Although the most recent reauthorization of IDEA (2004) includes a provision to ease the problem of procuring textbooks in alternate formats for students with disabilities in grades K-12, there is no such legal requirement for publishers of college textbooks. However, in 2009 the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and higher education textbook publishers founded the Access Text Network to support the nationwide delivery of alternative files for students in higher education who have diagnosed print-related disabilities.
The AccessText Network is a membership exchange network that serves as a distributor of publisher-provided alternative textbook files. The following college textbook publishers provide financial support for the network: Bedford/St. Martin’s, W.H. Freeman, Worth Publishers; Cengage Learning; CQ Press; McGraw-Hill Education; Pearson Education; Reed Elsevier Inc.; John Wiley & Sons; and W.W. Norton.
Disability support offices at colleges and universities are offered free membership in the AccessText Network. Upon approval and completion of a training course, they may request books in alternate format on behalf of students who attend their institutions and who meet the qualification of having a print-related (i.e. mobility, visual and/or reading) disability.
Students, disability service providers, faculty and publishers can visit the AccessText website to obtain answers to the following questions:
* Who is qualified to receive alternative media services through AccessText?
* What file formats are available?
* How does one decide which textbook file format is best for a student?
* What technology is needed to access the content?
For additional information: