On Thursday evening, March 8, Mark Richert and I were thrilled to join Bookshare at its celebration in Washington D.C., commemorating ten years of bringing books to people with print disabilities. The event featured remarks by Senator Tom Harkin, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) who set the tone for the evening, noting that timely and affordable access to books is essential for truly equal opportunity. Donna McNear, a noted educator and leader in the blindness field, echoed those sentiments in discussing her commitment to ensure that her students had books.
I am an enthusiastic consumer of Bookshare, relying on it for my daily newspaper fix, as well as professional and entertainment reading. In fact, I have just finished notable sports writer John Feinstein's "One on One," a wonderful read as we prepare for March Madness. A truly great thing about Bookshare is the terrific commitment to the customer, starting from Jim Fruchterman on down through the whole staff.
In fact, the Bookshare team always kids me about my obsession with Henry Clay, because of my needling them about the lack of a Henry Clay biography. The team snapped into action and soon there were terrific Clay biographies for the political history geeks like me.
So, a big thank you to Jim and the Bookshare team for a terrific decade of service. Bookshare is now changing the lives of so many children and adults with vision loss or other print disabilities in the US, and increasing throughout the world. There is still work to be done, as we were reminded at the event, but it's great to celebrate one of our truly wonderful organizations.
Books with headphones photo courtesy of Shutterstock.