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Improved Accessibility of e-Textbooks in Higher Education

  • Published: 2010-08-17 : CourseSmart.
  • Synopsis: Top Selling Titles and Digital Course Materials will be Accessible to College Students with Print Related Disabilities.

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CourseSmart Partners With AccessText and the Alternative Media Access Center to Improve Accessibility of eTextbooks in Higher Education - 80% of CourseSmart's Top Selling Titles and Digital Course Materials will be Accessible to College Students with Print-Related Disabilities.

CourseSmart, the world's largest digital course materials provider, today announced a partnership with AccessText Network (ATN), a national organization that facilitates and supports the delivery of alternative electronic textbooks to the Disabled Student Services offices of colleges and universities nationwide and the Alternative Media Access Center (AMAC), an initiative of the Georgia University System and operating under Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute Department to improve national services for students with print-related disabilities. In collaboration with ATN and AMAC, CourseSmart is optimizing its eTextbook versions of the most popular textbooks in higher education to increase functionality with accessible technologies. This will help ensure all students have an improved opportunity to obtain the textbooks they need for their academic courses.

CourseSmart has worked with AMAC, one of the nation's leading accessibility centers, to provide text markup and improve the accessibility of 80% of its top selling titles so that they are more accessible than standard formats. These optimized eTextbooks will also become part of ATN's federated search database to facilitate and support the nationwide discovery of alternative formats for students with disabilities.

"CourseSmart's initial library of accessible eTextbooks is a significant step forward in our mission to provide college students with print-related disabilities access to all of the course materials they need and ensure they are not discriminated against as instructional technology advances," said Dr. Christopher Lee, Department Head of AMAC and Director of ATN.

"CourseSmart has an unyielding commitment to accessibility and we are continually working to improve the accessibility of our entire library of eTextbooks for all students," said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart. "With federal law requiring Higher Education institutions provide students with disabilities equal access to course materials combined with the fast-moving digital transformation of education, it is becoming a reality to ensure that students with disabilities are not at a disadvantage and are able to access and use eTextbooks from the world's leading academic publishers."

CourseSmart's initial optimization effort will include 80% of its top selling titles that will be available through ATN's federated search during the fourth quarter of 2010 and will offer students and faculty an enhanced method for accessing and using eTextbooks. For more information, visit

About CourseSmart -CourseSmart provides eTextbooks and digital course materials that improve the educational process by offering instructors and students a unique combination of the right course material, anywhere, any-time access and a low cost. As the world's largest digital course materials supplier, CourseSmart has a rapidly growing digital library of more than 90% of core higher education textbooks offered as eTextbooks, the same titles produced by major publishers in print and recommended by faculty across North America. The company's eTextbooks can be purchased for up to 60% less than print texts and offer users the ability to print what they need as well as search and copy and paste features which help to streamline students' studies. Additional information can be found on the company's Web site:

About AccessText Network -The AccessText Network ( is a national service initiative serving students with print-related disabilities requiring timely provision of accessible instructional materials to achieve their educational goals, AccessText Network was developed in collaboration with the Association of American Publishers and the University System of Georgia. Since the launch of AccessText on August 24, 2009, over 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide have become members, receiving over 18,000 publisher textbook files via a web-based textbook management tool. The application tool employs a robust data tracking feature through the integration of publisher ONIX data feeds. The ONIX feeds keep the data current on new textbook titles. There are over 350,000 textbook titles listed in the application for institutions to request 350,000 titles. AccessText includes an accessible textbook hosting and exchange library and search feature lining schools to multiple national libraries of student-ready accessible textbook. Participating Charter leading publishers include: CQ Press, Pearson, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, Bedford/St. Martin's, W.H. Freeman and Worth, Reed Elsevier Inc., W.W. Norton and F.A. Davis.

About Alternative Media Access Center -The Alternative Media Access Center ( a membership organization committed to removing academic barriers to individuals with physical, sensory, and print-related learning disabilities. When you become a member, you have everything you need to deliver and support alternative text and assistive technology accommodations.

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