[Athen] Pearson

John Gardner john.gardner at viewplus.com
Sat Jan 13 08:33:48 PST 2018

Hi, I have been profoundly disturbed by this thread, because I have been a strong believer and promoter of accessible e-pub since that term was invented. And I know that VitalSource has had a long commitment to accessibility. So I was distressed to learn that students were having trouble accessing vital information in VitalSource books. Why?

You say that PDF and e-pub have their strengths and weaknesses. In practice, PDF still does have strengths over e-pub, but I see no advantage in principle. So please help me understand whether I am wrong (I sure hope not). And if I am not wrong, what is still missing from the picture today that makes ATHEN members still prefer PDF (and the hard work entailed in converting it) to e-pub.

Maybe everybody on this list other than I already understand this issue. If so I apologize for wasting your time. But I will guess that I am not alone.

Thanks to everybody on this wonderfully informative list.


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of chagnon at pubcom.com
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 11:17 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Pearson

My 2 cents...

You are the customer so request what you need to accommodate your students. Tails don't wag dogs.

If the publisher is creating an InDesign layout for a textbook that will go to press, then it's minimal work to export that same layout to an accessible PDF, in addition to the press-quality PDF. But those who use InDesign need training in how to do this; not difficult, but not intuitive, either.

Publishers who are smart provide printed textbooks as well as matching accessible PDFs and EPUB files to their customers.

I love PDF. I love EPUB. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Colleges and universities need both digital formats to accommodate their students. Technology should not be a one-size-fits-all solution.

HTML and EPUB still cannot accommodate the visual richness of traditional layout design and sometimes that richness is needed to communicate ideas to those who are sighted. As a professional designer and accessibility consultant, we can have rich design and full accessibility at the same time.

Shameless self-promotion: I have a 508 + InDesign + PDF class scheduled for February and we have online seats available. Contact me off list for more info and a discount code for higher ed.

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Bevi Chagnon, founder | Bevi.Chagnon at PubCom.com<mailto:Bevi.Chagnon at PubCom.com> |
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PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing
print | digital | web | documents | pdfs | epubs
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From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Leyna Bencomo
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 3:49 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Pearson

Lol! I was also in that babbling presentation. :)

Leyna Bencomo
Assistive Technology Specialist
Office of Information Technology
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, EPC 215
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 255-4202 / lbencomo at uccs.edu<mailto:lbencomo at uccs.edu>
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From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Susan Kelmer
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 10:55 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Pearson

I have gotten this with one book already this semester. At Accessing Higher Ground this past fall, I attended a session put on by Pearson in which two very young and ridiculously unprofessional presents babbled and bubbled on and on about how Pearson was going to ePub and would no longer be providing PDFs after a certain point.

Don't you just love it when a publisher decides what our students need and want?

I am having big push-back from students about ePub. Their BIGGEST frustration is a lack of page numbering or being able to go directly to page ___. Often they are in class, and all they have is this ePub they can access, and they can't go to the page being discussed by everyone else in the class.

You can still ask for the PDF, there should be a link in that email they sent back. But at some point, it sounds like Pearson is going to stop providing them, which is going to be a big problem for our campus.

Susan Kelmer
Alternate Format Production Program Manager
Disability Services
University of Colorado Boulder

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Kluesner, Bryon
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 10:45 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Pearson

Athen friends

Interesting scenario with Pearson. They sent me an email stating a text I requested was available as ePub through Vital Source. This has occurred at least a half dozen times. I replied back with the following:
The students I work with use Kurzweil for their reading. While I appreciate the fact that the ePub files are compliant and accessible, I do not think my students would even want to learn another process to access their books other than the PDF format I have been providing. This style of alternate texts does not meet the need of my students. I would like to know if there are PDF files available instead?
I am going to reply back to let them know we are a Kurzweil campus and re-request the title in PDF format.
Has anyone else had an issue with this and push back from Pearson?

Bryon Kluesner, RhD
Adaptive Technology Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
Adjunct Professor
College of Health, Education & Professional Studies

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