Blind World Magazine

Is it Alternative Text OR Accessible Text?




Send2press Newswire.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006.

Edited by Carly Zander, Staff Writer.




Recently the Federal Government passed amendments to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, requiring that information be made available for people with disabilities, reports AccessCrafters. Although compliance is seen as a burden, the adherence does have cost savings, benefits and solutions for the entire population!


Several states' departments of education are calling for accessibility of text books for those with print disabilities. This access should be in a form that fits each individual student's disability*. Braille and audio for the blind, large type for visually impaired, bimodal fashion, - audio and visual for the learning disabled. However the school text book publishers offer a one-size-fits-all alternative text remedy.


This alternative text, although may help some students does not go far enough..


The Center for Accessible Publishing, an association of college students, states


"We are an advocacy organization for non-print readers. We are students with print disabilities and we are sick of relying on the resource room, sick of publishers who do not understand our needs."


The American Association of Publishers answers with


"(Textbook Publishers are) Providing the electronic files needed by State educational agencies to facilitate the conversion of textbooks and other print instructional materials into accessible specialized formats for timely use by elementary and secondary school students and teachers."


Clearly stating that they provide electronic files needing conversion...not accessible files.


Pacific Lutheran University needed 160 titles in accessible formats, they applied to the publishers and received only 9 titles in a electronic format and all 9 were rejected as being non accessible.


"Conclusions suggest that aggregator databases do not follow the accessibility guidelines and consequently are not supplying accessible products." Library Hi-Tech Journal


*Accessible Text, as outlined in Universal Design for Learning http://www.cast.org/research/udl/


Matches the accessibility to the need,


Multiple means of representation, to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,


Multiple means of expression, to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know,


Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation


AccessCrafters has several solutions for the supply of accessible product for the print disabled:


Purchasable scanning and software packages (BookCrafter) for in-house production...or


The services to convert books, printed or digital for accessibility.


AccessCrafters also serves governments and businesses needing to comply with Section 508 and the other disability laws.


"Saved 40 hours of scanning and $900 of audio recording in (just) 3 days converting five books." Western Washington University


"previously wasted $300,000.00 to do what 2 BookCrafters did in 90 days." Los Angeles Police Department.


To enquire about the converting services or purchasing equipment for conversion, contact the company at 360 647-3404 or info@colligo.us


AccessCrafters is a strategic partner of Colligo Corporation.


For information about the organization(s) mentioned in the above news article, please contact the company(s) directly and not this website. Send2Press.com (this site) does not sell or offer the products or services which may be described in the above news story.


News Source: AccessCrafters


Link: Colligo Corporation's BookCrafter Suite


http://www.colligo.us/Products/BookCrafter/.



http://www.send2press.com/newswire/2006-03-0307-001.shtml.




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