Partnership a boon for alternative textbooks

Last August, the Association of American Publishers (AAP)–in conjunction with the Alternative Media Access Center at the University of Georgia–launched an online database of its own, containing more than 300,000 textbook and novel titles available in alternative formats.

To date, more than 650 colleges and universities have enrolled in this membership-only network, called the AccessText Network. Membership is free of charge during the pilot phase, but AAP is expected to begin charging members between $300 and $500 annually beginning in July.

Fruchterman said that scanning books under the Bookshare University Partnership was made possible by a U.S. copyright-law exemption–called the Chafee Amendment–that makes it legal for books to be copied for people who can prove they have a print disability.

“I think it’s become much better understood that serving students with disabilities is a requirement to … complying with civil rights,” he said. “It’s pretty established that schools have this obligation.”



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