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October 23, 2013

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October 23, 2013

Benetech through their Bookshare program makes hundreds of thousands of books available in formats that blind, visually impaired and dyslexic students can access in order to read and learn. These books are also available to other blind people to read for pleasure. Having access to one's nation's literature opens you up to your own culture. People who can read the latest books, are connected to everyone else reading and enjoying that same book. This is so important for children so they do not become isolated from other children in school who have the latest blockbuster book (like the Harry Potter series) to read and they don't have an accessible version. Bookshare is free for those with disabilities, which is so immensely helpful, giving them a level playing field with those who get to go to the library or book store to buy regular books. Benetech will spread this technology and service all around the world so that other print-disabled people will have access to books as well. This will open up countless opportunities for millions of people globally; the ripple effect of this wonderful humanitarian gesture cannot be adequately measured.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

See if there was a way to help promote this project so that even more print-disabled people were aware of it and could benefit from Benetech and Bookshare. Create key relationships between Benetech and large international foundations, like Gates, in order to get this into as many countries as possible.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 23, 2013

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October 23, 2013

Bookshare is an incredible organization that provides hundreds of thousands of accessible books to individuals with print disabilities. I have seen so many people benefit from the service this organization provides. My son is a high school senior with severe dyslexia. He receives all of his textbooks from Bookshare which gives him equal access and allows him to participate fully in classes along side his non-disabled peer. I also have relatives who are blind who benefit from Bookshare. Bookshare books have many features that are valuable to people with print disabilities. For sighted users, the text is highlighted while being read aloud, so the reader can follow along. This allows for greater retention for many users who benefit from seeing the text. The pace of the reading can also be increased or decreased to accommodate different readers and reading ability.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find ways to make it more known to educators and parents who are in a position of introducing its services to students who could benefit.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 21, 2011

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September 21, 2011

Benetech's mission is "Technology Serving Humanity". This organization has several global outreach programs. The Bookshare online accessible library (eBooks and textbooks) supports tens of thousands of U.S. students with qualified print disabilities to get their books on time to study alongside their peers. Equal access to learning and opportunities to feel independent empower many children who, otherwise, would be lost. Good job!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

collaborating utilization, outreach and awareness and promoting good works results.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Include real-time telephone customer service.

October 15, 2008

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October 15, 2008

Benetech’s Human Rights Data Analysis Group is committed to the use of human rights statistics to fight impunity. I have known its director, Patrick Ball, since 1995, when we worked together in Haiti’s Truth Commission. He is a master at defying conventional wisdom with the power of numbers, dismissing claims often used for political purposes, and finding patterns when none is clear to the random eye. In Haiti, he demonstrated a pattern of increased violence during key political events faced by the military junta. Since then, he has worked in practically every truth commission created. In the case of former Yugoslavia, his work was groundbreaking: for the first time, a method used in natural sciences was applied to estimate the number of total human rights violations based on records from several databases. Ball’s book “Who did what to whom” is compulsory reading for all of us working in the human rights field. I am now supporting the Data Group’s in Colombia where it is working in helping improve the quality of governmental and non-governmental human rights databases. Jim Fruchterman, Benetech’s founder and winner of the MacArthur award, is a man dedicated to putting science to good use. His pet project is BookShare, a digital library for people with disabilities. In conclusion, two inspiring men have joined together to make of Benetech a stimulating institution, which has earned its motto of “science for humanity”.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

scientific papers.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

Ways to make it better...

i had more time with them.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 15, 2008

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October 15, 2008

Benetech has greatly contributed to introduce scientific debate into the baseline discussions regarding human rights violations in Colombia. Through professional advisory services and long-term training programs Benetech has sought to ensure a sustainable intervention in the Colombian human rights community and has tried to guarantee installed capacity within local NGOs to conduct complex analysis. One direct benefit of Benetech’s intervention in Colombia has been the process of translation of sophisticated data programming and statistical analysis to a non-technical audience. This audience – mostly human rights workers – is now able to conduct an informed discussion regarding assertions that can and cannot be made with the type of data analysis that is being conducted. The “numbers debate” around human rights violations in Colombia is highly politicized and full of assertions that do not have technical backing. Benetech’s focus has facilitated the promotion of internal and public debate oriented at producing a better account of what is and what is not happening in terms of human rights violations. Moreover, partnerships established with NGOs and official entities have permitted a deeper analysis of the data that is produced, primarily through the conduction of comparative statistical exercises. The debates regarding the numbers has not ceased and is not likely to finish any time soon, but Benetech’s technical products have quietly become reference points for the international and academic communities in the country.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

public discussions on reporting on human rights violations in Colombia.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

conduct more tecnical studies on human rights violations and ensure that the results are translated into very simple conclusions for a wide audience.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being able to tap into technical knowledge of data management and processsing that was beyond my field of knowledge.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

qualified and eager to share the learning experience.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

greatly enhance the understanding of the causes and consequences of violence in situations of grave human rights violations or armed conflict.

Ways to make it better...

a greater audience would have been reached.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

acquiring greater resources to conduct ongoing projects in the field.

One thing I'd also say is that...

it could greatly enhance qualitative understanding of violence and contribute to prove or disprove theories held on the causes and consequences of violence.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Universidad Externado de Colombia

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Help us grow and improve our Bookshare accessible library by scanning hard copies of books into a computer, proofreading scanned submissions for quality assurance, describing images in textbooks, or assisting with other collection development tasks. Volunteer