Aug 18

In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, BookShare is offering a free three of trial membership (good for 20 book downloads per month) to all Americans with qualifying print disabilities. At the end of the three months, new members will receive suggestions about how to sign up for individual memberships.

Here are 4 easy steps to follow to get the free trial:

  1. Sign up before August 31, 2010. Select the 18 and over Individual membership option.
  2. Complete the online contact forms. Enter ADA20 in the promotion code field.
  3. Agree to the terms of use online.
  4. Fax proof of disability to 650.475.1066. You can provide an NLS certification, RFB&D member number, or the Bookshare proof of disability form signed by a qualified professional.
Jul 01

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal officials are requiring colleges that use Kindles and other electronic book readers in the classroom to make sure the gadgets have accommodations for blind and vision-impaired students.

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education sent a letter to college and university presidents Tuesday instructing them to find alternatives for blind students if the devices are required in the classroom.

Not doing so would be a violation of federal law, said Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights at the Education Department.

“It is unacceptable for universities to use emerging technology without insisting that this technology be accessible to all students,” Ali wrote in the joint letter with Thomas E. Perez, assistant U.S. attorney general.

The federal government began examining last year whether the use of Kindles and other e-readers violated the Americans with Disabilities Act after a blind Arizona State University student sued the campus in June alleging that Kindle’s inaccessibility to blind students constituted a violation of federal law.

The lawsuit was settled in January with the help of the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind.

Many e-readers have text-to-speech functions, but those don’t apply to menus, which means that a blind person would still need help using the device, Ali said.

“The key here is fully accessible, not in-part accessible,” Ali told The Associated Press. “Blind users cannot navigate the menu. They couldn’t fast forward or even know which book they were reading.”

So far, four universities — including Princeton University — testing Amazon’s Kindle in the classroom have struck deals with the Justice Department and agreed to shelve the e-readers until they are fully functional for blind students.

The other campuses are: Pace University in New York, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and Reed College in Portland, Ore.

A settlement is still being worked out with the University of Virginia, Ali said.

Amazon officials did not immediately return a request for comment. The company has said it is working on expanding features of the Kindle to ensure blind people can use them independently.

Ali said the policy also would apply to any K-12 schools wanting to use e-readers in the classroom, but so far only the school district in Clearwater, Fla., has expressed such interest. She said the Education Department is monitoring that district to be sure they meet federal requirements.

Jun 30

Now available in paperback with updated new Supreme Court rulings, this practical manual offers essential information and guidance for anyone involved with ADA issues in higher education settings. Fundamental principles and actual clinical and administrative procedures are outlined for evaluating, documenting, and accommodating a wide range of mental and physical impairments. Contributors draw upon extensive hands-on experience with managing ADA issues. Through… More >>

Accommodations in Higher Education under the Americans with Disabilities Act: A No-Nonsense Guide for Clinicians, Educators, Administrators, and Lawyers

Jun 21

Educators will find an expert analysis of Section 504 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and their impact on educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. More >>

Section 504 and the ADA

Jun 06

An 83-page manual, plus a supplement, that explains in lay terms what businesses and non-profit agencies must do to ensure access to their goods, services, and facilities. Many examples are provided for practical guidance…. More >>

Americans with Disabilities Act Technical Assistance Manual

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