[Athen] FW: Important notes from AHEAD regarding the Access Text
ron at ahead.org
Mon Mar 29 08:36:28 PDT 2010
Some of you are not AHEAD members so I am forwarding this on.
From: AHEAD [mailto:ahead at ahead.org]
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 11:32 AM
To: ron at altformatsolutions.com
Subject: Important notes from AHEAD regarding the Access Text Network
peJoDLuxaWk=> AHEAD Logo Gradient (blue on white)
March 29, 2010
Dear AHEAD members,
Many of you are using, have heard about, or are aware of the Access Text
Network (ATN) and its work in providing publisher files for the purpose of
creating accessible texts. It is a venture of the American Association of
Publishers (AAP) implemented through the Alternative Media Access Center at
the University of Georgia. This past year has been the Beta period.
The preliminary Beta period and free membership with ATN ends this June. As
such, institutions who seek to continue their participation in the ATN will
need to sign new user agreements with the ATN and pay a modest fee.
During the past several months, AHEAD has worked with ATN regarding its
process and institutional needs/concerns, especially with regard to the User
Agreement requirements. The ATN was receptive to AHEAD's comments and
feedback regarding the User Agreement, and made some adjustments that helped
provide effective services to students.
As people assess the utility and potential use of the ATN and other
resources, AHEAD is compelled to note certain important points for our
. ATN may be a viable short-term solution for a number of members.
Publisher files provided will likely need to be converted as they are not
. AHEAD as a member of the Reading Rights Coalition (RRC) in
combination with the American Association of Publishers (AAP) and the
Author's Guild is working toward options that create equal access for all at
the same time. (see
. AHEAD, as noted in its previous position statement (see:
http://ahead.org/resources/e-text/position-statement), continues to
acknowledge the rights of institutions under the Chaffee Amendmentand the
fair use doctrine, to create and provide accessible formats of instructional
materials as an accommodation to students with disabilities. Therefore,
AHEAD advises members to seek advice of their own university counsel
regarding any question as to whether your institution may be relinquishing
rights it wishes to retain by signing the ATN User Agreement.
. The User Agreement allows ATN/Publishers to ask an institution to
"provide documentation evidencing its compliance." The issues of what
documentation is expected or required, and who would have access to that
documentation remain unclear. AHEAD asserts that appropriate
confidentiality and privacy of student records and/or documentation needs to
. AHEAD will continue to focus on new ways to help institutions
provide direct, immediate access (as opposed to converting texts).
In summary, consistent with philosophy and practice, AHEAD's involvement in
the creation or improvement of any resource that may be beneficial in
providing equity of opportunity to students with disabilities in
postsecondary education does not constitute or imply any endorsement of that
resource. That said, AHEAD feels strongly that its members and member
institutions should, in all instances, enter into agreements that have been
reviewed and approved by institutional legal counsel and signed by an
institutionally authorized signatory.
AHEAD looks forward to continuing to provide you with updated information
and resources as they become available. If you have specific questions
about this particular issue, please contact me at:
<mailto:m.shuttic at okstate.edu> m.shuttic at okstate.edu
Mike Shuttic, President
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