For Dyslexic and Visually Impaired Students, a Free High-Tech Solution
Digital Tools Teaching Strategies Thinkstock By Lillian Mongeau Elizabeth is a college freshman who has severe dyslexia that makes it impossible for her to decipher printed materials. But a few months before starting college, Elizabeth discovered an online library called Bookshare.org, run by a small non-profit called Benetech. “My life changed as I entered the world of accessible literature,” Elizabeth wrote on Bookshare’s blog. For Elizabeth and the millions of students who are “print disabled” — meaning they have trouble reading because of dyslexia or vision impairment — many textbooks are not available in an audio format or in any other format that’s easily accessible. “I would hear about a book and remember thinking, ‘I wish I could read that,’ knowing it might be available in a year and a half. It’s not that Benetech invented accessible literature. “We want books in a format everyone can use,” said Betsy Beaumon, vice president of Benetech. “Now is the opportune moment,” she said.