[blindkid] Fwd: Resources for Homeschoolers

Carol Castellano carol_castellano at verizon.net
Thu Feb 25 15:18:46 UTC 2010

>I received the following information from Bookshare.


Carol Castellano, President
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
carol_castellano at verizon.net

>Parents In The Know!
>Bookshare Parent Newsletter - February 2010
>Resources for Homeschoolers
>An estimated 1.5 million students are homeschooled in the United 
>States according to the 
>Household Education Surveys Program. The number of children 
>homeschooled has increased since 1999, and there are a number of 
>reasons that influence this decision. For 4 percent of these parents 
>(or guardians) who choose this method, it is because a child has special needs.
>It is a challenge to get resources. Parents have shared with us that 
>it is very difficult to get accessible books and reading tools for 
>children with disabilities. This can be particularly true for 
>homeschoolers who do not have everyday access to special education 
>teachers and public school resources. Furthermore, processes for 
>special needs testing and for getting accommodations vary from state to state.
>Bookshare can help. Bookshare's online library is available 
>worldwide and can be accessed 24 hours a day. The collection has 
>over 68,000 digital books and tools that make reading possible for 
>students who previously found it difficult or impossible to read 
>traditional print. Bookshare's books are downloaded to computers and 
>accessed with software or devices that allow students to listen to 
>books, hear and see words at the same time (multi-modal), and use 
>advanced study tools.
>Homeschoolers can qualify! Bookshare memberships are available for 
>free to all U.S. students with 
>print disabilities such as blindness, low-vision, physical 
>disabilities and severe learning disabilities. Qualified 
>homeschoolers can join with an individual membership that gives them 
>the ability to download, read, and study with the vast majority of 
>Bookshare books and free reading software.
>How about textbooks? Bookshare's library carries K-12 textbooks that 
>come from the 
>Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). These textbooks can 
>be downloaded only by teachers at public schools for Bookshare 
>student members with IEPs. Where does this leave homeschoolers? 
>Depending upon your state and the district in which you live, 
>homeschool students may still have options if you can work with your 
>local school.
>Want to learn more? Join Bookshare on Tuesday, March 9 (5pm ET, 4pm 
>CT, 3pm MT, 2pm PT) for a webinar solely dedicated to homeschoolers. 
>We will discuss:
>    * Who qualifies for Bookshare?
>    * How can homeschoolers sign up their children?
>    * How can Bookshare be used at home?
>    * How can textbooks be accessed?
>    * 
> <http://cts.vresp.com/c/?Benetech/5deebe2642/f90095b4af/09910930e0>Sign 
> up today!
>As always, we're interested in your thoughts and comments. Contact 
>us at: 
>This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education,
>Mario Oliveros, Partner Program Manager
>mom and son reading
>Partners Making a Difference
>logo of Peal Center
>PEAL Center is a parent organization that provides individual 
>assistance, information on resources, and training to help parents 
>of children with disabilities and professionals in Central and 
>Western Pennsylvania.
>The PEAL Center will hold its Fourth Annual Inclusive Education 
>Conference on March 16 and 17 at the Four Points Sheraton in Mars, 
>more about the topics, speakers, and breakout sessions, including a 
>session for parents!
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