Now, Job Corps students with certain disabilities can access academic and career technical textbooks as audio eBooks on computers, tablets, phones, assistive technology, MP3 players, and more through a no-cost membership with Bookshare® (https://www.bookshare.org).
Bookshare® is the world's largest online library of copyrighted content for people with qualified print disabilities. Bookshare® provides:
- Access to a large and diverse collection of titles for school or pleasure reading
- The ability to listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices
- Learning multi-modally (see and hear words as they are being read and highlighted)
- Tools to take notes, add bookmarks, look up word definitions, and other helpful tasks
- Free reading tools for PCs, Mac, and Android devices (Learn more at https://www.bookshare.org/readingTools)
- A dedicated Job Corps library with the most commonly used textbooks
Using Bookshare® is simple and easy, especially with the on-going development of a new Job Corps dedicated library. As books become available, they are then accessible by downloading them from the Bookshare® website for students who need audio version textbooks or want to read something off the New York Times bestseller list. A variety of no-cost reading tools such as Don Johnston's Read: OutLoud PC software or Victor Reader Soft by HumanWare, and voice output options using Acapela TTS Voices can be downloaded to student computers and mobile devices in the classroom. In addition, students can listen to their book on their device and follow along with the printed book in hand.
A demonstration account is available for disability coordinators to access in order to see how Bookshare®works.
Who Can Benefit?
Students with Visual Impairments:
- Books with using a text-to-speech synthesized voice
- Books in Braille
- Materials in large print
Students with Physical Disabilities:
- Books on a computer or a variety of portable devices
- Visually and text-to-speech as desired
- Easy or easier to access than books on tape
- May be controlled with an individual's "single-switch" or other adaptive technology
Students with Learning Disabilities:
- Full text of books in digital format
- Multi-modal reading with both visual and audio (through synthetic text to speech)
- Software programs are free to download that provide a large range of reading support
- Tools designed specifically for learning disabilities
- Highlighting of text as it is read aloud, changing margin, word, paragraph and line spacing
- Custom background and print colors
What Does Bookshare Have Available?
Bookshare has a number of current national/local newspapers and periodicals such as USA Today, the New York Times, Popular Science, The New Yorker and Time Magazine.
Books already available to Bookshare® members include TABE Fundamentals for Reading and Math, and GED Prep. Some of the career technical books that have been digitized and ready for download include some used in Job Corps Health Occupations, Homeland Security, Welding, Retail, Career Transition, and others. To see if Bookshare already has a book that your student may need, browse their collection at https://www.bookshare.org/_/gettingStarted/findBooks.
A Bookshare® organizational membership is free to all Job Corps centers who apply. In order to access books or reading tools, each center must complete the application process.
Bookshare® recognizes center Disability Coordinators as the "qualified professional" to be the primary account holder for a membership and qualify student eligibility by certifying that the student health record and or accommodation folder contains the appropriate documentation.
To start the process, the initial application (as shown below) should be completed by the center Disability Coordinator. The organizational membership application is located at: https://www.bookshare.org/signUpOrganization
After completing the initial application, Bookshare® will send a welcome email with further instructions.
Once membership is approved, the Disability Coordinator can add qualified students by submitting a roster or adding students individually online. By adding students as members, the Disability Coordinator is responsible for certifying that students have qualifying print disabilities and are eligible under Bookshare® criteria. Remember, not all students with disabilities qualify for Bookshare®.
Disability Coordinators can also add instructors and other appropriate staff members as (known as Sponsors) who can download books for their students (known as Members).
Once the center has a Bookshare® account and as qualified students are added as members, Bookshare encourages Disability Coordinators to sign-up these students for an individual membership. This provides students the ability to access their own account and they can retain their membership once they separate from the center without the need to re-apply or re-qualify.
Job Corps Dedicated Library Collection
In an effort to build a Job Corps dedicated library that contains recent edition textbooks most often used by Job Corps centers, we are asking center staff to consider donating textbooks that are currently being used in academic or career technical training classrooms to populate this dedicated library. We only need one of each title. Book conversions typically take one to three months to be digitized, proofread, and placed into the library. Once the textbook is available in Bookshare®, it becomes available to all qualified Job Corps students with print disabilities who would benefit from audio books.
Disability Coordinators are encouraged to plan ahead. Please consider donating current edition career technical or academic books most often used in your classrooms. When reviewing IEPs, if books on tape are included, this is the resource to utilize. You may not have a student currently needing this technology, but it will be readily available in the future should that need arise.
A Bookshare® membership offers unlimited access to accessible books, textbooks, newspapers and magazines. Books in the dedicated Job Corps library will be organized by academics or career technical trades that are most commonly used by Job Corps classrooms.
Dedicated Job Corps Library
Bookshare Job Corps Webinars
Bookshare® is a registered trademark of Beneficent Technology, Inc.
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