US Government releases FAQs for accessible eReader laws and rules

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 09:15am

The United States Department of Education has released a new guide that provides further clarification for schools and colleges about the laws and rules they must follow to ensure eBook readers and other emerging technologies are accessible to all students.

The guide is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the June 29, 2010, Dear Colleague Letter that was sent to college and university presidents expressing concern that these institutions were using electronic book readers that were inaccessible to people who were blind or vision impaired.

The FAQs, released on 26 May 2011, reinforce that the same considerations apply to:

  • all students with a print disability, such as learning disabilities
  • all emerging technologies, not just electronic book readers
  • all online courses and other online content such as admissions, class assignments and housing
  • all pilot and short programs offered by the institution
  • classes where there is no student with vision impairment enrolled

Schools are still encouraged to use emerging technologies, however these technologies must be accessible to all students. A section of the FAQs is dedicated to how to put the Dear Colleague Letter’s principles into practice.

For more information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions about the June 29, 2010, Dear Colleague Letter released by the United States Department of Education and the news article by The Chronicle of Higher Education.


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