New Program Offers OnLine Library for Free to Eligible Students with Vision Disabilities

Posted on 02/06/2017

Posted by Global Accessibility News

NEW YORK: Reading is a simple pleasure. However, millions of people are denied the joy of reading due to vision disabilities. Now, Lighthouse Guild and Bookshare have partnered with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to empower students with low vision to reach their full potential. The organizations are working alongside LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco and the members of VisionServe Alliance, who provide services for individuals who are blind or have low vision throughout the United States. The new program will use the Spotlight Gateway app for iPad to expand access to digital reading materials specifically designed for people with low vision.

“Reading should not be a privilege,” says Mark G. Ackermann, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Lighthouse Guild. “Books document our history, mark our present and inspire our future. We’re pleased to join in establishing this program to break down barriers and open a world of possibilities to students who are blind or have low vision.”

Rebecca Alexander, author, psychotherapist, fitness instructor, and extreme athlete who is almost completely blind and deaf due to a rare genetic disorder called Usher syndrome type III said, “I am an avid reader, and I access the extensive Bookshare library through the Spotlight Gateway app for iPad. It has changed my life. I am thrilled this new initiative will allow more people with low vision to expand their horizons and explore new worlds through reading.”  Ms. Alexander, author of the book, “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found,” added, “This is a wonderful program that helps students of all ages with low vision to live as fully and independently as possible.”

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