Website review by ADK AccessAbility, Common Sense Media
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bookshare is an outstanding online library of digital books for kids with print disabilities. Bookshare membership is available to kids who provide proof of their print disability, such as blindness or low vision, a learning disability, or a physical disability that makes it difficult or impossible to read standard print. Downloaded books (including textbooks, kid-friendly novels, and more) can be read with a Web browser, free computer applications, or mobile device apps. Used with these tools, Bookshare allows kids to independently read more than 200,000 titles that they may not have been able to access otherwise.
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What’s It About?
Bookshare is an online library of digital books for people with print disabilities. Once membership is set up (which is free for all qualifying kids), logging in and learning to use the Bookshare website is straightforward. Kids will use their mobile device or computer to browse a huge library of books and choose one to download to read or have it read to them when and how they want. Books come in two file formats, DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) and BRF (Braille Refreshable Format); you'll need corresponding programs to read each type. There's a Getting Started section that covers how to find, download, and read books, as well as reading tools available.
Is It Any Good?
Bookshare is a fantastic resource and the only digital library of its kind. There are other sources of digital textbooks and educational material out there, but Bookshare opens the door to all types of reading, even the fun stuff. New books and publications are added frequently, so kids won't feel behind their peers on the latest addition to the Percy Jackson or Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Plus, thanks to a Department of Education grant, it's totally free for kids who qualify. This digital equivalent of the public library really levels the playing field for kids with print disabilities.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
- Turn your kid's school onto Bookshare so it can get an organizational membership.
- Help your kid find books on their favorite subjects; they'll be excited to browse the wide selection.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth, working efficiently
- Genre: Educational
- Pricing structure: Paid, Free (Free for qualifying students and schools. $50 per month for non-qualifying individuals.)
- Last updated: February 19, 2021
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