Textbooks For Students When They Need Them
By Susie McKinnon
Chad, a high school student from Santa Teresa High in San Jose, CA, is looking forward to college in a few years. Once he graduates and moves on to college, Chad hopes to continue studying history, his favorite subject. Chad has cerebral palsy and reading bound print books is physically challenging for him. He has often torn the pages of his books while trying to turn the pages, and on many occasions has resorted to having his mother read books for him.
Chad’s mother Debbie learned about Bookshare and signed him up
for a membership to see if accessible digital books could help her son
read more independently. At the time, Debbie thought that Bookshare’s
library consisted only of literature and leisure reading. Debbie and
Chad downloaded HumanWare’s
e-book reader software tool, Victor Reader Soft,
from the Bookshare website and then a book from
the Bookshare library. Chad found that his local school district had
an account with Bookshare and asked his school to download his
school history textbook.
Chad enjoyed his reading independence and wondered
if there was a way to get textbooks for his
history assignments in the same digital accessible
format. Using Bookshare’s
Quick Search feature, he typed in the title "The American Pageant:
A History Of The Republic." Much to his surprise, Chad found the
book in the Bookshare library!
Chad’s history textbook was added to the library through Bookshare’s relationship with the NIMAC, the National Instructional Materials Access Center. The NIMAC is a national repository set up by the U.S. government for U.S. K-12 textbook publishers to deposit recently published textbooks in digital formats. Students with print disabilities and an Individual Education Program (IEP), working with their local and state education agencies, can get NIMAC textbooks. Bookshare assists states by converting books from the NIMAC into formats students can use. Once the book has been converted, it is added to the Bookshare library for all qualified members to read.
Chad found that his local school district had an account with Bookshare and asked his school to get him more history textbooks from the NIMAC. Chad is now able to study for his history assignments more quickly and independently. Chad has also discovered that by using the ‘find’ feature in the reader software, he is able to easily locate specific topics in the book he’s looking for – a feature which helps him write papers assigned at school.
Chad says he looks forward to continuing his membership with Bookshare after high school and anticipates that the library, and its textbooks, will help him with his studies throughout college.
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