2004 Conference Proceedings

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Margaret Londergan
Indiana University
2711 East 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: 812-856-4112
Email: londerga@indiana.edu

Creation of materials in alternate formats is a challenge for those providing services to individuals with disabilities who need information in a disability specific accessible format. There is much happening in this area as publishers, lawyers, and service providers endeavor to come to terms with how to provide these services. This presentation is not a legal advice presentation. It is rather a layman's overview of many of the laws, practices and other issues that relate to the creation of alternate media. This session is not an attempt to provide definitive answers to the questions of copyright law and alternate media creation. This presentation will be an exploration of the many issues that affect the complex area of production of alternate media with all the potential benefit to individuals with disabilities. Those who attend will gain an insight into the complexity of the issues surrounding the creation of alternate media and by extension the provision of services to those with disabilities.

From a layman's perspective, this presentation will give an overview of copyright law including the Chaffee Amendment, the "fair use" clause of the copyright law and other possibly relevant portions of the copyright law that may have applicability for those providing services to the disabled. Exploration of other relevant federal legislation that relates to provision of services to the disabled will be explored with interpretations of these laws as they are relevant to the provision and creation of alternate media. Relevant cases that relate to the creation of alternate media will be explored.

The dilemma of how to provide alternate media will be explored with a focus on current common practices of those creating alternate media in educational settings. An explanation of the wide variety of ways that alternate media can be obtained will be provided including Bookshare.org and other electronic databases. Current practices by those creating alternate media will be detailed with an emphasis on the best possible steps that providers take to avoid copyright violations. A very brief overview of how to create alternate media will be provided as will an overview of current adaptive software that takes advantage of alternate media. Other sources of alternate media will also be explained like Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic with experiential pros and cons of dealing with each agency being provided.

The issue of the quality of alternate media in terms of accuracy will discussed and suggestions for the best practices of obtaining alternate media for different disability situations will be outlined.

An overview of work in the area of the National File Format endeavors of CAST and publishers will be given with an emphasis on the commonality of the problem across all agencies attempting to provide alternate text.

The partnership between Indiana University and Bookshare.org will be highlighted with a focus on the mutual benefits to both organizations. The mechanisms and logistics as well as the legal foundation for this partnership will be explained.

At the end of this presentation, attendees will have a broad overview of the complex legal and practical issues relating to the provision of alternate media for individuals with disabilities.

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