[Athen] New e-reader for Cengage Brain and Cengage Unlimited users

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Wed Jul 24 10:15:21 PDT 2019

Though I do find it ironic that Susan's university is used in several of VitalSource's blog posts as a shining example of accessibility! With VitalSource of course as the main contributor!

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Susan Kelmer
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2019 8:26 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] New e-reader for Cengage Brain and Cengage Unlimited users

As usual, publishers are deciding how our students are to access their materials. This is not their job, nor their purview.

Publishers like to say they are listening to us.

They are not. They never have. And this is unfortunate for our students.

On the plus side, none of us will be unemployed anytime soon, as there will still be a need for us to remediate materials to fit the student's needs!

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

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu>> On Behalf Of Deborah Armstrong
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2019 9:20 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] New e-reader for Cengage Brain and Cengage Unlimited users

This is from the VitalSource blog. Apparently Cengage is pulling many of their textbooks off VitalSource and their new home will be an internal e-reader.

My experience with students is even when an e-reader is fairly accessible, the students want to stick with a tool they know, whether it's their Kindle, Balabolka, K3000 or Read and Write.

I'm guessing that Cengage, like Pearson is going to "certify" more and more of their content as accessible and encourage students to buy a textbook in the e-reader.

I have some experience with Cengage Brain, and on the positive side, there seems to be a "read aloud" button on every page so you can use the voice built in to your OS to listen to that page, as long as your browser and OS supports that. There also seems to be captioning on most of the videos for the two courses with which I have experience.

On the negative side, a book that has charts, tables and similar visual content may or may not have descriptions, and even when descriptions exist, if the image is just a picture of text - such as a picture of a spreadsheet or computer screen, the description won't contain the actual text.


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