Bookshare selected as EdNET 2005 Rookie of the Year finalist
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PALO ALTO, California, September 22, 2005: The Heller Reports™, a leading provider of education market news and events, chose Bookshare® as one of this year’s EdNET 2005 Industry Awards finalists. Bookshare is very excited to receive this award for its positive impact on education through its accomplishments with schools and educational institutions throughout the United States. The EdNET annual event brings together companies and organizations from the high tech and education communities.
Bookshare was honored as one of three “Rookie of the Year” organizations which are believed to have the greatest promise to become important players in the technology industry in coming years. This annual award recognizes organizations that demonstrate a significant positive impact on education through educational technology and telecommunications. “Bookshare is our first literacy program and we are proud to be acknowledged for our work by a leader in the education community,” said Janice Carter, Director of Literacy Programs at Benetech®.
Bookshare dramatically increases access to books for the community of visually impaired and otherwise print disabled individuals. This online community enables book scans to be shared legally, thereby leveraging the collections of thousands of individuals who regularly scan books, eliminating significant duplication of effort. Bookshare is the nation’s largest digital electronic book (“ebook”) library serving the disabled, giving them access to an extraordinarily diverse array of reading materials: from current bestsellers and literary classics to “how-to” books, textbooks and periodicals. Bookshare’s collection of over 24,000 accessible digital 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.
In addition to individuals, Bookshare also serves organizations such as the state, local and federal educational system, the rehabilitation system, specialized nonprofit agencies and various governmental units that provide accessible materials to people with disabilities. Bookshare’s Manager of School & Group Accounts, Susie McKinnon said, “Being recognized among national companies and non-profits that provide innovative technology solutions for educators and educational institutions was a wonderful honor for Bookshare. This acknowledgment from industry leaders just further gears us up to succeed towards our goal of offering print access to all students in need!”
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.
EdNET is a national education conference that brings together education executives, school administrators, and policymakers to discuss what’s ahead in the education market. The Heller Reports, a QED company, created the awards program in 1992 to champion organizations helping to revitalize education. For more information go to www.hellerreports.com.
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