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Karen Narvol

Bookshare Mentor
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Everything posted by Karen Narvol

  1. Since updating to iOS 12, Read2Go is not working. When attempting to download a Bookshare book, Read2Go puts it in a queue, but the app immediately crashes. Is this the result of the iOS update to version 12? I know that Bookshare is no longer supporting Read2Go.
  2. Karen Narvol

    Capti free question

    Kendra, Capti works well with Yosemite. You may also want to contact Capti directly: They are very responsive.
  3. I receive questions from teachers of the visually impaired about NIMAC-sourced books and private school students. Many TVIs serve students in private schools. The TVIs are employees of a public school district and develop the IEPs and educational plans for the private school students who are blind or visually impaired. If the private school implements the IEP for a student and the parents decline services from the public school, can the TVIs provide NIMAC-sourced Bookshare books to the private school students? Or, must the TVIs implement the IEPs in the private schools in order for the students to receive the NIMAC-sourced textbooks?
  4. Karen Narvol

    Qualifying student moves overseas

    If a K-12 student with a qualifying print disability has a Bookshare individual membership and is on a school's organizational roster and moves overseas, how does this impact his/her ability to access Bookshare? If the student is served by an international school, is that school eligible for an organizational membership? What schools qualify for Bookshare organizational memberships if they serve US citizens? Do US students' individual memberships follow them if they move with their families to another country? How does this work?
  5. Karen Narvol

    Voice Dream and Read2Go

    Nick, This was so easy! The images in the Bookshare books in Voice Dream Reader are wonderful. Thanks for the information!
  6. Karen Narvol

    Voice Dream and Read2Go

    Hi, Nick. I have been unable to download Bookshare books with images into Voice Dream Reader. I haven't noticed any recent updates to the app. I am using a new iPad Pro and Voice Dream Reader 4.1.0. There is no option in Settings to enable the rich text mode, but I have enabled the "Prefer Images" setting within Content Sources/Bookshare. I tried downloading books that had been previously downloaded, but the images did not appear. I have selected "DAISY with images" as the reading preference download format for my student. What is the new Voice Dream Reader app update version? If it has been updated, why isn't the update showing up under "updates" in the App Store on my iPad? Thank you for any help you can give me. Karen
  7. Karen Narvol

    Voice Dream and Read2Go

    It is my understanding that the developer of Voice Dream Reader was considering adding image support for Bookshare books, but I don't know of any timetable.
  8. Karen Narvol

    For new teachers

    If I were a Sponsor who is new to Bookshare, I would spend a lot of time up front perusing the Bookshare website. I would begin by looking at information under the “Is Bookshare for Me” and “Help Center” tabs. Under the “Is Bookshare for Me” tab, I would read about Who Qualifies and What It Costs and view the Possibilities Abound with Bookshare video. Then I would view some of the video tutorials and read some of the brochures and how-to guides available in the Help Menu under “Training and Resources/Bookshare Academy.” The Learn It Now video tutorials, brochures, and how-to-guides provide information on the basics of Bookshare, membership, finding and organizing books, reading books, and member testimonials. Then I would take time to look carefully at the options under “My Bookshare.” In summary, I would spend a good deal of time exploring the Bookshare website before trying to manage my student roster, downloading/assigning books to students, or exploring software and hardware applications, etc.
  9. Karen Narvol

    Informing Others About Bookshare

    Distributing Bookshare flyers is an excellent way to get the word out about Bookshare. Also, directing parents, teachers, librarians, paraprofessionals, and administrators to the Bookshare Member Videos is another way of providing information quickly. Beyond that, holding short one-hour introductory presentations at staff meetings, PTO meetings, parent conference days, professional development days, or with small groups of targeted staff, such as team teachers, administrators, and special educators can provide more in depth information. In addition, IEP and 504 meetings provide opportunities to talk to staff and parents about the legal requirements to provide AEM to students who need them, Bookshare as a source of AEM, and the benefits of Bookshare membership for students with qualifying print disabilities.
  10. Karen Narvol

    Using Bookshare with students with multiple disabilities

    Vicki, There are several highly-rated books in Bookshare's collection that may meet your student's needs. They are listed below. The text-to-speech synthesis may be problematic when pronouncing a few of the sounds in the text made by cars, trucks, tractors, and horses. But many of the sounds are pronounced accurately. In addition, the illustrations in these books are beautiful and should keep your student's interest. Books with images about Cars: The Berenstain Bears: The Big Road Race Red Light, Green Light Cars Go (picture book) Books with images about Trucks: The Truck Book I’m a Truck Books with images about Horses: Hush, Little Horsie We Go in a Circle Book without images, but with image descriptions: Seabiscuit: The Wonder Horse (3rd grade level)
  11. The Bookshare Train-the-Trainer online course offers education staff the tools necessary to guide and instruct teachers on how to effectively implement Bookshare with qualifying students in the classroom. Visit the Perkins eLearning site to learn more about the course, the types of credits awarded, the cost, and how to register.
  12. October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. It is the time of the year when we recognize children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities - and the educators who serve them. Check out the Bookshare Blog and Bookshare's Facebook page to read stories from members, parents, and educators about how the use of Bookshare and assistive technology is strengthening the reading skills of students with learning disabilities through a multisensory approach.
  13. Karen Narvol

    NIMAC Textbooks for College?

    I posed the following question to the NIMAC: "If a school district requires the use of a college-level textbook in its high school curriculum, can the publisher of that college textbook refuse to provide NIMAS files to the NIMAC if directed by the district through language in a purchasing contract? In other words, can the publisher refuse to provide NIMAS files to the NIMAC because the textbook is considered a “college” textbook?" Nicole Gaines. NIMAC & Digital Accessibility Manager, responded: The short answer is “yes.” Per the definition provided under IDEA 2004, the NIMAC is to receive “textbooks and related printed core materials published primarily for use in elementary and secondary education.” This does mean that some materials commonly used in schools, such as reference books and trade books, and less commonly, college textbooks, are or may be NIMAS-exempt. The NIMAC can accept files for books that are published primarily for higher education but are also used in high schools. However, it’s between the customer and the publisher as to how this plays out and whether the publisher provides NIMAS for the material, or claims the exemption. It sometimes depends on how the publishing company is structured as to whether they can/will provide files. If a company produces only college titles, or if they produce higher ed titles through a separate higher education division (such as is the case with Pearson and McGraw-Hill) they generally will not provide NIMAS for these books. The college divisions usually have their own Rights & Permissions offices and mechanisms for responding to disability requests and providing an accessible digital format on request. (This is often an accessible PDF.) As Nick indicated, you may request that the textbook be added to Bookshare’s library by completing Bookshare’s Book Request Form:
  14. Karen Narvol

    How do mentor teachers access the book to read for themselves?

    Nick, I am confused about this issue. Let me pose an example. Let's suppose I am a teacher of the visually impaired and work for a public school education agency that serves a number of school districts. I teach students who are blind or have low vision. These students qualify for Bookshare. As the TVI, I may or may not have access to the physical book that my student is required to read. As a Sponsor, I can download that digital book and provide it to my student. But is Bookshare saying that I am not allowed to access that Bookshare book in role as the student's TVI? So, is Bookshare's policy that I cannot read/review the Bookshare book to check the content, quality, page numbers, table of contents, images, and other items so that I can support my student as he or she reads the book?
  15. Check out the Bookshare Blog for current information on Bookshare and members' personal stories: Bookshare has recently offered feature enhancements, including BeeLine Reader and Assign and Read. There are also wonderful articles about students with visual impairments who are transitioning to work through training and accessible eBooks and Bookshare Parent Ambassadors who are advocating in their local schools on behalf of Bookshare.
  16. Karen Narvol

    Web Reader Trials Runs

    Hi, Jay. If you search the Amazon Kindle Store for Voice Dream Reader, it will appear under “Apps and Games.” However, the actual app is in the Amazon App Store for Android. Voice Dream Reader can also be downloaded from Google Play Store. The Snap&Read extension for Chrome will read Bookshare books running in the Web Reader and allows the reader to begin reading at any location on a page or in the book. Snap&Read also works with the Kindle Cloud Reader. In order to use Snap&Read with the Bookshare Web Reader, you have to disable the Bookshare Web Reader extension in Chrome and then enable the Snap&Read Extension in Chrome so that the Snap&Read symbol appears on the Chrome Toolbar. Snap&Read is available for purchase from the Don Johnston Company ( The company also allows you to try it for free before making a purchase. There is an excellent demonstration video of Snap&Read on the Don Johnston website.
  17. Karen Narvol

    Back-to-School Resources

    Going back to school after summer break is exciting, stressful, and hectic for many teachers. Fortunately, Bookshare has some great back-to-school resources that educators can use as they begin a new school year - What tips or strategies do you have for back-to-school with Bookshare in your school district? How do you plan to communicate with other educators and parents about Bookshare? What are some of your biggest challenges? How will you meet these challenges?
  18. Karen Narvol

    The PALM Initiative

    The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials launched the PALM Initiative (Purchase Accessible Learning Materials) to encourage schools to buy, and publishers and developers to create, accessible learning materials that are broadly usable by a wide range of students. ( When digital content and technology used to deliver and interact with the digital content are not designed to be used by all students from the beginning, students will continue to face barriers to learning. Unfortunately, publishers are not always aware of the need to create accessible learning materials and schools are not always aware of the need to purchase accessible educational materials for students who need them. Until developers and purchasers consider accessibility from the start, authorized entities, such as Bookshare, will play a major role in the provision of AEM for students with qualifying print disabilities.
  19. Karen Narvol

    Free Bookshare in PA, NY and GA

    Vanessa Wai, Benetech/Bookshare Communities Manager, indicated that Bookshare is having conversations with all state libraries. It is up to the state libraries to determine if Bookshare is something they want to provide for their patrons.
  20. Karen Narvol

    Technology being used

    Betsy, You make a good point about the tendency of schools to change technology every couple of years. One of my concerns is that school districts often abandon a technology for another technology. For example, I know of schools that abandon iPads and replace them with Chromebooks. Over the past several years I’ve observed that school districts often jump on the bandwagon of whatever current technology is “hot” at the moment. The iPad and Chromebook are often the devices of choice by schools today, but they may not be the best choices for some students. The selection of technology for students with disabilities should be based on careful assessment data and team decisions, not on whatever the district has adopted school-wide. We shouldn’t be matching the student with the available technology; we should be providing technologies that have the features that best meet the student’s needs. Educators need to know the advantages and limitations of each tool and carefully do feature-match when deciding on appropriate devices for students. Regarding your question about Kurzweil 3000 - Yes, many K-12 schools, colleges, and universities provide K3000 to their students. K3000 (Mac and Windows versions) is one of several computer applications that can support students with reading, writing, study skills, and test-taking. Kurzweil 1000 is a Windows computer application with similar functions, but is designed for individuals who are blind.
  21. Karen Narvol

    Resources for Parents

    Marcia, I was not familiar with the affordable colleges online website for students with visual impairments. It has a wealth of information and recommendations. Thank you for sharing.
  22. Karen Narvol

    Age to introduce Bookshare

    Lauren, I agree with Mike. It depends on the individual student. This is why it is so important to look at assessment data. Students with severe reading disabilities, such as Dyslexia, often respond very well to direct, systematic, intensive instruction. Many of these students experience phonological deficits, deficits in processing speed/orthographic processing, and deficits in language comprehension, or a combination of these. Double deficits are often more challenging to remediate. I believe that many students with reading disabilities who receive early direct intensive intervention on phoneme awareness, phonics, and decoding can make dramatic gains in word recognition and decoding. However, no two students with learning disabilities are exactly alike. Due to neurobiological causes, some students I’ve worked with had significant difficulties from the start with decoding, fluency, and spelling. Others lost their ability to decode after surgery to remove brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, or other conditions. Other students, especially those with autism, were hyperlexic; they decoded wonderfully, but didn’t comprehend what they decoded. In addition, the huge amounts of physical and mental energy that students with severe learning disabilities have to expend while reading can be exhausting. Many students will continue to struggle with literacy skills despite the provision of intensive high quality expert instruction. This is why comprehensive assessment is so critical. When teams have this information, they are in a much better position to make appropriate decisions about audio-supported reading for students with disabilities.