[Athen] Am I protected in the new online eBook world?

Susan Kelmer Susan.Kelmer at colorado.edu
Wed Sep 25 06:59:02 PDT 2019


You failed to provide the student with format for reasons that are probably dubious. Yes, the student probably has a case if they want to sue in this case.

I provide alt format to students regardless of what format of book they bought - hard copy (new or used), electronic format (Kindle, other ebook), or that they have access through the LMS or another portal they paid for. I ask for a receipt, or to see their book, or to show me that they can log into the portal and access the materials. For books that are hard to figure out, if I have the author, title, and edition, that's usually enough. When the student logs in to show me that they have access to the materials, I can usually find more information there, and then I hop on out to Google or Amazon and get the information so I can get the files from the right place. Almost all of these books that end up in portals or on LMS's are the big publishers - Pearson, Cengage, McGraw Hill etc. Once I know what book is actually "behind the curtain" of the portal, it is easy enough to order the files through ATN. This type of access for students is becoming more common. Sometimes these portals are provided through the LMS and there is nothing the student needs to purchase at all. The reality is, they have access, and if they need alt format, then you need to provide it, in whatever format is appropriate for them.

My question would be did the student do their due diligence in getting you the information you needed to get the files? Just because it isn't on the syllabus doesn't mean there aren't other ways to obtain it - i.e., log into the portal with the student and take a look! The information you need should be right there.

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

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Deborah Armstrong
Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 12:25 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Am I protected in the new online eBook world?

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 media.

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?


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