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Accessible Book Collection

Accessible Book Collection books for the disabled

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 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 Collection?

Bookshare.org has an excellent explanation on eligibility and certifier qualifications. Therefore we are 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 also subscribe.

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 this.

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.

Who can 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 osteopathy. 

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 librarians.

Are 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 3, 2003.

What is digital text?

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 here.

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 eligible students.  

Do you plan to add more e-books to the Accessible Book Collection and do you accept suggestions?

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 text?

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 infringement.

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 eligibility application or the equivalent for each individual that uses our e-books. 

Must I have a hard copy of the book?

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 home computers?

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 disability.

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.

Books from Accessible Book Collection
Copyright © 2001 [Accessible Book Collection]. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 27, 2015
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