Benetech’s Bookshare Library Wins Award
From the National Federation of the Blind
Contact: Ann Harrison, Benetech 415-637-5262 - email@example.com
July 7, 2008, Dallas, TX - Benetech® CEO Jim Fruchterman
has been presented with one of the first-ever Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards
from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in recognition of
outstanding contribution to improving the lives of blind people in
the United States. Benetech operates the Bookshare® service, which
allows people with print disabilities to legally download books and
periodicals to be read as Braille, large print or synthetic speech.
The Dr. Jacob Bolotin award was presented to Jim Fruchterman on July
4th during the NFB annual convention in Dallas.
“Under Jim Fruchterman’s leadership, Bookshare has
dramatically expanded the number of books and periodicals available
to the blind,” said Gary Wunder, secretary of the National Federation
of the Blind and chairman of the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Committee.
“By significantly enhancing access to informational and recreational
reading for all blind Americans, Bookshare has made an outstanding
contribution toward achieving the full integration of the blind into
society on the basis of equality, and the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award recognizes
Bookshare offers nearly 40,000 digital books, newspapers and magazines
and delivers them in the BRF Braille file format and the Digital Accessible
Information System (DAISY) standard for Digital Talking Books. Bookshare
also produces accessible textbooks from the National Instructional Materials
Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).
"Our goal is to empower people with technology," said Benetech
CEO Jim Fruchterman who accepted the award on behalf of the Bookshare
community. "Bookshare is the first library for the blind that
has been built by blind people. By providing a place on the Internet
where our users can legally share scanned books, we've been witness
to the incredible power unleashed when blind people choose the books
they want to read and share books with each other."
The first annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards were presented in 2008 by
the National Federation of the Blind to individuals and organizations
who have significantly improved the lives of blind Americans. The awards
are named for Dr. Jacob W. Bolotin (1888-1924), a pioneering blind physician
who lived and practiced in Chicago during the early part of the twentieth
century and was an early advocate for the full inclusion of the blind
in education, employment, and community life.
The Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award program is funded by the Alfred and Rosalind
Perlman Trust. With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation
of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization
of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s
lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs
encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force
in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. For
more information about the National Federation of the Blind and the
Dr. Jacob Bolotin Awards, visit www.nfb.org.
# # #
Bookshare is operated by Benetech, a Palo Alto CA-based nonprofit
technology development organization. In 2007, Bookshare received
a $32 million five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education
to significantly expand the availability of accessible digital books
and software for reading those books. Over the next five years, Bookshare
expects to add over 100,000 new book titles and textbooks to its collection.
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