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Message from ron@ahead.org

Are all these texts being provided in accessible forms?  It is my understanding that they are not.  When they are you can claim success.  Currently the majority of these texts are having to be retrofitted for accessibility, how are you being successful with a significant portion of your student past is routinely being excluded.  I applaud your efforts, but victory unless in totality is not victory.

 

Ron Stewart

 

Comments

Colleagues/

I know that CourseSmart has been very actively involved in digital textbook accessibility project through the STEPP initiative.

For information and links about STEEP, please see slides 22-33 of my presentation available via 


/Gerry

Gerry McKiernan
Associate Professor
and
Science and Technology Librarian
Iowa State University
152 Parks Library
Ames IA 50011

Ron, thank you for this follow-up, and the answer is Yes. It is such an important matter and essential to success, that I didn't specifically enumerate it.

IU's Adaptive Technology Accessibility Center has worked very closely with Courseload and CL's national accessibility board to make great progress on their Alongside solution. You are very correct that there is great variability in the accessible quality of many native, publisher-supplied materials. Some are very ready and others need more work before they can be used.

IU students interact with the eText materials via the accessible CL platform. They have a short video of this work at

http://www.courseload.com/alongside-video

IU also assesses other adaptive tutors that may be requested as part of our model to understand their suitability to accessibility requirements.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the question.

Cheers - Brad
-------------------------
IU Vice President for IT & CIO, Dean, and Professor
Indiana University  http://ovpit.iu.edu


 
From: Ron Stewart [mailto:ron@AHEAD.ORG]
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2013 06:35 PM
To: ETEXTS@listserv.educause.edu <ETEXTS@listserv.educause.edu>
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] eText Milestone
 

Are all these texts being provided in accessible forms?  It is my understanding that they are not.  When they are you can claim success.  Currently the majority of these texts are having to be retrofitted for accessibility, how are you being successful with a significant portion of your student past is routinely being excluded.  I applaud your efforts, but victory unless in totality is not victory.

 

Ron Stewart

 

With all due respect, this is a complex situation and better served by individuals of good will getting together for face to face dialogue. We can send email all day and not get to the fact your organization, and many in the higher education community are essentially on the same page about the importance of design in creating genuine accessibility. There are those in the higher education community who wish to get to the place that you are advocating for. I suggest we find each other, work together in partnership, and continue to push this forward. Right now the levers we need do not extend to key segments of the supply chain such as the publishing industry. There is no requirement at present for them to adhere to WCAG. We need to work together to lever this. The Indiana situation has brought about significant and welcome change, but we all know that there is more to be done. I applaud Indiana for getting out in front in a leadership role, and EDUCAUSE and Internet2 for visibly continuing to support the expectation that eText services be fully accessible. I am willing to engage in dialogue with you to better understand how we can work together. And I have a lot of company in the HE community. Let's start now, and keep this moving. I am willing to take this offline for a bit until we have had a chance to talk. You have more strong supporters than you may be aware of. Bruce. On 3/10/13 5:11 PM, Ron Stewart wrote: > Thanks for this reply, I am very aware of the work with Courseload. I > sit on their advisory board. This does not insure accessibility but > insures that someone has retrofitted the necessary book to be accessible > after the fact. The alongside mode only works when the local > institution has done the necessary retrofitting which does not provide > for the same time same place that is legally required for textbook > accessibility. > > This model is inherently unequal from an accessibility and legal > compliance perspective. Curricular accessibility is a basic legal > requirement, when are we going to see campuses such at IU step up to the > plate? When is IU and related players going to step up to the plate and > realize this a modern cost of doing business? The model you are > promoting insures the continued status of people with print related > disabilities as second class citizens. > > Ron Stewart > > *
John:
I wanted a chance to open up direct dialogue with Mr. Stewart, which we did tonight offline.

It is important in these forums that we all understand if we are on the same page or not.  I submit that we are.  It is a matter of understanding our common goals.

What Indiana has done with eTexts has moved higher Ed closer to what we truly need.  The story is not complete, but we are moving in the right direction.   IU leadership has been important.  

As long as that is understood, we can do this in the open.  Thanks for caring enough to contribute your perspective.  I respect that.  Bruce

Bruce Maas
CIO and Vice Provost for Information Technology 
University of Wisconsin-Madison
2112 Computer Sciences Building
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-5381

On Mar 10, 2013, at 18:30, "Tubbs, John P" <tubbs@ILLINOIS.EDU> wrote:

CIO Maas,
I would ask to please not "take this offline." As someone who chooses to be an ally to accessibility I would certainly not want to miss the chance to hear and contribute to more of the discussion. Mr. Stewart's points need to be discussed in the open for all to understand as we move toward platform and ebook accessibility compliance. 

Jt

John Tubbs
eLearning Professional
CITES Academic Technology Services
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Ron-

I concur with you on the importance of being proactive with respect to accessibility of eTexts, rather than dealing with this issue as an afterthought.  And I support John Tubbs' suggestion that you keep this discussion online (to the extent that you feel comfortable) since it is highly relevant to the broad question of eText adoption in higher education.  It may be worth noting that a significant effort has been launched to establish new federal legislation to raise the bar on accessibility of technologies used in higher education.  The more we collaborate on this, the better for everyone.

Marty  

=================================
Martin Ringle, Chief Information Officer   
Reed College, Portland, OR 97202          
503-777-7254   email:   ringle@reed.edu                           
=================================




Message from ron@ahead.org

Thanks Marty, I am aware of the legislative efforts based on the outcomes of the Postsecondary AIM Commission work.  If there are other efforts I would really like to hear about them, and perhaps bring some additional support to the table.

 

Ron Stewart

 

 

*************************************************************************

Ron Stewart MS

Technology Advisor

Association on Higher Education and Disabilities

Chair, Technology Standing Committee

Lead Chair, AHEAD Standing Committees

 

8300 West Weller St

Yorktown, IN 47396

Mobile: 609 213-2190

Fax: 765 405-1484

 

ron@ahead.org

http://www.ahead.org

When you are having a reallly tough day, take a time out and think about what you have contributed to the lives of those that you have worked with.  Many times it is just a baby step forward, but even that is progress!

 

 

 

From: The EDUCAUSE eTexts Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Martin Ringle
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2013 9:57 PM
To: ETEXTS@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [ETEXTS] eText Milestone

 

Ron-

 

I concur with you on the importance of being proactive with respect to accessibility of eTexts, rather than dealing with this issue as an afterthought.  And I support John Tubbs' suggestion that you keep this discussion online (to the extent that you feel comfortable) since it is highly relevant to the broad question of eText adoption in higher education.  It may be worth noting that a significant effort has been launched to establish new federal legislation to raise the bar on accessibility of technologies used in higher education.  The more we collaborate on this, the better for everyone.

 

Marty  

 

=================================

Martin Ringle, Chief Information Officer   

Reed College, Portland, OR 97202          

503-777-7254   email:   ringle@reed.edu                           

=================================

 

 

 

 


Re accessibility, I think that it is important to note that Courseload content aggregation is highly dependent upon the source.  Open source content, especially video, may not be properly subtitled/captioned.  Commercial content can be hobbled due to piracy fears.  Thus, it may not be fully within Courseload's power to deliver on its accessibility goals.  


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