Twenty-five years ago, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. We have come a long way in eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities, but as we join the week-long recognition of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ADA, it is imperative to consider how to extend the ADA promise to a new generation of Americans. The 25th anniversary of the ADA is a reminder that, at their best, policy and legislation support technological advances as well as benefits to society. We now need such balanced laws more than ever in order to stay committed to core principles of inclusion in the midst of massive technological change. To carry forward the ADA promise, we need regulations that mitigate these risks and still enable our students to benefit from the tools they need to succeed at school and beyond.
Today, May 21, in recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we are happy to share that the global publishing company John Wiley & Sons has announced that, starting this month, it will begin including alternative text (alt text) in nearly all of its frontlist books. By incorporating alt text into its workflow, Wiley makes its content accessible to users of all abilities. The company developed its alt text guidelines in consultation with Benetech’s DIAGRAM Center and other industry standards organizations.
Bookshare is the thriving community it is today thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of all of you—members, parents, teachers, mentors, volunteers, partners, and friends. We’re so grateful for your continuous support and can’t wait to bring the gift of reading and educational opportunities to even more people. Please help us bring Bookshare to others who need our services by supporting our Silicon Valley Gives (SVGives) fundraiser on May 5, 2015.
Last month, Benetech CEO, Jim Fruchterman, President Betsy Beaumon, and the Benetech Global Literacy team visited Washington, D.C., for briefings with senior leaders of the U.S. Department of Education. This included an “image slam”—a hands-on session in which they used our image description tool, Poet, to make digital images in a classic children’s book accessible. Since 2012, volunteers at image slams and other events have described nearly 45,000 digital images using Poet. This April, National Volunteer Month, we celebrate the wonderful volunteers who make a difference every day and help advance Benetech’s mission.
Betsy Beaumon’s Keynote Address at the 52nd Annual Learning Disabilities Association of America Conference Rapid advances in technology are remaking the content landscape and have made it possible to get more content, in more ways, to more people. Will the digital revolution usher in a golden age of access to books and information for people […]