Showing posts from September, 2017

A Call for Millions: Ending the Global Book Famine for the Blind

There’s a global book famine afflicting people with disabilities. They lack the books they need for education, employment, and social inclusion. Billions have been spent addressing the problem over the past decade. I have good news: For $5 million a year, we can build a global library that provides tens of millions of people around the world who are blind, low vision, or dyslexic free access to books that will work for them. Benetech has already solved this problem for students in the United States. Our Bookshare library has over 550,000 books that have been delivered digitally over 10 million times. Bookshare adapts to the needs of all readers with a disability that makes reading hard, whether they read with their eyes, ears, or fingers. We’re already delivering services at scale in three other countries—Canada, the UK, and India. Very few philanthropic opportunities come with the chance to solve a global problem with modest risk. This one does. We just need the resources

You Can Help Us Strengthen the Social Safety Net!

          Tech entrepreneurs can change the world through their philanthropy. They will achieve the greatest bang for their philanthropic buck by prioritizing the better use of community-driven software and data. That was my message in a recent interview, which you can read on the Benetech blog series, The Impact . Today, I’m writing to provide the first in a series of specific ideas on how philanthropic tech entrepreneurs can do good by doing what they do best: using software and data to create massive value. What if every person in need had access to the help they needed? Every day in every community, there are people who need help. From a single mom facing eviction to a vet struggling with PTSD, to a domestic violence survivor fighting for custody of her kids. A web of complex needs exists, but information about the various services that address those needs—services that form the social safety net—is difficult to find. Compared to the data I have at my fingertips abo