Partnership Will Make More Books Accessible to Readers with Print Disabilities
Hachette Book Group has partnered with Bookshare to make more than 1,700 titles newly available in Braille, large type, and synthetic speech formats for readers with print disabilities.
Bookshare, a subsidiary of non-profit Benetech, whose current membership exceeds 47,000, is an online library for readers who require special accommodations. With Bookshare's secure rights management system, members can legally download books, texts, and periodicals and then use adaptive technologies, such as text-to-speech software and Braille display hardware, to read their downloads.
The organization has received an award from the United States Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, which it uses to expand its collection through publisher partnerships and to grow the number of users who have access to the service. The award also provides free access to all qualified students.
Hachette has agreed to donate digital files for all of its currently digitized frontlist and backlist titles, and will refer all customer service requests for accessible books to Bookshare for fulfillment.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.