[Athen] University of Illinois press release on E-Book Accessibility (Plain text version)

Jon Gunderson jongund at illinois.edu
Thu Nov 19 08:48:04 PST 2009

Some people said spam filters deleted the attachment I sent yesterday of the press release related to E-Book accessibility from Illinois, so here is the plain text version:

Here is a link to an article based on the press release:



November 18, 2009

University Commitment to Accessible e-book Technology

As the first university in the nation to formally open its doors to students with severe physical disabilities (1948), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a long history of ensuring that students with disabilities are afforded egalitarian access to its programs, services and resources, including emergent educational and administrative information systems and technologies. Furthermore, as a public university, Illinois is committed to meeting its obligations under the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (Public Act 095-0307), the nation’s most rigorous information technology accessibility statute, by ensuring to the greatest extent possible that the information technology developed, purchased, or provided by the University is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Quite apart from our legal obligations, we at Illinois believe that our technology choices should be shaped by our institutional values and aspirations. We will not embrace technologies that undercut our commitment to accessibility. We will instead apply our ingenuity to technologies that enable everyone to participate more fully in society.

Like our colleagues at Wisconsin and Syracuse, we recognize the groundbreaking potential that read-aloud features have for making textbooks accessible to students with disabilities. Sadly, that potential can’t be realized until vendors of e-book readers, like the Kindle, add accessible read-aloud menus and basic navigation to their products.

About Illinois and the Office of the CIO:
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement that is distinguished by the breadth of its programs, broad academic excellence, and internationally renowned faculty. The focus of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is to provide campus-wide IT strategies that will contribute to the success of the university as an intellectual community and facilitate pre-eminence in research, teaching, and public engagement.

# # #


Sally Jackson
Chief Information Officer
Office of the CIO
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
(217) 333-3303
sallyj at illinois.edu

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D.
Coordinator Information Technology Accessibility
Disability Resources and Educational Services

Rehabilitation Education Center
Room 86
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870

WWW: http://www.cita.illinois.edu/
WWW: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/jongund/www/

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