Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I am in Louisville, KY, this week, at the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind. Other Benetech staff are here and at the Las Vegas convention of the American Council of the Blind.

The highlight this week was our Bookshare.org user group meeting. We received so much positive feedback about the service: we packed the room with blind people passionate about reading. They also had many ideas for improving the service as well, which was our main motivation for having such a gathering. Janice Carter, our Bookshare.org general manager, is synthesizing the feedback. The addition of newspapers has been a giant hit with our users: I heard a lot about downloading the morning paper and listening to it on a portable device on the commute to work or school!

It reminds me why these enterprises are more than just businesses: we reach into people's lives and touch their hearts with capabilities they dreamed of, like reading. One rough quote: "For the first time since I lost my vision, things are seeming normal again, thanks to reading through Bookshare."

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