Contact person for Oak LDP grant

Name: Joel Riciputi

Position: Vice President of Marketing

Email:  joelr@benetech.org



Website & social media links



  • The Marrakesh Treaty was ratified by
    20 countries during the grant period, leading the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to fully adopt the treaty on June 30, 2016.

  • Two additional countries have added their individual ratifications since that time.




For information about this grant, please visit our Grant Database.





1. Strengthen teacher capacity

4. Personalize learning





- Universal design for learning







“While technology breakthroughs are creating new opportunities and lowering barriers for society as a whole, the truth is that millions of individuals with disabilities around the world are still left behind.”

–Terry Jenna, Bookshare International Programme Manager


What have you accomplished through your Oak-funded programme that you’re most proud to share with your colleagues?


Thanks to our Oak-funded program, we now have over 1,000 accessible locally-relevant books in Hindi, Tamil, and Marathi available to over 5,000 Indian Bookshare users. Additionally, we partnered with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) in the UK to provide our Bookshare platform as their new accessible book delivery platform for schools across the UK, giving them access to over 260,000 books. What’s more, Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman served as a key technical advisor, supporting the work of the advocacy community to ensure that Learning Differences were included as a qualifying condition in the Marrakesh Treaty language.



What’s the most interesting challenge your Oak-funded programme currently faces?


Initially, we approached learning differences-related organisations in India using the same staff members who had led our outreach efforts to organisations serving people who are visually impaired...after we hired an International Program Manager and outreach coordinators who have learning differences themselves, we were able to show the utility of Bookshare from someone who is part of that community, and this led to a deeper understanding of how Bookshare can work for the needs of many diverse individuals. We also learned that by providing what our partners wanted and gaining their trust, we were able to make much greater progress in advancing our mutual goals.



Benetech is a nonprofit whose mission is to empower communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions. Its grant supports an initiative called Bookshare that is expanding the availability of accessible books for people with reading-related disabilities, particularly in India, the United Kingdom and Brazil; it is also advocating for ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to ensure that people with print disabilities across the world can access books for education, employment, and social inclusion.

Expanding accessibility to print materials to people with learning differences and disabilities worldwide



Benetech is focused on “technology for humanity.” Bookshare, their flagship service in Benetech’s Global Literacy program, is the world’s largest online accessible library. The program works with over 820 publishers to collect new releases and existing books that are currently unavailable to individuals who cannot read standard print. Bookshare’s technology converts the digital files to accessible formats, including braille, audio, highlighted text and large-font text. It currently provides over 460,000 titles to over 450,000 members in 70 countries.







With funding from Oak, Bookshare is providing one year of free access to dyslexia organisations in India, the United Kingdom and Brazil and engaging in international advocacy efforts. People with disabilities related to reading in these counties are obtaining books in the formats they need through digital devices like cell phones. In addition to expanding access to its resources, Benetech supports international policy that advances systemic recognition of learning disabilities. In June 2013, the World Intellectual Property Organization passed the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. This treaty provides an international legal mechanism for organisations like Benetech to share books even in the absence of publisher and author permission. Benetech is advocating for the Treaty’s ratification throughout the world.





Our mission

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

Privacy Policy, Security Protocols and Terms of Use.


©2018 Oak Foundation. All rights reserved.


Our newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter. Read our previous newsletters.



General enquiries
For general enquiries, concerns, or further questions regarding the content in this website, please do not hesitate to contact the Communications Department.



Social Media