Adding Marathi human-narrated audio capabilities to create accessible, grade-level storybooks that can be listened to on low cost audio devices by children who are blind/low vision
Grant Competition 2014
Reading Skill Targeted
In Maharashtra India, classrooms lack accessible reading materials that allow students to learn at their own pace through braille reading, print reading and/or listening. Mother tongue language instruction is optimal for reading acquisition, in both braille and audio, among students who are blind/low vision. Delivering accessible books in mother tongue languages where no text-to-speech (TTS) engine exists to read these books aloud is challenge, and the cost of creating a high-quality TTS engine is extremely high.
The Big Idea
This innovation makes reading materials accessible to children by adding Marathi human-narrated audio capabilities to Bookshare, the world’s largest digital accessible library. Primary school students who are blind/low vision were provided with accessible Marathi educational content to listen to on low-cost audio devices in conjunction with reading braille. Teachers were trained to use the Bookshare platform and schools were visited weekly by a local “Story Auntie” to encourage reading and inspire students.
Three schools, nine teachers, and more than 70 students
Benetech is an online library of accessible content for people with print disabilities.
Blogs and Media
Research and Resources
Literacy and Learning Without Limits: The Tools You Need to Ensure Children with Disabilities are Included in Your Reading ProgramsLearn about open source resources like book creation software, online libraries, books, reading assessments and more, developed by winners of the All Children Reading Grand Challenge.
BookshareBenetech is an online library of accessible content for people with print disabilities.
Supporting Technology-Based Innovations to Improve Early Grade Reading Outcomes for Students Who Have Low Vision or are BlindA summary report on the impact and potential for scale of three ACR GCD-funded projects focused on improving reading outcomes of students who have low vision or are blind.
Benetech Evaluation ReportAn evaluation report on the results of the ACR GCD-funded "Bookshare India" project, implemented by Beneficent Technologies (Benetech) in India.
Benetech / Kristina PappasACR GCD-funded innovator Benetech shares their innovation to add audio to digital stories for children who are blind/low vision in India.
The Power of Technology to Improve Literacy for Children with Disabilities in Developing CountriesLearn from School-to-School International and ACR GCD-funded innovators Benetech and Resources for the Blind on the design and impact of edtech projects for children with disabilities.
Connect with the Innovator
Palo Alto, California, USA