For special-education teachers, providing required reading for blind and learning-disabled students is a significant challenge. Now, thanks to the aid of, a non-profit digital book service based in Palo Alto, Calif., educators have access to a library of thousands of titles they can download and reproduce for use on screen readers or as MP3 files.

Bookshare is made possible by a narrow exception to U.S. copyright law, which enables students with certain physical and learning disabilities to obtain copyrighted materials without paying royalty fees. The program currently offers access to more than 17,000...

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