Nonprofit Benetech has launched an online file-sharing service that enables the blind, dyslexic and other disabled individuals access to digital books. Similar to the likes of Napster, but without copyright issues, Bookshare.org features a subscription-based service that links people to thousands of books online for an initial $25 set-up fee and then an annual fee of $50. The company, based in California's Silicon Valley, said the publications are organized in the same way that people will find books at their library, according to title, author, subject and genre. Benetech added, however, that Bookshare.org will require people with disabilities to submit written proof of their condition.
Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman said Bookshare.org's goal is to make it possible for people with disabilities to have the same ease of access to books that people without disabilities have. "Technology, like the PC and the Internet," he said, "are the Swiss Army knife for people with disabilities."