[Athen] Am I protected in the new online eBook world?
foreigntype at gmail.com
Tue Sep 24 11:51:44 PDT 2019
Tricky area, Debee. If the student has "possession" of the book, they have
met the requirement for purchase (purchase hard copy, rent, borrow from the
library, purchase used, or an inexpensive ebook all qualify as "in
possession of"). If they are entitled to alt-format books as an
accommodation and they requested it, it is our job to find it and convert
it to an appropriate format for the student in a timely manner. OCR defines
"timely" as alt format received at the same time others in class have their
books. Sometimes the complexity of the alt format conversion doesn't give
us enough time to provide the entire, complete textbook at the time classes
start, so sometimes we have to follow the syllabus and provide the book to
the student in chunks in advance of the reading assignments listed in the
syllabus. We should expect to provide the entire book to the student
whether or not every chapter is assigned.
We avail ourselves of many sources: Amazon is a reliable place to find the
ISBN using just the Title and Author + the edition. When I as a faculty
make a required book list for my classes, I have to provide ALL of the
pertinent information to our bookstore contact well in advance of the term,
including the ISBN.
Once we find the ISBN and the publisher, we contact the publisher first for
a PDF. If no response from the publisher in 3-4 working days, follow up
with ATN or Bookshare. If no luck there, send the information as a request
out to the listserv. Someone else may have it and can provide you a PDF to
convert. Someone else may have already converted it to the format your
student needs. Never hurts to ask. If no luck in any of those sources, your
office buys the book, cuts the spine, scans it, rebinds the book, sells it
back to the bookstore. Then you run your OCR software on it to produce the
appropriate format and provide a copy to the student. If you find yourself
with a complicated book that you do not know how to convert to alt text and
tag properly, there are many professional companies, and even other
colleges across the country, who can provide alt-text conversions as a
purchased service. Also there are a number of conferences and workshops
available where you can improve your alt-text conversion skills if you need
I don't wait for the student to show me a receipt for the book before I
start working on it. I won't release it to them until I have "proof of
purchase" or possession.
Don't ever forget that we are your hive. We are all here to help one
another, and asking for help when we don't know something or can't find
something is something we all do. Thank goodness!
Under the circumstances you describe, it's entirely possible the student
has a legitimate complaint. One suggestion might be to negotiate allowing
the student to retake the class with the accommodations at no charge and
have the previous grade expunged. I'm sure others on the list have other
ideas & suggestions on what may be done for the student.
I hope this is helpful information.
Accessibility Consultant/Alternative Text Production
The Foreign Type
foreigntype at gmail.com
This email was dictated using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Please forgive
quirks, misrecognitions, or errata .
On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 11:25 AM Deborah Armstrong <
armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu> wrote:
> All my students now are really nice people, but I have a lot of new, very
> naive students and I’m a bit concerned that I’m not fully protected if
> someone makes a complaint.
> Consider this hypothetical situation: the student doesn’t have a printed
> textbook. There’s an option to buy it, but student doesn’t do that because
> it’s too expensive.
> Student may purchase the cheaper eBook online, but in any case, I never
> receive a receipt. I really don’t know if the considerably cheaper eBook
> version was purchased or not since it’s integrated in to the LMS. In many
> situations, it’s not that easy to tease a receipt out of the LMS anyway,
> and in other situations, the student didn’t know how or did not purchase
> the textbook.
> Student fails the course and says it’s because we never provided alternate
> Student did request this book over and over. It’s not on Bookshare; it’s
> not on learning ally and it’s not in the local public library. It isn’t on
> the ATN either, or at least I didn’t have enough book information to be
> sure it wasn’t.
> Example: Professor syllabus says “Psychology” 8th or 9th edition”. No
> ISBN, no full title unless that’s it and no author or publisher. And I
> found the syllabus by pestering the prof over and over myself!
> So I didn’t provide alternate media. Am I protected as long as I was clear
> with the student that I needed either a physical book to scan or a receipt
> with full book information?
> athen-list mailing list
> athen-list at mailman12.u.washington.edu
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