Mrs. Shell mentioned an organization called Bookshare that provides text in alternate formats. What do you think alternate formats are? What further information would you want about this service?
Page 4: Qualifying for Bookshare Membership
In order to qualify for Bookshare services, applicants must be able to verify that they have a print disability. For that purpose, Bookshare uses the definition of print disability found in the Chafee Amendment to the copyright law. Verification of this disability for K–12 students generally comes from:
- A school professional (e.g., school psychologist, special education teacher, or teacher of the visually impaired)
- A medical provider (e.g., physical therapist, doctor, ophthalmologist, or clinical psychologist)
As a special education teacher, Mrs. Shell is authorized to verify the print disability. Click here or on the form to view a sample of a completed Proof of Disability form.
This is a Bookshare form of Proof of Disability Form Organizational Accounts. The Bookshare logo—a fan shape with alternating orange and purple stripes—and the Bookshare title are in the upper right-hand corner. The form title is in the upper left-hand corner. Under the title is a black dividing line and then the heading “Proof of Disability – To be filled out by Certifying Professional (please type or print).” The subsequent lines to be filled out ask for the Name of Certifying Professional, Title (line 1), Organization Name (line 2), Address, City, State, Zip (line 3), Daytime phone, Email (line 4). These are filled out as follows: Mrs. Shell, Special Ed. Teacher/IEP Case Manager, Whitfield High School, 2401 Whitfield Lane, Anywhere, USA, XXXX, (XXX) XXX-XXXX, Shell@Whitfield.edu. Underneath this information is the following statement and a place for Mrs. Shell’s signature and the date: I attest, under penalty of perjury, to the physical basis of the visual, perceptual or other physical disability limiting the following applicants’ abilities to effectively use standard print. I have the professional qualifications to make such a certification and/or have legal access through my organization to existing written documentation attesting to this fact. Under Mrs. Shell’s signature is another black dividing line.
The second section’s heading is Account and Member Information. There is a line to be filled out asking for the Primary Contact Name and Phone Number, completed as Mrs. V. Shell, (XXX) XXX-XXXX. The bottom of this page, in small print, is the following text: Mail or fax completed form including the original signature to: Bookshare Registration – OR – fax: (650) 475-1066. The Benetech Initiative 480 California Ave, Suite 201 Palo Alto, CA 94306-1609. The second page is labeled with the heading “Member Information (continued)” and then the following sentences: For qualifying disability enter Learning Disability (LD), Visual Impairment (VI) or other Physical Disability (PD). For grade level, select appropriate grade within K-12, College Freshman-Senior, G for graduate students or A for adult education. Underneath this text is a large chart, first divided into the three columns: Required for All Members; Required for Student Membership; For U.S. K-12 Only Does the student have the following type of plan?
Under the first column, “Required for All Members,” further division is made into the columns “Member/Student Name,” “Qualifying Disability (use LD, VI and/or PD only),” and “Date of Birth.” The second column, “Required for Student Membership,” is further divided into the columns “Grade (if applicable),” “District,” and “School.” The last column is further divided into the columns “IEP,” and “504 Plan.” Four students are listed underneath this secondary row of headings. The first student is Bonita A., and the following information about her is filled in across the subsequent columns: PD; Nov. 1, XXXX; 11; Cumberland; Whitfield; and a checkmark in the IEP column. The second student is Steven M., and the following information about him is filled in across the subsequent columns: VI, Mar. 9, XXXX; 11; Cumberland; Whitfield; and a checkmark in the IEP column. The third student is Joshua P., and the following information about him is filled in across the subsequent columns: LD, July 28, XXXX; 11; Cumberland; Whitfield; and a checkmark in the IEP column. The last student is Sheila T., and the following information about her is filled in across the subsequent columns: LD; Feb. 9, XXXX; 11; Cumberland; Whitfield; and a checkmark in the IEP column.
For Your Information
Though Bookshare believes in the importance of making accessible text available for all students who need it, the organization is bound by copyright laws to authorize access only for specific students with print disabilities (i.e., those who are blind or have low vision, a physical disability, or a severe learning disability). Therefore, some people with disabilities who might benefit from accessible text may not qualify for Bookshare. For example, a student who has an IEP because of a physical disability would not qualify if he does not have difficulty reading printed text or holding onto a book.
Organizations that serve adults or students with print disabilities (e.g., individual schools, school districts) can register with Bookshare. Within each organization, there are three possible roles: Primary Contact, Sponsor, and Member.
Primary Contact: Oversees all Bookshare services at that organization, such as administering the school’s account, signing and faxing in the organizational membership agreement, designating other staff as Sponsors, managing the rosters of Members and Sponsors, and downloading books for Members. This individual—for example, a coordinator of visual services or a teacher—might work in a single school setting or else might serve a number of schools in a district.
Sponsor: Supports the Primary Contact in fulfilling certain Bookshare-related responsibilities, for example adding new Members and managing the Members roster, and downloading books. Sponsors agree online to the organizational membership terms. He or she might be a school employee such as a teacher, librarian, or paraprofessional.
Member: Is a student with a print disability whose organizational role is reading the books and educational materials that the Primary Contact or Sponsor has downloaded from the Bookshare library.
Mrs. Shell explains to Mr. Keurig that she is the school’s Primary Contact for Bookshare. As such, she completes the online form to register Mr. Keurig as a Sponsor, thus allowing him to download books for his student Members.
This is an image of a Bookshare Webpage, specifically a heading called My Bookshare, with a sub-heading called Manage Sponsors. The Webpage has the Bookshare title and logo in the upper left-hand corner. The majority of the page is white. In the center of the page in line with the logo and Bookshare title is a book search tool with a box to type in by title, author, or ISBN number. Under this box are links that take you to advanced search or browse pages. The following links are at the top of the Webpage:
Is Bookshare For Me?, Get Started, Get Involved, Help Center, and My Bookshare. With the My Bookshare link highlighted, a drop down menu with the following options to click on appears: My History, My Reading Lists; Members; Sponsors; Organization Info; My Requests; and Download Reading Tools, and My Account. A list of clickable links is also to the far left of the webpage. The Sponsors option is highlighted in a different color (blue), delineating it has been clicked on and the Sponsors page of the My Bookshare drop down menu opened up. There is a red number 1 beside it indicating this is the first place Mrs. Shell clicks to sign Mr. Keurig up as a sponsor. Under the sub-heading Manage Sponsors, the text reads: “Sponsors are additional staff that download books for your students and manage your rosters.” The smaller heading Show by is underneath, with the option to display members by district, school, and list. Filter and Search blue buttons are next to these options. 1 Organizational Sponsor is registered and shown in a chart below. The chart has the following headings: first name, last name, district, title, email, and phone number. The first sponsor is Virginia Shell with the subsequent columns filled out as follows: Cumberland; Whitfield; Special Education Teacher, firstname.lastname@example.org, (615) 956-7832. Underneath this chart on the far left is a blue button to add a sponsor, and to the far right is a blue button to remove a sponsor. Beside the button add a sponsor is a red number 2 indicating that Mrs. Shell clicks this link next to continue adding Mr. Keurig as a sponsor. Once this button is clicked, a pop up box appears that is titled “Add a Sponsor” and has fill in boxes for: first name, last name, district, school, title, email, and phone number. A note in box reads: Sponsors must be staff or faculty, or professionals working with your organization. Sponsors cannot be parents unless employed by your organization or volunteers. There is a button to Save, Cancel, or Reset in this box. Inside this box is a red number 3 indicating this is the last step in signing Mr. Keurig up as a sponsor for the school.
All Primary Contacts and Sponsors must agree and adhere to Bookshare’s membership terms, which require that they:
- Use the services only for the qualifying student, and not for personal use or for non-qualifying students
- Inform student Members and new Sponsors that the materials downloaded from Bookshare may not be shared
- Maintain the student roster
- Inform Members that they may also have an individual account (described in the next section)
Mr. Keurig learned that Mrs. Shell followed Bookshare’s online process for registering a group of qualified students as Members through their school’s organizational membership. As part of the online registration process, Bonita and Steven were included as Members in this group.
Learn how teachers with organizational accounts can help students read independently on Bookshare Web Readers. Watch a brief video demonstrating this option.
In addition to belonging to Bookshare through an organizational membership, a student may also have an individual membership. In fact, Bookshare encourages both. The individual membership offers the student opportunities to download and read books of his or her choice outside of the school environment. Students under age 18 must have the permission of a parent or guardian to sign up, and these individuals are allowed to download books on behalf of the student with a print disability. As with the organizational membership, files can only be used by the student who has a print disability and cannot be shared or used by anyone other than the qualifying student.
The process for creating an individual membership is easy. The proof of disability form mentioned previously must be completed along with a simple member agreement form. Click here to find an individual membership form.
It is also possible, and quite easy, for teachers to get an individual membership for any students already included in their organizational membership.
When the process for creating an individual membership is initiated by a teacher, all the parent needs to do is sign and return a form. No additional proof of disability is necessary. Watch the short video below for a description of this simple process.