CUP grants worldwide digital rights to Bookshare

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Cambridge University Press (CUP) academic and scholarly books will become accessible to people with print disabilities thanks to a new licensing deal with Bookshare.

The California-based nonprofit organisation provides books in accessible formats for people with disabilities such as blindness or low vision, a physical disability or a severe learning disability that affects reading.

Under the terms of the digital rights license agreement, CUP will deliver academic and scholarly books from all of its regional publishing centres around the world to Bookshare for conversion into accessible formats. People with qualified print disabilities around the world will be able to download the books for a nominal Bookshare membership fee and read them using a computer or other assistive technology, with voice generated by text-to-speech technology, as well as options for digital Braille.

'Bookshare enables us to reach individuals with print disabilities in a secure way. Until publishers develop and commercialise accessible versions of their books for individuals with print disabilities, Bookshare will provide a valuable service by maintaining the infrastructure and bearing the expense of getting books securely, with appropriate digital rights management, to this clientele. We provide the files and Bookshare does the rest,' said Kevin Taylor, director of strategy and intellectual property at CUP.