[Athen] Alternate text question

Butler, Brandon (bcb4y) bcb4y at virginia.edu
Thu Dec 16 05:54:36 PST 2021

Hi Wink,

Please read the white paper, which I helped to prepare after a 2-day roundtable discussion with a who’s-who of copyright lawyers, disability rights lawyers and other experts, including Jamie. There just isn’t anything in the law that requires students to buy an inaccessible book before they can be provided with an accessible one. If you can tell me where you find such a requirement, either in Section 121 or in the HathiTrust opinion (the only two sources of law on this subject, more or less), I’d be grateful, and we will revise the white paper accordingly. But neither I nor any expert in that meeting could see any legal basis for this practice.


From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> on behalf of foreigntype at gmail.com <foreigntype at gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 6:37 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Alternate text question
I respectfully disagree. I'm going to throw out Jamie Axelrod's NAU info page on what's necessary to fulfill copyright requirements: https://in.nau.edu/disability-resources/alternate-format-program/#:~:text=Publishers%20currently%20have%20a%20requirement,proof%20of%20purchase%20on%20file.

If textbooks are required for classes and the expectation is that all students must have the books (or access to the books) for class, why should students with disabilities be exempted from the requirement? This is federal copyright law. Among the gods we serve in alt-text production and accommodations, OCR is god#1 and copyright is god#2.

My 2.5 cents for a rainy bleak midwinter's day in the PNW.
Wink Harner
Accessibility Consultant/Alternative Text Production
The Foreign Type
Portland OR
foreigntype at gmail.com<mailto:foreigntype at gmail.com>
This email was dictated using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Please forgive quirks, misrecognitions, or errata .

On Wed, Dec 15, 2021 at 1:33 PM Lissner, L. Scott <lissner.2 at osu.edu<mailto:lissner.2 at osu.edu>> wrote:
The short answer is, in my opinion, no. The long answer with supporting documention can be found at https://www.arl.org/resources/the-law-and-accessible-texts-reconciling-civil-rights-and-copyrights/

[Block “0” Logo: The Ohio State University]
L. Scott Lissner,
Americans With Disabilities Act Coordinator and Section 504 Compliance Officer
Office of Institutional Equity

(614) 292-7024(v); (614) 688-8605<tel:(614)%20688-8605>(tty) (614) 688-3665<tel:(614)%20688-3665>(fax); Http://ada.osu.edu<http://ada.osu.edu/>

“The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity. Make no mistake: too many dreams have been deferred for too long. We must make the promise of the country real for everybody — no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity or their disability.”
— President-Elect Joe Biden, 11/7/20

On 12/15/21, 1:56 PM, "athen-list on behalf of Kluesner, Bryon" <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> on behalf of Bryon-Kluesner at utc.edu<mailto:Bryon-Kluesner at utc.edu>> wrote:

Hi all,

When you work with students who have been approved for alternate texts, do you require proof of purchase or proof of having a copy of the text, such as purchase from Amazon, having a “physical copy”, whether used or bought from a friend?



Bryon Kluesner RhD, ATAC
Adaptive Technology Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave., Dept. 2953
Chattanooga, TN 37403

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