In 1990 the ‘Americans with Disabilities Act’ was passed and signed into law. The act prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.
The primary impact of this law on text-based content involves the accessibility of persons who are blind or have low vision impairment. These individuals must be provided with the ability to read and use texts that have information presented in a visual form such as photographs, charts, graphs, and illustrations. In addition, accessible content must be provided for tables presenting information in a way that cannot be understood by those with vision disabilities.
The use of text-to-speech technology is the primary way ADA compliant versions are delivered, however large print eBooks or printed versions may also be a practical alternative.
The primary way to address these issues is to provide alternate text versions for photographs, charts, graphs, and illustrations that contextually present the information in these visual assets. These alternative text descriptions must be made available in both short and long form versions. The descriptions should present essentially the same information as conveyed by the images they describe and fit with the surrounding text of the work.
To meet the regulation for ADA text compliance:
- Alternate text must also be supplied for tables that can be understood by the visually impaired in text-to-speech versions of the book.
- Many colleges, schools, and universities will not adopt texts that are not accompanied by companion ADA compliant editions.
- The use of all visual material should be considered during the writing and development of manuscripts to ensure the delivery of ADA compliant content when needed.
- Other media assets such as videos and animations also need ADA compliant scripts.
Requesting ADA Compliant Versions
Glasstree provides support to customers with disabilities by request. If a customer or institution requests a version of an author's book for use by persons with disabilities, and provides proof of purchase, Glasstree will provide the customer with an accessible version on the author's behalf.
If authors prefer to create their own version for use by persons with disabilities, they are welcome to do so. All copies created pursuant to this policy shall:
- not be reproduced or distributed in a format other than an accessible format exclusively for use by person(s) with disabilities;
- bear a notice that any further reproduction or distribution in a format other than the accessible format for persons with disabilities is an infringement of the author's copyright; and
- include a copyright notice identifying the author as the copyright owner and the date of the original publication.