[Accessibleweb] Senate bill 6501

Terry Thompson tft at u.washington.edu
Tue May 11 20:56:56 PDT 2004

I agree with Rick's comments. This legislation is promising, but the
process called for by the legislation is for Disability Services to
submit individual requests for materials to the publishers, upon receipt
of which publishers must deliver accessible versions "in a timely
manner". What constitutes a timely manner is not defined, and I wonder
if this process is adequate for getting accessible materials quickly
enough to meet students' needs, particularly if documents are complex.

To me, the most interesting component of this legislation is a section
Rick referred to, which concerns "structural integrity". Here's a quote
from (5)(c):

"Structural order of material shall be maintained. Structural elements,
such as headings, lists, and tables must be identified using current
markup and tools. If good faith efforts fail to produce an agreement.
the publisher. shall provide the instructional material in a verified
and valid HTML format and shall preserve as much of the structural
integrity. as possible."

The question I'll be exploring in our lunch meeting next Thursday is
this: Do either Microsoft Word docs or PDF files provide adequate
structural integrity?

Hope you all can make it. Bring your opinions, and be ready for a lively
discussion! Here again is the meeting info:

Date/Time: Thursday, May 20, Noon to 1pm
Location: Mary Gates Hall, Room 015L

Terry Thompson
The University of Washington
Email: tft at u.washington.edu
Voice: 206-221-4168
TTY: 206-685-3648
Fax: 206-221-4171

>-----Original Message-----

>From: accessibleweb-bounces at mailman.u.washington.edu

>[mailto:accessibleweb-bounces at mailman.u.washington.edu] On

>Behalf Of Rick Ells

>Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 8:55 AM

>To: Jennifer Ward

>Cc: accessibleweb at u.washington.edu

>Subject: Re: [Accessibleweb] Senate bill 6501




>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



>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 acceptable?


>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



>> 501


>> 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

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

>> _______________________________________________

>> Accessibleweb mailing list

>> Accessibleweb at u.washington.edu

>> http://mailman.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/accessibleweb



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