Working for better access to information in classrooms and beyond


Students with print disabilities have difficulty accessing printed books and understanding the text in learning materials.

Collaborative efforts have helped to improve textbook accessibility, but there is still a lot of work ahead. We are witnessing the educational publishing industry undergo a significant transformation.

As a result, digital publications now provide access to information for students who were not able to access course materials. Adaptive reading systems enable a rich reading experience for them.

How do learners benefit from portable digital content?

Digital-first learning materials:

  • Allow creation and distribution of accessible files
  • Decrease the cost of instructional materials
  • Enable access to learning everywhere, anytime

The widest adoption of EPUB 3 format is in the educational publishing space. Publishers including Pearson and Elsevier have placed EPUB for Education as the essential digital publishing format for their digital learning materials.

Further reading:

What about legal requirements?

Colleges and universities are required to ensure equal access to educational benefits and opportunities. All members of the campus communities are encouraged to follow best practices and accessibility standards. In doing so, they ensure that their content can be viewed by all.  Review legal obligations for accessibility on campus.

Check out Learning Ally or Bookshare online digital libraries. Bookshare library has more than 500,000 titles. Brad Turner, the Vice President of Global Literacy at Benetech, says Bookshare’s job is to

“get the right books to the right kids at the same time their peers get them.”

See also: Ed Table Talk – Addressing the Needs of Every Learner


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