Provision of Accessible Electronic Material by Publishers

AS-2730-06/AA - January 26-27, 2006

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) recognize the importance of disability accommodation and endorse the work being done by the CSU Center for Alternate Media (CAM) in making learning resources available to students with disabilities; and be it further:

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge publishers to provide e-text versions of course materials to CAM at the time such materials are adopted; these materials should be in a format that is compatible with Braille production, screen reading software, and other ADA compliant forms, and such materials are to be made available for dissemination to various campus and systemwide agencies in addition to the course instructor; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU recommend to faculty of the CSU that, when selecting a textbook or other materials, they use as one of their criteria the willingness of the publisher to provide such e-text material upon course adoption; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU call upon the Chancellor’s Office to use its position as leader of the largest system of higher education in the United States, to encourage publishers to routinely create e-text materials as part of a course learning package; and be it further

RESOLVED: That this resolution be sent to CAM and major textbook publishers and to campus senate chairs to be forwarded to the campus’s bookstore manager and disability center.

RATIONALE: It is not uncommon for students with disabilities to wait up to five weeks to receive alternative media for course textbooks. By having e-text material available before the start of a course, students with disabilities will be immediately able to get a full learning experience from the course. It was estimated by the director of CAM that the average cost of developing learning material for a disabled student exceeds $650. By having publishers provide e-text materials, there would therefore be significant cost savings to the CSU. Additionally, book representatives (e.g., Wadsworth) have indicated that e-text material is, in fact, available for almost all of their texts and that the timing issue may largely be one of getting the material to the campus and setting it up in a format appropriate for the student.

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