[blindkid] Interesting info from Bookshare

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Sat Feb 21 11:58:45 UTC 2009


This is interesting and it is good to see that 
they are trying to make progress.  However, there 
is one statement below that is potentially 
misleading -- especially for someone who isn't 
familiar with the Bookshare.org process.

It says that all files are proof read.  The 
source files are proof read by volunteers, but 
not the Braille (BRF) output.  So there is no 
check on Braille or Braille-formatting 
errors.  Finally the volunteers generally check 
the file against itself, that is most do not have 
the source book available to them, so problems can go undetected.


At 10:25 PM 2/18/2009, you wrote:
>Hi Everyone,
>Below is an exchange of emails with Mario 
>Oliveros from Bookshare which addresses many of our concerns.
>>Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 18:45:23 -0800
>>From: "Mario Oliveros" <marioo at Benetech.org>
>>Subject: RE: question
>>Dear Ms. Castellano,
>>Thanks for your patience; I needed to get a 
>>status on some of our development progress.   Please see responses below:
>>•       Bookshare books are downloadable in 
>>both DAISY and BRF (Braille Ready Format).  Our 
>>books are compatible with screen readers like 
>>JAWS and notetakers, or will be as soon as 
>>partners complete upgrades to accommodate our 
>>new book format.   Bookshare has also added 
>>variable cell line length as a setting in user 
>>preferences so that our books can accommodate 
>>different displays and Braille outputs.  I'd be 
>>happy to schedule a call with our support team 
>>discuss this topic with you to explain further.
>>•       Files are being proofread thoroughly 
>>and Bookshare has made book quality a core 
>>value.  Before new books are introduced to the 
>>library, the books is reviewed and validated by 
>>Bookshare staff and volunteers.  In addition, 
>>Bookshare is going back, reviewing, and 
>>validating older books in the library as 
>>well.  And when books are found to have any 
>>required edits, Bookshare strongly encourages 
>>members to report them so that our team can 
>>edit them.  We have added a report book quality 
>>link to our site on the page for each book so 
>>we can get immediate feedback and fix the book.
>>•       Regarding Math and Science books, we 
>>will have an interesting announcement later 
>>this spring or early summer about DAISY support 
>>for math.  Regarding images, we are in the 
>>final testing stages of adding images to NIMAC 
>>books. When rolled out, there will be 2 DAISY 
>>files letting Members choose whether or not 
>>they want the images.  The image file will be 
>>much larger than the text as one would expect. 
>>We are also incorporating image 
>>descriptions.   Also regarding math and science 
>>books, we can handle whatever we get from the 
>>NIMAC. If the publisher includes images, we'll add them.
>>By the way, another important announcement is 
>>that states can now name Bookshare as an 
>>Authorized User of the NIMAC. This will help us 
>>get books to students much more quickly.
>>I hope this answers some of your questions, 
>>please do not hesitate to contact me directly for any follow-up questions.
>>Mario Oliveros
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Carol Castellano 
>>[<mailto:carol_castellano at verizon.net>mailto:carol_castellano at verizon.net]
>>Sent: Tue 2/17/2009 8:20 PM
>>To: Mario Oliveros
>>Subject: RE: question
>>Thanks, Mario.  I'm looking forward to your response.
>>At 04:34 PM 2/17/2009, you wrote:
>> >Ms. Castellano,
>> >
>> >Thank you very much for your inquiry.  Betsy Burgess, our Director
>> >of Marketing whom you met sometime last year, sends her regards.
>> >
>> >I have most of the information you are requesting, but need to get
>> >an update from our management team on the inclusion of science
>> >images.  I just wanted to send you a notice that I received your
>> >email and will get back to you by tomorrow afternoon.  Thanks again
>> >for your email and let me know if you have other questions in the meantime.
>> >
>> >Best,
>> >
>> >Mario Oliveros
>> >Partner Program Manager
>> >Benetech/Bookshare
>> >tel: (650) 644-3413
>> >fax: (650) 475-1066
>> >marioo at benetech.org
>> ><<http://www.benetech.org>http://www.benetech.org>www.bookshare.org
>> >www.benetech.org
>> >
>> >Technology Serving Humanity
>> >
>> >
>> >From: Carol Castellano 
>> [<mailto:carol_castellano at verizon.net>mailto:carol_castellano at verizon.net]
>> >Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 10:12 AM
>> >To: Mario Oliveros
>> >Subject: question
>> >
>> >Hello Mario,
>> >
>> >I am writing as President of Parents of Blind Children-NJ, 1st VP of
>> >the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children and as
>> >Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator in the Teacher of the Blind/VI
>> >program at The College of New Jersey.
>> >
>> >A couple of questions keep coming up from many quarters regarding
>> >the Bookshare grant to produce books for students with a very short
>> >turn-around time.  Many have been asking the following:
>> >    * What is the file format that the student would receive?  Would
>> > the file be directly downloadable for use with a notetaker with
>> > braille display?  Would it be usable on a computer with JAWS?
>> >    * Will the files be proofread?  Will the 
>> proofing be cursory or thorough?
>> >    * Are math and science books included?  If so, what is being
>> > done about figures and diagrams?
>> >Thanks very much,
>> >
>> >Carol Castellano
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