[Nfbk] Free Access to Cambridge U. Press

Kevin Pearl kvnprl at insightbb.com
Sat Jun 12 02:32:24 UTC 2010

June 11, 2010, 02:00 PM ET

Blind Students Get Free Access to Cambridge U. Press Books
By Josh Fischman

Texts for visually impaired college students are hard to come by. But a new
agreement between Cambridge University Press and Bookshare, a non-profit
organization that converts books and journals into formats that blind people
can read, may enlarge this library.

And in the U.S., it won't cost students a cent.

Bookshare, which already has digital-copy sharing agreements with 11
colleges and universities as well as the open-access textbook publisher
Flatworld Knowledge, gets digital files from the publishers and converts
them to files that can be read using text-to-speech software or Braille

The group operates under an exemption to U.S. copyright law known as the
Chafee Amendment. "That allows any U.S. student with a disability that
affects their ability to read standard print to join Bookshare and get a
free copy of a book," says Valerie Chernek, a spokesperson for Bookshare. A
college can also sign up for an institutional membership to acquire free
book copies for its disabled students. The cost of converting the digital
files and providing students with appropriate software is subsidized by a
$32-million dollar grant that Bookshare received from the U.S. Department of
Education to provide free access to all U.S. students with a print reading

Cambridge is giving Bookshare its entire backlist, consisting of more than
10,000 titles, says Ms. Chernek, and in the future the press will contribute
new titles, on the order of about 3000 each year.

This article can be found at:

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbk_nfbnet.org/attachments/20100611/827a4a66/attachment.html>

More information about the NFBK mailing list