The Skoll Foundation and the United Nations Foundation awarded Benetech a grant to bring written content to millions of people with visual impairments in India. This new grant will enable Benetech to scale up our Bookshare library services in India, where people with visual impairments face a severe dearth of accessible books in formats they can read. It supports a partnership between Benetech and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to expand production and delivery of books in accessible formats in local Indian languages.
Benetech’s work is made possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. To continue to provide our services, and to explore new ways in which targeted technological applications could address unmet needs of disadvantaged communities, we definitely need your help. Please join us in the Skoll Foundation’s second annual Skoll Social Entrepreneurs Challenge—a fundraising campaign committed to strengthening the capacity of organizations like ours to accelerate impact on some of the most critical issues of our time. The Challenge launched on October 27 and runs through December 5th.
How do you bridge the breakthroughs of Silicon Valley with unmet social needs? Financial magazine Barron’s highlights this question in a story about CEO Jim Fruchterman, his founding of Benetech, the organization’s social enterprise business model, and the impact of its work on the lives of marginalized communities.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimated earlier this year that about 3 million veterans, or 14 percent of the total veteran population, had a service-connected disability. For veterans with visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries or other disabilities, reading standard print is difficult, if not impossible. For them, Bookshare opens up a lifeline to reading. Today through Friday, November 22nd, you can give disabled veterans the gift of reading via Bookshare by joining Benetech’s Bookshare for Veterans crowdfunding campaign.
On the evening of March 28, 2006, an improvised explosive device (IED) hit Staff Sergeant Jay Wilkerson’s Humvee, which was part of a convoy heading from Habbaniyah, Iraq, back to Baghdad. It turned out that Jay suffered from hemianopsia, a loss of half of the visual field. For Jay and scores of other veterans with service-related disabilities, reading standard print can be difficult, if not impossible. For them, Bookshare—our Global Literacy initiative and the world’s largest accessible digital library for people with qualified print disabilities—opens a lifeline to reading. If you are looking for a way to make a real difference in honor of Veterans Day, please support our Bookshare for Veterans crowdfunding campaign and give veterans the gift of reading.