The Center for Accessible Publishing: Recognizing the Potential of Non- print Readers
Zip/Postal Code: 94703
Day Phone: 510-967-4003
Director of the Center will report on the Accessible Text Clearinghouse
project, which addresses the unmet needs of college students who are non- print
Complete Paper: The Center for Accessible Publishing is the first organization of its kind, devoted to creating a viable market for accessible electronic information. The mission of the Center is to help the publishing industry recognize the potential in serving the needs of non—print readers, and to overcome technological and social harriers preventing equal access to information for all.
The Center was founded in March, 2005 by Stephanie May, a university student who had experienced frustration in her attempts to obtain accessible editions of her course materials. Out of desperation she began contacting authors and publishers to ask for what she needed directly. After attending the 2005 CSUN Technology and Persons with
Disabilities Conference and networking with scores of people also attempting to tackle this problem, she realized that a solution required a specialized and organized approach.
Stephanie decided to start an organization that would make it easier for all colleges to request accessible files from publishers, and easier for publishers to comply with those
requests. The Center is dedicated to the proposition that individuals who do not read standard print are an essential part of the market for information and literature
published in digital form.
The Center’s first initiative addresses the unmet needs of college students who are non- print readers. The Accessible Text Clearinghouse (ATC) will facilitate the secure request and distribution of electronic files to students with disabilities. The ATC is a distribution system for accessible electronic files to college students who are non—print readers.
Publishers benefit by having a trusted intermediary to handle the details of the request.
- Colleges benefit by having one place to go to make requests.
1. Participation in the ATC is voluntary, and is not pursuant to state or federal law.
2. Publishers may impose restrictions on usage or require further information before providing files.
3. The ATC will not accept requests for books that are commercially available in a format that meets the student’s needs.
4. Students must be currently enrolled and receiving services through Disabled Student Services, or the college’s equivalent office.
5. Students must purchase books before receiving electronic files.
6. Students must be aware they are not to copy or lend electronic files.
7. Colleges agree to notify the ATC if they would like to reuse files previously provided for another qualified student.
S. Colleges understand publisher files are not available for every book requested.
9. Colleges agree to post reviews of files they receive on the ATC forum.
Colleges in the ATC Pilot Program for 2005—06:
Alaska — University of Alaska, Anchorage Arizona — Paradise Valley Community College
Georgia - Shorter College Illinois — Lincoln College, Normal Kansas — Johnson County
Community College Louisiana - Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge Maine — Southern
Maine Community College Maine - University of Southern Maine Massachusetts - Lesley
University Massachusetts — Tufts University Nebraska — Southeast Community College New
Mexico - Albuquerque TVI Community College North Carolina — Guilford Technical Community
College New Jersey — Centenary College New York — Buffalo State College New York - State
University of New York Agriculture and Technical College at Cobleskill Ohio - Stark State
College Tennessee — Mississippi State Technical Community College Texas - Austin College
Washington, DC — American University