to say that I particularly like the character of Joanne. I'm a 47-year-old widow, and I like the way you portray your characters as real people, not Barbie-dolls. I feel like you expressed the heart of a widow so well in Joanne, without making it the central point of the story.

I also enjoyed the single mom character of Annie in the Hidden Faces series. I have a teenage son, and you just hit upon so many challenges of a single mom.

Thanks for making real the people you write about. And for including women with special sisters, I have one of those, too!

In subsequent contact I learned that this reader is blind. She has access to my novels through Bookshare®--an online library of digital books for people with print disabilities. If you're a published author, chances are your books are available through this site.

Bookshare® operates under an exception to U.S. copyright law which allows copyrighted digital books to be made available to people with qualifying disabilities. In addition, many publishers and authors have volunteered to provide Bookshare with access to their works. By requiring individuals to register as Members and provide a Proof of Disability, Bookshare ensures that only qualified individuals use the service.

Bookshare Members download books, textbooks and newspapers in a compressed, encrypted file. They then read the material using adaptive technology, typically software that reads the book aloud (text-to-speech) and/or displays the text of the book on a computer screen, or Braille access devices, such as refreshable Braille displays.

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Kathy C. said...

cool that they have this

Annette W. said...

Some days I really like exceptions to general laws! This is one of them!

Thank you for sharing!

Lisa Keck said...

When I'm not reading or writing I'm a Braille proofreader. I used to also do the transcrition but the computer program used and my computer are not compatible. This is a great new technology and I remember someone wondering if we would be needed anymore. The truth is though that some blind readers prefer the feel of a traditional bound book (just like sighted readers.) but it is a long process as oppossed to what bookshare appears to be able to do.

Laura Ann said...

Thank you Brandilyn for sharing this and spreading the word about and educating
I am a volunteer proof reader and also do some scanning for them and have worked with a friend to add your books to the bookshare collection.

I love reading and enjoy volunteering for

You are such a blessing to me and such a gifted author.

God has given you such a talent and gift for written word and creating vivid pictures and stories through your writing.

anubhav kapoor said...

I have always supported such efforts that seek to make learning easier for kids who have to struggle more owing to their disabilities. I recently purchased a similarly-themed book aimed at kids with hearing disabilities.