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Overview of the Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities David Berthiaume Executive.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of the Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities David Berthiaume Executive."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview of the Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities David Berthiaume Executive Director Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities

2 Introduction The Higher Education Opportunity Act (2008) established the Commission. The Commission is charged with studying the current state of accessible materials for students with disabilities in postsecondary education, including barriers and systemic issues that affect delivery of materials, and writing a report that makes recommendations for improving students’ access to and dissemination of such materials.

3 Introduction The law states that the Commission has one year to study and prepare a report to the Secretary of Education and Congress. The report shall detail the findings and recommendations of the study. The Chair and the Vice-Chair, working with the Commission, will set the schedule of the Commission, and develop an action plan for completing the study.

4 Members Commission Membership consists of: ▫19 members ▫The law designates members come from each entity of these groups:  Offices of the U.S. Department of Education–3 total designates  Organization Representatives–8 total designates  Special Government Employees–8 total designates

5 Members from the U.S. Department of Education 1.Office of Postsecondary Education—one designate 2.Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services—one designate 3.Office for Civil Rights—one designate

6 Members Serving as Organization Representatives: 1.Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program—one designate 2.Association of Higher Education and Disability—one designate 3.Association of American Publishers—one designate 4.Association of American University Presses—one designate 5.National Council on Disability—one designate 6.Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic—one designate 7.National organization representing individuals with visual impairments–National Federation of the Blind—one designate 8.National organization representing individuals with learning disabilities–National Center on Learning Disabilities—one designate

7 Members Serving as Special Government Employees Two members from each of the following categories: 1.Staff from two-year and four-year institutions of higher education with demonstrated experience teaching or supporting students with print disabilities—two designates: Gaeir Dietrich and Lizanne DeStefano 2.Producers of accessible materials, publishing software, and supporting technologies in specialized formats—two designates: Jim Fruchterman and Tuck Tinsley 3.Individuals with visual impairments, including at least one postsecondary student—two designates: George Kerscher and Kurt Herzer 4.Individuals with a learning disability related to reading, including at least one postsecondary student—two designates: Linda Tessler and Ashlee Kephart

8 The Study The law mandates that the Commission conduct a comprehensive study. The study must: 1.“Assess the barriers and systemic issues that may affect, and technical solutions available that may improve, the timely delivery and quality of accessible instructional materials for postsecondary students with print disabilities, as well as the effective use of such materials by faculty and staff; and…”

9 The Study (continued) 2.“Make recommendations related to the development of a comprehensive approach to improve the opportunities for postsecondary students with print disabilities to access instructional materials in specialized formats in a timeframe comparable to the availability of instructional materials for post secondary non-disabled students.”

10 The Study—Core Issues Identify the barriers and systemic issues that affect timely delivery of instructional materials to postsecondary students with disabilities; Discuss technical solutions that could improve timely delivery of instructional materials to postsecondary students with disabilities; Analyze how to improve use of instructional materials by faculty and staff;

11 Legislative History on the Study Conference Report ▫The Commission shall identify and draw upon expertise of national non-profit organizations and other entities with experience in providing accessible materials to students with print disabilities; ▫These organizations must have proven track records in conducting research in this area, especially in the creation of file standards for accessible instructional materials, and for collaborating with publishers and other stakeholders in their efforts.

12 More Legislative History House and Senate conferees recommend that Commission consider work of following groups in conducting study: ▫Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) Technology Advisory Committee ▫Critical Issues Task Force of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) Higher Education Division ▫Association of Higher Education and Disabilities E-text Solutions Working Group ▫Benetech Bookshare ▫Advisory Council and the Technical Assistance and Development Center of National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) ▫Library of Congress Preservation Program Copyright Working Group ▫Other entities with technical expertise in the commission’s area of study.

13 Based on the information developed in the study, the Commission will develop recommendations in 5 areas: 1.To inform Federal regulations and legislation 2.To support the model demonstration programs authorized under section 773 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). (The purpose of the model programs is to improve the quality and efficiency of the delivery of instructional materials to postsecondary students with disabilities) 3.Identify best practices in systems for collecting, maintaining, processing, and disseminating materials in specialized formats to students with print disabilities at costs comparable to instructional materials for postsecondary non-disabled students

14 Based on the information developed in the study, the Commission will develop recommendations in 5 areas (continued) : 4.To improve the effective use of such materials by faculty and staff, while complying with applicable copyright law; and 5.To modify the definitions of instructional materials, authorized entities, and eligible students, as such terms are used in applicable Federal law, for the purpose of improving services to students with disabilities.

15 In making the recommendations, the Commission must consider the following considerations: 1.How students with print disabilities may obtain instructional materials in accessible formats: i.within a timeframe comparable to the availability of instructional materials for nondisabled students; and ii.to the maximum extent practicable, at costs comparable to the costs of such materials for nondisabled students;

16 Considerations for the Study (continued) : 2.The feasibility and technical parameters of establishing standardized electronic file formats, such as the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) as defined in section 674(e)(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to be provided by publishers of instructional materials to producers of materials in specialized formats, institutions of higher education, and eligible students;

17 Considerations for the Study (continued) : 3.The feasibility of establishing a national clearinghouse, repository, or file-sharing network for electronic files in specialized formats and files used in producing instructional materials in specialized formats, and a list of possible entities qualified to administer such a clearinghouse, repository or network;

18 Considerations for the Study (continued) : 4.The feasibility of establishing market-based solutions involving collaborations among publishers of instructional materials, producers of materials in specialized formats, and institutions of higher education;

19 Considerations for the Study (continued) : 5.Solutions utilizing universal design; and 6.Solutions for low-incidence, high cost requests for instructional materials in specialized formats.

20 Summary:the considerations are related to the core issues: Identify the barriers and systemic issues that affect timely delivery of instructional materials to postsecondary students with disabilities: ▫Cost, including low-incidence, high-cost requests Discuss technical solutions that could improve timely delivery of instructional materials to postsecondary students with disabilities: ▫NIMAS ▫National clearinghouse ▫Market-based solutions ▫Universal design

21 Contacts Dave Berthiaume Executive Liz Shook Program Skip Stahl Project Director,


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