the Accessible Book Collection?
The Accessible Book Collection is a non-profit
corporation. Our primary mission is to provide high interest/low reading level
digital text to qualified persons with disabilities. Government and non-profit
schools and others can subscribe to the very affordable Accessible Book
Collection and have a large selection of e-books for all their eligible student.
Who is eligible to use the e-books in the Accessible Book
Bookshare.org has an
excellent explanation on eligibility and certifier qualifications. Therefore
linking to their website for further explanation.
However, Bookshare explicitly denies eligibility to persons whose reading
disability is a result of autism. We do not. Persons with autism may qualify if their autism is physical
or organic in nature. It is our position that autism is organic and therefore is
physical in nature and, furthermore, it can result in a reading disability. So
if it determined by a qualified individual that the person with autism has a
reading disability and their reading disability is a consequence of the person's
autism that person would be eligible to use the e-books found on the Accessible
Book Collection website.
Who may subscribe to the Accessible Book Collection?
Government and non-profit schools
located in the United States are the
primary subscribers. However, not all subscribers are schools. Eligible
individuals residing in the United States may also subscribe. Government or non-profit rehab centers, hospitals, or
similar non-profit facilities in the United States that have "a primary mission to provide
specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or
information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities"
May we subscribe in order to train teachers in our district on how to use the
e-books with their students?
Yes. We've recently revised our license to permit
How much does it cost?
The cost of an annual site subscription is
$49.95. A school district or similar entity may qualify for a district license.
There is a minimum of 10 schools to qualify for a district site license. For 10
to 20 schools the price is $42.00 per school per year. For 21 to 49 schools the
price is $35.00 per school per year. For 50 schools and above the price is
$28.00 per school per year. You may add additional schools to your license later
to take advantage of the lower price. However, all subscriptions will expire one
year from the original district site license subscription.
certify the user's eligibility?
It depends on the nature of the disability. If
the reading disability is the result of a learning disability the most
appropriate certifier might be a qualified school learning disability
specialist, school psychologist, clinical psychologist, doctor of medicine or
In cases of blindness, visual handicap, or
physical handicap, certification may be made by doctors of medicine or
osteopathy, ophthalmologists, optometrists, registered nurses, therapists,
professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies.
In the absence of any of these certification may be made by professional
subscriptions for a school year or are they for a full year?
Subscriptions are for a full year. For
example, if your subscription is activated on June 3, 2002 it will expire June
Digital text is a computer file of text that
can be displayed on a computer monitor and be read. Currently we are supplying
digital text in HTML that is specially formatted for people with disabilities.
For example background color is easily changed and fonts are consistent
throughout the book. This permits a relatively easy way to change the size of
the font. Also it is usable by both Windows and Macintosh operating systems and
any Internet browser can be used to read the text. The HTML text can, however,
be easily converted to other formats for use in text-to-speech software.
Why and how do
I use the digital text with my students?
Digital text is another tool in your bag of
tricks to help students learn to read. With digital text you can do things you
simply can't do with printed text including change font size, font or background
color, and use text-to-speech software. Digital text can be a real boon for
students who are vision impaired, have difficulty tracking, can't turn pages, or
who need to increase their reading speed. The digital text we distribute is in
a special HTML format. This is the same format that is used on the Internet.
You can use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape to display the digital
text. There is also text-to-speech software such as
Cast eReader, Kurzweil Reader, Wynn Reader, and eText Helper. Screen enlargement
software is available for vision impaired students. Braille printers are
available that allow digital text to be processed and embossed.
I have a Mac and I
can't do anything with the downloaded files. What do I do?
If you are experiencing
difficulty take a look
Is there a limit on how many e-books can be downloaded?
There is no limit. We do ask that you try to
limit downloads to one download per book and make copies to distribute to your
Do you plan to add more e-books to the Accessible Book Collection and do you
Yes, we will continue to add more e-books and
we are always looking for titles so suggestions
are very welcomed.
What is the legal authority for Accessible Book Collection to provide digital
Added to the Copyright Law was a new section
121 by the Act of September 16, 1996, Pub. L. 104-197, 110 Stat. 2394, 2416.
In brief this new section permits "an authorized entity to reproduce or to
distribute copies or phonorecords of a previously published, nondramatic
literary work if such copies or phonorecords are reproduced or distributed in
specialized formats exclusively for use by blind or other persons with
disabilities." The Accessible Book Collection is
such an authorized entity and digital text is one of the specialized formats.
Schools may provide these digital texts to only eligible students within the
terms of our agreement.
Is it a copyright infringement if non-print impaired individuals have access to
these digital texts?
Yes. Care must be taken to restrict
distribution of these texts to eligible students only. It is important that
book publishers and authors support the use of digital text for students and
adults who have print related disabilities. Recent examples of copyright
infringements in the music industry need to be avoided
Do my students have any legal responsibility when they receive digital text from
Accessible Book Collections?
Yes. They must understand they cannot further
distribute the digital text to anyone else. To do so is a copyright
What other legal
responsibilities do I have?
Accessible Book Collection subscribers must
establish a procedure to verify the students' disability in order to use
our digital text. It is the school's or other similar
facility's responsibility to maintain a copy of a completed
or the equivalent for each individual
that uses our e-books.
Must I have a hard copy of the
No. However when a hard copy is currently in
print and you wish to purchase a copy we hope you will purchase it through our
link with Amazon.com. Amazon will in turn pay us a commission that will help
defray some of our expenses. Furthermore, by purchasing through our link we
will be able to demonstrate to book publishers and authors that providing
digital text to students with disabilities is not only the right thing to do,
but also profitable. The Amazon link will also frequently
give you a more complete description of the book.
May eligible students take home the e-books to use on their
Yes. Be sure to emphasize with your students
that it is a violation of copyright law to make copies of the e-books and
distribute them to other people—even if the other person has a print related
May eligible students use the e-books over summer vacation?
So long as the student is enrolled in the
subscribing school student may use our e-books anytime and anywhere.
Why do you keep emphasizing only eligible students may use your e-books?
Congress changed the
Copyright Law so as to benefit print-impaired persons with disabilities. If this
new right is abused Congress could react so as to take this important benefit
away. While it is important to be cautious, be sure your students take advantage
of these e-books. A right unused is a right not worth having.