The Times Higher Education reports this morning on a new initiative by JISC TechDis, in collaboration with the Publishers Association, to provide resources to support the delivery of learning materials to disabled students and staff.
One of the resources – Publisher Lookup UK – will enable education providers and publishers to source electronic formats of textbooks for students with disabilities more quickly and efficiently than existing processes allow. Currently publishers generally provide one of two digital formats – either an e-book or a PDF – but sourcing more accessible formats can be a complex undertaking both from the publishers’ and the users’ points of view. Publisher Lookup UK provides mechanisms for simplifying request, delivery and access processes between the education and research sectors and
UK publishers. The site currently provides links to over 150 imprints and additional guidance on making PDFs accessible to users with a range of disabilities.
The second resource – Guide to Obtaining Textbooks in Alternative Formats – provides guidance to teaching, learner support and library staff or anyone who needs to provide text books in alternative formats for reading-impaired learners. Disability law protects disabled learners by requiring institutions to make adequate provision for disabled students, including the provision of alternative formats in a timely manner. People with a range of disabilities benefit from alternative formats and many learners with disabilities are struggling with traditional printed texts despite alternatives being available.
Look out for a range of podcasts highlighting these resources and some of the issues faced by disabled students and staff, librarians and others in the coming weeks.
For further information: