The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded a grant to support the second phase of a collaborative project to reduce the duplication of conversion of textbooks and other materials into alternative formats for students with print-related disabilities. The “Federated Repositories of Accessible Materials for Higher Education II (FRAME II)” project will be led by the University of Virginia, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries, McBurney Disability Resource Center, the University of Wisconsin Press, and a number of other universities. This has been a long-standing issue, and UW-Madison is interested in helping to develop a solution, for the benefit of both students and our disability service offices.
To support students with print disabilities or special information access needs, the staff of disability services offices (DSOs) spend a great deal of time and effort remediating printed texts, transforming them into a variety of electronic and alternative formats accessible to the students. Many of the same texts are commonly assigned at multiple institutions and are frequently and needlessly remediated at each institution. The FRAME II project remedies this wasted effort by providing a repository that allows DSOs to reuse accessible materials produced by their colleagues at partner institutions.
In this second phase of the project, representatives of the DSO and library staff at Ohio State University will join their counterparts from George Mason University, Northern Arizona University, Texas A&M University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UW–Madison, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Virginia, along with a development and project management team based at the UVA Library. Much of the group’s work will concentrate on expanding and improving EMMA (Educational Materials Made Accessible), a membership-based secure repository for remediated texts, and developing workflows wherein librarians and DSO staff will cooperate in uploading texts to the repository.