District of Columbia Public Schools Presents Implementation of Free, Federally Funded Accessible Book Program to Improve Education for Students with Disabilities

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Media Advisory: Thursday, April 28th DCPS administrators and library officials present their vision and implementation of access to digital accessible books from Bookshare at the Martin Luther King DC Public Library to benefit students with disabilities. Bookshare is an online accessible library of copyrighted content federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Programs (*OSEP). A student technology showcase of assistive technologies will follow brief remarks.

Books on a shelf with a computer to represent digital books.

Bookshare Online Accessible Library

DCPS students will demonstrate the use of various software applications and assistive technology devices and speak about their academic future using Bookshare’s accessible books and textbooks.

What: Recognizing the need to improve educational opportunities for DCPS students who have a visual impairment, a physical disability or learning disability, like dyslexia, administrators from the DCPS, the DC Public Library, and the Blind Rehabilitation Services will present their vision and implementation of access to digital accessible books from Bookshare. Bookshare is an online accessible library of copyrighted content federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Programs (*OSEP).

Student Technology Showcase

After brief remarks, DCPS students will demonstrate the use of various software applications and assistive technology devices and speak about their academic future using Bookshare’s books and textbooks.

With this implementation of accessible instruction materials (AIM) and books from Bookshare, DCPS is putting into practice a critical aspect of universal design for learning (UDL), a major theme from the U.S. Department of Education.

Who: Speakers include:

  •     Nancy Davenport, Director of Library Services, DC Public Library
  •     Betsy Beaumon, VP, Benetech/Bookshare Literacy Programs
  •     Dr. Richard Nyankori, Deputy Chancellor for Special Education, DCPS

        ...“Breaking the Cycle of Poverty”

  •     Norma Villanueva, Program Director for Low Incidence Disabilities, DCPS and Melesse (Mel) Demissay, AT Specialist, Division Services for the Blind Rehabilitation Admin.

        ...Vision for Empowering Students with Disabilities – Bookshare Partnership
    ...Timely Access to General Curriculum – Least Restrictive Learning Environment
    ...Student Independence – Higher Education – Lifetime Achievers

Where: Martin Luther King Jr. DC Public Library, Main Branch, 901 G Street, NW, Washington DC 20001, 2nd Floor, Adaptive Services. Parking garages and metro stops at 11th Street for Orange, Blue and Red Lines and 9th Street, Gallery Place for Yellow and Red Lines are near the library.

When:    Thursday, April 28, 2011 from 12:10 to 1:45 p.m.

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Valerie Chernek

George Williams
DC Public Library Services
202-727-1184
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