[blindkid] Interesting info from Bookshare

DrV icdx at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 21 18:11:30 UTC 2009

Excellent points.
1. Perhaps the proofing mechanisms & standards should be different for 
textbooks than for casual reading materials. It sounds like for textbooks it 
would be more appropriate / prudent / responsible for the embossed brf files 
to proof-read, rather than the electronic file itself.
2. While I am in favor of text being available electronically, I still feel 
it is critical to have an appropriately modified embossed text. Nowadays so 
much of the information in textbooks at the elementary school & middle 
school level is relayed in pictures, diagrams, charts, other graphics & 
"side bars". This info is critical & would be missed with just text files. I 
share the concern that - especially with budget cutbacks - districts may 
view an electronic file as equivalent or adequate. I  think that there 
should be a clear statement on each bookshare textbook webpage that this is 
a not meant to replace the embossed file. It may even be prudent as part of 
the downloading process to have a statement with a "I understand that this 
is not the full textbook content" type terminology that the downloader would 
have to acknowledge by checking the "I understand" box, similar to when 
someone acknowledges terms of argeement when downloading software.
Eric V

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Andrews" <dandrews at visi.com>
To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of blind children)"
<blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2009 03:58
Subject: Re: [blindkid] Interesting info from Bookshare


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
>>.       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
>blindkid mailing list
>blindkid at nfbnet.org
>To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>Version: 8.0.237 / Virus Database: 270.11.1/1961 - Release Date: 02/19/09

blindkid mailing list
blindkid at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for

More information about the BlindKid mailing list