[Athen] CA Digital Textbook Initiative

Sean J Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Thu Aug 13 15:43:59 PDT 2009

> Are all of these print only materials?

According to the report that can be downloaded (document page 34,
FDTI_Report.pdf), the review parameters were only for textbooks in
digital format available for download or print usage. That being said,
the press release on the Governor's site
(http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/12996/) mentions the following passage:


Since these digital books are downloadable and may be projected on a
screen, viewed on a computer, printed chapter by chapter, or bound for
use in the classroom, schools can take advantage of these free,
standards-aligned resources using existing hardware - even in classrooms
without computers or laptops for every student.

<end quote>

> I see that they met state curriculum standards but was there
> also a set of accessibility standards? Audio, Braille, or
> if richer media, captioned?

I did not see this information listed as part of the review criteria.

That being said, I have had conversations with several different open
educational resource (OER) entities and, while not always the case, most
are utilizing some type of XML-based markup language as a core element.
This allows for the potential input and output of content that
supports accessibility and alternate formats. Unfortunately, you are at
the mercy of the content authors for many of the issues - while the
authoring/editing tool supports the inclusion of a text description for
an image, that does not mean the content author will actually include
such details.

Some OER producers are actively making an effort to include
accessibility as part of the content authoring and content export
process and my hope is those entities are able to demonstrate models for
producing content in alternate formats to others.

Take care,
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