[Accessibleweb] Senate bill 6501

Rick Ells rells at u.washington.edu
Mon May 10 08:55:06 PDT 2004

Interesting piece of legislation. (Bill text is at

It appears to put the burden on the publisher to provide an electronic
version of the published material so that the content can be made
available for students with "print access disabilities."

I see some management puzzles for this law. The wording of part (2) seems
to imply that the request for material is on a per case basis. It seems to
say you have to ask once for each student who will receive the electronic
version of the document, which could be an administrative headache. Also,
what entity at the UW does the negotiation to determinal what e-format is

It also says the e-version will be provided "on media [that] must be
copy-protected or the public or private institution of higher education
shall take other reasonable precautions to ensure that students do not
copy or distribute." Can the e-version be placed on a Web site - is
password and ID authentication enough to comply?

There are some neat ideas in there, such as the e-version must retain as
much of the "structural elements" of the original publication as is
reasonably possible. I find it interesting that their fall-back version
type is HTML, to be used when the publisher and institution cannot reach
agreement on some other technology. Good choice, but getting from hardcopy
to HTML can be an intense process.

Still, given all the work Dan Comden and others are doing to convert
hardcopy into e-formats for handicapped, I think this is great.

|- Rick Ells - 543-2875 - rells at cac.washington.edu - Rm 011S MGH Bldg -|
|- http://staff.washington.edu/rells/ -|

On Sun, 9 May 2004, Jennifer Ward wrote:

> Full text of the bill can be found at

> http://www.leg.wa.gov/wsladm/billinfo1/dspBillSummary.cfm?billnumber=6501


> This bill establishes requirements for instructional materials for

> students with disabilities at public and private institutions of higher

> education and has pretty serious implications for some units on campus. It

> was signed on March 26 and goes into effect June 10.


> How timely that the next accessibleWeb meeting is on making PDF and .doc

> files more accessible! I know that a few folks from the Libraries'

> electronic reserves unit will be at the meeting on the 20th.


> --Jennifer


> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

> Jennifer Ward

> Head, Web Services

> Information Technology Services

> University of Washington Libraries

> phone: 206.685.3121

> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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