EIFL has renewed its three-year agreement with Benetech, a technology company based in Silicon Valley, California, USA, for access to Bookshare, the world's largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities.
Bookshare is an online library for people who read differently because of disabilities that affect their use of traditional print - for example, blindness, visual impairment, learning disabilities, and physical disabilities, such as Parkinson’s disease and paralysis.
The books on Bookshare are available in different formats - large print, audio and audio synchronized with highlighted text, as well as standard formats such as Microsoft Word, ePub and Braille. They can be read on mobile devices, computers, and assistive technology devices using a variety of accessible reading tools.
FREE ACCESS FOR USERS IN 20 COUNTRIES
As part of the renewed agreement, libraries in 20 EIFL countries can sign up for free to allow their print-disabled readers to use Bookshare:
Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Malawi, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe
DISCOUNTED ACCESS FOR USERS IN 19 COUNTRIES
Libraries in a further 19 countries are eligible for discounted access to Bookshare:
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Botswana, China, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Maldives, Namibia, Palestine, Serbia, Slovenia, Thailand
In 2019, when the USA joined the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities, it allowed Bookshare to open its whole collection to eligible individuals in other Marrakesh-ratifying countries, adding approximately 100,000 titles to the number of titles that can be shared. These books were previously available to USA members only.