E-Texts

Receiving text materials in an electronic format has become easier with the continued development of mobile devices, e-readers, tablets, and software. Although a convenient way to store and transport material (no more lugging around a huge backpack full of books), e-text provides a unique set of accessibility concerns. ITaccess continues to work with the campus to raise awareness of these concerns and to teach an help develop resources that are accessible from design.

E-Reader Accessibility

On June 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education sent out a "Dear Colleague Letter" (DCL) to college and university presidents across the nation. The letter expressed their concern regarding the use of "electronic book readers that are not accessible to students who are blind or have low vision." More specifically they state there is "a serious problem with some of these devices [in that] they lack an accessible text-to-speech function."

Accessible E-Text Development

E-texts have the potential to give students with disabilities unprecedented direct access to textbooks.  By following a few well-defined guidelines, authors can produce e-texts that are accessible to these students, and more intuitive for everyone. This section provides basic information for developing textbooks or readings for the e-text environment.

eText at Illinois

A new resource for textbooks, eText is a fully accessible, interactive, and environmentally sound platform to deliver classroom materials to students and faculty at the University of Illinois. eText is universally accessible. That means any individual, with valid University credentials and connected device with an HTML5 compliant web browser, can access eText content regardless of nature of their device and their visual abilities. Access eText at Illinois at https://etext.illinois.edu/

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