Alice Carnes, M.A.
Disability Counselor
Central Piedmont Community College
Why e-text books
 Standard print textbooks are often not accessible to
students with disabilities.
 blindness, low vision, learning disabilities, or mobility
impairments—may make standard print very difficult or
completely impossible to read.
 Transformation of print textbooks into alternate formats is
often necessary.
 alternate formats include Braille, large print, audio, or
electronic text.
 publishers do not generally produce specialized alternative
format materials like Braille, many textbook publishers do create
electronic versions that can be used with many types of assistive
 AccessTextNetwork ATN
 Alternative Media Access Center
 Bookshare
 CourseSmart
 Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D)
 National Library Service
Improving College Textbook Accessibility
 a streamlined system
 a free clearinghouse to request textbooks from
a variety of publishers:
AccessTextNetwork Publishers
Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishing
Cengage Learning
CQ Press
F.A. Davis Company
John Wiley & Sons
Jones & Bartlett Learning
Lynne Rienner Publishers
McGraw-Hill Education
Pearson Education
Springer Publishing
W.W. Norton
o Students receive e-text in a couple of days
 Search tool using the ISBN# determines:
 where it is available
 what format
If the files are too big to be sent electronically you will have to
wait for a CD to arrive in the mail.
Alternative Media Access Center
 The Alternative Media Access Center (AMAC) is
committed to removing barriers for individuals with
disabilities by improving the human condition
through technology in academic and workplace
AMAC’s Products and Services
 Accessible document conversion to electronic, audio or
braille formats
Specialized assistive technology software
AMAC's web-based application for ordering, delivery,
tracking and reporting
Student textbook and software download center
Student Accommodation Manager (SAM) software
Technical support services
Learning Ally
• Formerly RFB&D
 Annual student fee of $80.00 per year
 Recorded by volunteers
 Purchase of additional equipment may be necessary
 Many students prefer the human voice to
computerized voices
 Accessible Books and Periodicals for Readers with Print
Bookshare® is free for all U.S. students with qualifying
disabilities, thanks to an award from the U.S. Department of
Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
Bookshare dramatically increases the accessibility of
books. People with disabilities deserve the same ease of access
to books and periodicals that people without disabilities enjoy.
A searchable online library. Bookshare offers approximately
125,000 digital books, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading,
periodicals and assistive technology tools.
Readers of all ages. Bookshare offers affordable membership,
unlimited library privileges and a community of Members,
Volunteers, parents, publishers and authors.
• Free to students
 Available in different formats like enlarged text
 Recreational reading: novels and newspapers
 Diverse and growing # of reading technologies
 Computer software, assistive technology devices, mobile
devices, primary books formats, DAISY 3.0 & Braille Ready
Format BRF
 Find Books
How to search and browse the Bookshare library.
 Download Books
Information about downloading Bookshare books.
 Read Books
Options for reading downloaded Bookshare books, software, hardware
and Braille as well as information about embossing options.
 Reading Tools
Tools that work with Bookshare books (software and hardware), as well
as links to other electronic and accessible book collections.
Accessing Bookshare
 teacher at the Alabama School for the Blind
demonstrating how to use BRF
o Open to all students
 Not just for students with a documented disability
 Not necessary to purchase the print book
 Less expensive than the eBooks offered at campus
bookstores. Students with FA might not be able to
pursue this option
National Library Service
That All May Read . . .
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped (NLS)
Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS
administers a free library program of braille and audio materials
circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free
ATN Pilot Project
 Student E-rent Pilot Project
is an eTextbook rental program launched by the
Alternative Media Access Center. Partnering with
CourseSmart and the AccessTextNetwork, through a grant
from the US Department of Education, Fund for the
Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)
Ways to Read Digital Books
 Computer software
 Assistive technology devices
 Mobile devices that read Bookshare’s primary book
formats: Daisy 3.0 and Braille Ready Format (BRF)
 Multi-modal reading (see and hear words at the same
 View Books with different fonts
Read Outloud Training Video
NaturalReader 9.0
 The free text reader, Natural Readers, can read aloud your
eBooks, as well as websites, Word documents, etc.
1. Download and install Free NaturalReader 9.0:
2. When you open the program, it appears as a small floating window
on the side of your screen. This window will allow you to read text from
almost any program. You can drag this window to another part of your
screen, if you prefer.
3. Open the file you would like to listen to – for example, a PDF eBook
or a course assignment saved as a Word file. Highlight the text you
would like to hear aloud, such as a paragraph or column. Click the red
PLAY arrow on the Natural Readers window to listen to the text.
4. To change the speed of the reading or to change the voice, click the
SETTINGS button on the Natural Readers window (it looks like a gear).
Many students find the “VW Paul” voice to be the most realistic.
Audio Book Matching Profile for Students (AMPS)
Name of student:
Date of birth:
Grade/Academic status:
The purpose of this questionnaire is to find out if you can benefit from using audio books. Read each
statement on the following pages and then put a check next to the statement that best describes you. If you
are unsure, please make a guess. Select only one choice for each statement. There is no right or wrong
Section 1.
Learning Preference
1. I learn better by listening to a book than reading it.
2. I learn best when I can look at a book and also listen to it at the
same time.
3. I learn better what I hear, than what I read.
Section 2.
Reading Speed
4. It takes me a long time to read by myself.
5. I often read one word at a time.
6. I get tired after reading just a few pages.
7. I read so fast that I often miss the point the author is trying to make.
Sounding the word skills
8. I have difficulty sounding out unfamiliar words.
9. I often skip words/lines when reading.
10. I often find myself re-reading the same lines again and again.
11. I often add words, leave out words, or misread words when reading
(e.g., judge/jungle.)
Understanding skills
1. I often have difficulty understanding my text books.
2. I often don’t get the main idea of what I am reading.
3. I don’t often remember the details of the text.
4. I have difficulty understanding a book because there are too many
new words that I don’t know.
Attention and study skills
5. I lose concentration while I am reading.
6. The school books I have to read are often boring.
7. I can never sit still long enough to finish my reading assignments.
8. I have trouble keeping up with my assigned readings and doing
9. I spend so much time on reading that my other work doesn’t get
Additional questions for past and/or current users of audio books
1. Do you presently use audio books?
2. Have you used audio books anytime in the past 2 years?
3. How many audio books do you typically use in a year?
Less than 3 audio books
3-5 audio books
More than 6 audio books
Not applicable
4. How long have you used audio books?
Less than 6 months
about 1 year
More than 3 years
Not applicable
5. Do you think using audio books will help you with any of the following skills? Rate your
responses from 1 – 5, where 1 is most helpful and 5 is least useful.
Improve my grades
Save time on reading homework
Read faster
Remember what I read
Concentrate and pay attention
Understand what I am reading
Determining Commonly Requested Accommodations: Applying Best Practices to
Complex Cases in Decision- Making – workshop at AHEAD 7/2011
The information about Audio Book Matching Profile for Students (AMPS)
borrowed from Banerjee and Brinckerhoff.
Manju Banerjee, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Center for Students with Disabilities
University of Connecticut
[email protected]
Loring Brinckerhoff, Ph.D.
Office of Disability Policy
Educational Testing Service
[email protected]
Acapela Group, the leading voice expert, invents text to speech solutions to give
your content a voice, in up to 30 languages.
Acapela solutions allow you to turn any written text into natural speech files,
using any of our 60 High quality standard voices or your own synthesized voice
Our solutions offer perfect vocalization whether for voice integration and
development, online and on demand use, audio files production or personal
accessibility use.
Already chosen by over a thousand companies and adopted by millions of users
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voice, helping them successfully take the floor.
Check out, Acapela Group’s sparkling laboratory with over
75 million talking cards created and shared, the Acapela on-line service for smart vocalization and to
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Glossary of Terms
E TEXT An e-text (from "electronic text"; sometimes written as etext) is, generally, any
text-based information that is available in a digitally encoded human-readable format
and read by electronic means, but more specifically it refers to files in the ASCII
character encoding.
DAISY Digital Accessible Information System assists people who, for different
reasons, have problems using regular printed media. DAISY books have the benefits of
regular audiobooks, but they are superior because DAISY 2.02 provides up to six
embedded "navigation levels" for content (i.e. other objects such as images, graphics,
MathML etc.) and for displaying synchronized text to speech. DAISY Multimedia can
be a talking book, computerized text or a synchronized presentation of text and
TEXT READER can read aloud your eBooks, as well as websites, Word documents,
websites, etc. like NaturalReader , Read & Write 10 or Kurzweil.
PDF Portable Document Format use with Text Readers or enlargement software
Glossary con’t
Screen Reader: Software used to echo text on a computer screen to audio output,
often used by people who are blind, with visual impairments, or with learning
A refreshable Braille display or Braille terminal is an electro-mechanical device
for displaying Braille characters, usually by means of raising dots through holes in a
flat surface. Blind computer users, who cannot use a normal computer monitor, use it
to read text output. Speech synthesizers are also commonly used for the same task,
and a blind user may switch between the two systems or use both at the same time
depending on circumstances.
BRF (Digital Braille) are Grade II Braille Ready Format files -- a widely recognized
form of contracted braille. The files can be used with common braille reading devices
or braille printers.
MathML equations can be easily enlarged; font styles, font colors, and
foreground colors can be altered; synthetic speech with synchronized
highlighting can be used; and Braille output is possible. All of these benefits
make MathML the most accessible choice for creating math content within
digital textbooks.
When creating an accessible electronic version of a textbook, publishers should
consider using a digital format that can be universally used by all students, both
with and without disabilities. In the case of mathematical content, the best
format for universally designed math is MathML [1]. MathML can be used for
math equations within standard XHTML or XML content, and unlike image
formats, MathML equations can be accessed via standard assistive technology
applications, such as synthetic speech or Braille access technologies.
Furthermore, when authors are careful to use math formats that can easily be
converted to MathML, like LaTeX [2], MathType [3], or Equation Editor [4]
formats, further accessible transformation is much easier. This is especially
important for faculty who publish their own materials for class use.
Digital textbooks containing MathML equations can be provided to students in an
online environment, via CD-ROM, or other digital media. Since MathML content is
text based, rather than an image format, it can be manipulated in the same ways
that text can.
For publishers creating math textbook files in compliance with state and district
textbook adoption language required under the National Instructional Materials
Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) [5], the DAISY Modular Math Extension [6]
provides details about proper MathML usage in electronic files.
For more information on this topic, consult the following DO-IT Knowledge Base
articles: What is MathML? [7], What is the DAISY Modular Math Extension [8], and
Are there commercial products designed to make math accessible to students with
Thank you very much for that suggestion but unfortunately, it is a not a solution for our blind student. She told us that the
kindle app for the Mac will not work with her screen reader.
What we are requesting from you is permission to scan the book and give her access to the book under the Chafee
Amendment. In 1999 Congress included that Amendment in the U.S. Copyright Law.
The Chafee Amendment states that:
“Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 710, it is not an infringement of copyright for an authorized entity to
reproduce or to distribute copies or phonorecords of a previously published, nondramatic literary work if such copies or
phonorecords are reproduced or distributed in specialized formats exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities.
As disability services providers at a public institution, we (as “authorized entities”) are permitted to create accessible texts by
converting them into formats that can be used by students with visual impairments.
We routinely, get permission from publishers to do this type of activity. If you go to the AccessText Web site you will see how
many publisher work with College and Universities to provide access to students under this provision.
Please feel free to contact Stephanie if you have questions. Our semester started on Monday and the student has reading to
complete. We ask that you grant us permission today to scan the book.
o AccessTextNetwork
o Learning Ally
 Bookshare
 Best resource your colleagues email the listserv at:
[email protected]

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