Bookshare Offers Books in Spanish
Initiative is the First to Offer Accessible Digital Books in Spanish
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Palo Alto, CA, March 16, 2005 – Bookshare® has expanded its online collection of accessible digital books to include books in Spanish. This initiative – the first from any provider of copyrighted books to people with visual, learning or other reading disabilities (“print disabilities”) – fortifies Bookshare’s position as the nation’s largest digital electronic book (“ebook”) library for the disabled. In addition, certain qualifying Spanish-speaking people may be able to access the service at no cost for a limited time.
Thanks to a grant from the Community Technology Foundation of California (CTFC), Bookshare has built a collection of high-interest literature in Spanish that includes popular works of authors from Mexico, Latin America, the U.S. and other countries, including Diana o la Cazadora Solitaria, by Carlos Fuentes; El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera, by Gabriel García Márquez; La Zona Muerta by Stephen King; and the Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling.
“Our effort to make copyrighted books available in the Spanish language to our subscribers is a major step forward in our mission to bring down all barriers to literacy and information,” stated Janice Carter, Director of the Benetech® Literacy Program. “Now Spanish-speakers with print disabilities in the U.S. can gain access to the invaluable information contained within a book.”
The CTFC grant has also underwritten a number of one-year subscriptions – available at no cost – to Spanish-speaking people with certified print disabilities who reside in California. Print-disabled individuals who want additional information about obtaining a subscription should write to email@example.com.
Through Bookshare, individuals with print disabilities have access to an extraordinarily diverse array of reading materials: from current bestsellers and literary classics to “how-to” books, textbooks and periodicals. These books are provided to members as electronic text and can be read with the adaptive technology of the reader’s choice, including text-to-speech software which read the book aloud and refreshable Braille devices that display the book line by line as tactile Braille.
Bookshare offers a collection of over 21,000 accessible digital books to members who have visual impairments or learning disabilities. 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.
Bookshare is a project of Benetech, an innovative Silicon Valley nonprofit that develops technology projects to address pressing social issues in areas such as disability, literacy, education, human rights and the digital divide. Many technologies have compelling social applications that are not developed because such efforts do not meet 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 solutions to difficult social challenges.
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