In my quest to find a scanned version of the book Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, I browsed to Bookshare.org, and learned that on October 1, 2007, the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. federal Department of Education made a major five-year award of $32 million to further the objectives of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), by supplying high quality textbooks and educational materials to students with special needs.
This funding is designed to fully support all schools, and students 26-years-old and under, with qualifying print disabilities in the United States, K-12 and post-secondary. Bookshare.org will provide these students with access to the entire collection of accessible electronic books, and to software for reading those books. Bookshare.org's website reports they also expect to add over 100,000 new educational titles in high quality DAISY and Braille formats over the next five years, getting students the terrific quality textbooks they need for academic success.
This will save countless hours of scanning and reworking print material for our students with learning and physical disabilities.
By the way, Speak is not yet in the Bookshare.org library. If you have a scanned version that you can share, please contact me.