RNIB’s Bookshare gains momentum


Bookshare, the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s outstanding library of learning resources for those with a vision impairment now has a million titles, writes Rochelle Pretsell.

Thousands of school pupils and university students with sight loss can log on and download all the education books and resources they need, from SATs revision guides to books about GCSE history, with electronic ePub and PDF files which can be converted into electronic braille, Word and synthetic audio. The scheme also supports pupils with other neurodiverse conditions, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, if there are difficulties from reading standard print. It enables students to have the same educational opportunities as their peers. Reading is a vital part of childhood development and helps bonding with parents and loved ones. The Vision Impairment curriculum is hosted on the Bookshare website, making it easy to access and share teaching resources for the development of best practice.

Bookshare runs in conjunction with software such as Dolphin Easy Reader, on iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and Chromebooks, meaning that students can access new texts independently, granting them ownership over their learning and the ability to adjust the font size of the texts to their preferred reading size. All RNIB titles have been donated by over a thousand publishers and over 47,000 learners are making use of Bookshare resources and over 1,345,000 downloads. Plans include a new web page specifically for GCSE resources that will mirror the website pages specifically for STEM subjects.

If RNIB Bookshare does not have a title you’re looking for, it’s possible to request a title and the team will reach out to the publisher to request an accessible version. You qualify for Bookshare if you are blind and partially sighted, if you have dyslexia, autism or attention deficit disorder or if you have a physical disability that significantly affects use of printed materials.

RNIB Bookshare memberships are arranged through schools or universities and the SENCo, librarian or specialist teaching assistant can advise if the school has an account. If you don’t know whether your child’s school has an RNIB Bookshare account, or you can’t seem to sign up, please email us and we will contact the school for you. We’ll let them know what we are, that we are free and give them some information on how to join and add their learners.

Rochelle Pretsell
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Rochelle Pretsell M. Ed is the Team Leader for RNIB Bookshare.

Website: www.rnibbookshare.org/cms
Twitter: @RNIBBookshare
Facebook: @RNIBBookshareUK


  1. I’m so glad RNIB’s Bookshare is gaining momentum! It’s a great way to get books into the hands of people who might not be able to afford them, and it’s a great way to promote literacy.


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