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Last Update:6/25/2018
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Ensuring that all individuals with print disabilities have equal and timely access to print materials.
Program Description

Bookshare™ is an online library of digital books for people with print disabilities. It operates under an exception to U.S. copyright law which allows copyrighted digital books to be made available to people with qualifying disabilities. In addition, many publishers and authors have volunteered to provide Bookshare with access to their works. By requiring individuals to register as Members and provide a Proof of Disability, Bookshare ensures that only qualified individuals use the service.

Bookshare Members download books, textbooks and newspapers in a compressed, encrypted file. They then read the material using adaptive technology, typically software that reads the book aloud (text-to-speech) and/or displays the text of the book on a computer screen, or Braille access devices, such as refreshable Braille displays.

Bookshare provides multiple reading options for each of the communities it serves:

People with Visual Impairments
Members with visual impairments can listen to books with using a text-to-speech synthesized voice, read books in Braille, or access the material in large print. Hard copy Braille books can also be ordered-these are then created by a partner organization that specializes in producing embossed Braille books. Members with low vision can read books in an enlarged font using either a screen magnifier or by opening the book in a software program that supports increased font size, color, contrast, etc.

People with Physical Disabilities
Members can read books on a computer or a variety of portable devices, either visually and with text-to-speech as desired. Bookshare books are as easy or easier to access than books on tape and may be controlled with an individual's single-switch or other adaptive technology.

People with Learning Disabilities
Members with severe dyslexia typically benefit from access to the full text of books in digital format, for multi-modal reading with both visual and audio (through synthetic text to speech). Many great software programs exist that provide a range of reading support specifically designed for individuals with learning disabilities, including highlighting of text as it is read aloud, changing margin, word, paragraph and line spacing, and setting custom background and print colors.

  • For US students (K-12 and post-secondary) with a qualifying print disability membership is free.
  • For US schools (K-12, colleges, universities), membership is free.
  • For other individuals, $25 set-up fee / $50 annual fee
Lending Library
Spanish speaking community/materials
Visually Impaired / Blind
Counties Serviced
7172 Graham Road, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46250 E-Mail:

As a matter of policy, About Special Kids does not specifically endorse any of the resources contained on our website or in our information packets. Resources are supplied for information purposes only and ASK recommends that families explore all options for assistance before making an informed choice.