Bookshare, Lighthouse International Unveil Employment and Career Development Collection
The first in a series of themed special collections of accessible books
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Palo Alto, CA, April 23, 2004: Bookshare®, the leading source for downloadable accessible books for readers with print disabilities, and Lighthouse International, the pre-eminent community based organization serving blind and visually impaired persons, today unveiled a special collection of books - the Employment and Career Development Collection from the Lighthouse International. This collection of resources for job seekers and career-focused readers is the first in a series of themed collections of accessible digital books developed by the Print Access Center of the Lighthouse International for Bookshare members.
The Employment and Career Development Collection gathers some of the most in-demand books on job hunting, interview techniques, and professional development from recent years, many of which were not previously available in accessible formats. The books were scanned and prepared for submission at the Print Access Center of the Lighthouse International in New York.
“We’re pleased to be able to make these books available through Bookshare,” said Lighthouse’s Ellen Mehling. “The Print Access Center is dedicated to providing alternative access to text and print materials, and sharing accessible digital books through Bookshare gives readers instant access to flexible formats that meet their accessibility needs. We hope that the Employment and Career Development Collection will be a valuable resource for individuals with visual impairments and other print-related disabilities.”
Bookshare and The Lighthouse International have collaborated to produce accessible digital books since 2003. The Employment and Career Development Collection is the first themed collection produced by the collaboration, and plans for health and fitness, test preparation and American history and government are still in the works. Development of these collections is funded in part by the Lavelle Fund for the Blind.
“The Print Access Center of the Lighthouse International has shown strong initiative in developing high-quality scanned digital versions of in-demand materials for inclusion on Bookshare,” said Alison Lingane, Senior Product Manager with Bookshare. “It is important that these career-oriented resources be made available in highly usable accessible formats, and we look forward to developing other special collections with the Lighthouse in the coming months.”
Bookshare offers a collection of 17,000 accessible digital books to its members. The books are protected by a comprehensive digital rights management plan, which features extensive controls, including file encryption, watermarks, fingerprinting and a security watch program. Bookshare builds on 15 years of work in the adaptive technology field, originally under the Arkenstone name.
About the Print Access Center of the Lighthouse International
The Print Access Center (PAC) at Lighthouse International in New York City is part of the Lighthouse’s Vision Rehabilitation Services and provides access to printed materials for visually impaired individuals in as many ways as possible, serving many hundreds of visually impaired individuals each year. The PAC provides this access via Reading and Recording Services, a Braille department, an array of assistive equipment and software, and, since last year, stations for books to be scanned and edited for submission to Bookshare.
Lighthouse International is a leading resource worldwide on vision impairment and vision rehabilitation. Through its pioneering work in vision rehabilitation services, education, research, prevention, and advocacy, Lighthouse International enables people of all ages who are blind or partially sighted to lead independent and productive lives. Founded in 1905 and headquartered in New York, Lighthouse International is a not-for-profit organization, and depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations.
The Benetech® Initiative is a Silicon Valley nonprofit that develops sustainable, technology-based solutions to address pressing social challenges in areas such as disability, human rights, education and literacy. Many beneficial technologies have compelling social applications that are not developed because such efforts do not meet for-profit investors’ financial expectations. Benetech specifically pursues endeavors with a strong social, rather than financial, rate of return on investment, bringing commercial technology and private sector management techniques to bear in creating innovative, non-traditional solutions to challenging social issues. More information on Benetech and its projects can be found at www.benetech.org or by calling (650) 475-5440.
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