[Athen] Alternate Formats and Varying Editions of Textbooks

Butler, Brandon (bcb4y) bcb4y at virginia.edu
Thu Jan 16 17:23:49 PST 2020

Hi Mary,

On the copyright issue, I wouldn’t worry. There is actually no need for the student to buy the textbook at all (see our white paper<https://www.arl.org/resources/the-law-and-accessible-texts-reconciling-civil-rights-and-copyrights/> about copyright and accessibility) unless the publisher requires it as part of an arrangement you have with them (such as through the Access Text Network) and you’ve agreed to comply with that requirement. But in that case, I would definitely get the latest edition from the publisher.


On Jan 16, 2020, at 7:50 PM, Mary Popish <popish at pdx.edu<mailto:popish at pdx.edu>> wrote:

Hello, everyone!

I have a question about how different campuses manage alternate format delivery for textbooks when the required edition is different from a digital version that your office may already have from a previous year or other student. For example, if your office has a digital version of the sixth edition of a textbook and a student has purchased the seventh edition but needs some remediation to make the book accessible digitally, what do you do? Do you request the seventh edition from the publisher (or Bookshare, or AccessText, or whatever your process is)? Do you check with the student and the instructor and deliver the sixth edition if it would still work for the class? What about copyright, since the student bought a different edition of the book?

We've been talking about this a lot in our office, and we haven't landed on a great solution yet. I'd love to hear how other offices handle this sort of thing.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!


Mary Popish
Adaptive Technology Specialist & Alternate Formats Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
Portland State University

Phone: (503) 725-9119
Fax: (503) 725-4103
Email: drc at pdx.edu<mailto:drc at pdx.edu>
URL: http://www.pdx.edu/drc
Pronouns: she / her / hers

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