Imagine living without being connected to water mains and sewer lines. In Latin America, where access to water and sanitation services is highly unequal, approximately 70 million people experience this reality every day.
The tech industry has been successful at figuring out ways to make things faster, easier, and cheaper, and now it is changing the philanthropy and nonprofit sectors, too. In a story that examines the ways in which wealthy, young tech entrepreneurs are turning to philanthropy and transforming nonprofits, the Chronicle of Philanthropy cites CEO Jim Fruchterman on what he has identified as successful models for engaging tech donors.
Palo Alto, California, May 27, 2015—Benetech announces the beta release of MathML Cloud 1.0, a free, open source, cloud-based tool that automatically generates accurate images and image descriptions of mathematical expressions. This service provides access to math for readers who have visual disabilities or learning differences, thus enabling them properly to study math concepts critical for successful Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.
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.
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.