Communities We Serve: International

Benetech serves learners around the world in over 90 countries however our current international focus is India. We are focusing our global education efforts on education equity. This includes  education/learning differences in underserved areas and and communities that continue to face systemic barriers and experience profound learning setbacks due to the pandemic. Some of those places include India, Africa, and the Philippines.


In India, 62 million people are estimated to be blind or visually impaired, the highest number in the world. To pursue a return on our mission to empower people to live fulfilling, independent, and productive lives, we are looking for opportunities to drive lasting impact,” said Susan Olivo, Executive Director of the Lavelle Fund for the Blind. Bookshare, Benetech’s accessible ebook library for people with visual impairments and other reading barriers, is a key component of the company’s digital transformation strategy. In addition to providing electronic braille, large print, and audio versions of texts, Bookshare also provides texts in digital accessible formats. Benetech has over 700,000 titles available in India, in multiple local Indian languages, including all materials for 12 state primary and secondary school curricula. The Bookshare team in India is led by Dr. Homiyar Mobedji, and the pilot’s emphasis on transforming education systems, not only will opportunities be created for current students, but for future generations.

Kenya, Africa

The African continent is home to more than 20 million people who are blind or visually impaired. According to the World Blind Union, less than one percent of published works are available in accessible formats in developing countries, which means that millions of people are unable to access books and printed materials. Children who are blind can continue through school and never touch a book; they depend on human readers. The provision of books in special formats to students by government publishers can take up to two years. Education, employment, independence, and full integration into society are impeded by the lack of books. In his role as Bookshare Program Manager-Africa, Martin Kieti, focuses on advocating for the empowerment of people with visual impairments and increasing access to technology and information. “Technology has become an integral part of modern life,” says Martin. “As Africans who are blind and as advocates for disabilities, we must utilize new technologies as tools for education and employment that lead to empowerment and social inclusion. The world is moving forward, and Africans who are blind should be able to enjoy the same opportunities as other people.”

The Philippines

Located in an archipelago consisting of 7,107 islands, the Philippines is considered one of the fifty countries with low-middle incomes by the World Bank. According to statistics, there are approximately 500,000 Filipinos who are blind or have low vision, many of whom are of low socioeconomic status and lack access to learning resources. Access to learning resources and the ability to use assistive tools for an education are essential for upward mobility. With support from the Philippines Department of Education Region IV-B MIMAROPA Regional Library Division covering the Islands of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan, Bookshare Corners have become a model for expanding access to learning materials for Filipinos with low vision – even in remote communities with poor internet connectivity. The Bookshare Foundation launched 33 Bookshare Corners in partnership with the Department of Education South West Philippines Regional Division. Through the Bookshare Corner, the schools will raise awareness through accessibility and inclusion projects in their communities.

Communities We Serve: Domestic

Check Out Our Domestic Communities