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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $1,000,000 grant

January 29, 2019

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is participating in a new initiative to improve access to instructional text materials by students with print disabilities. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $1,000,000 grant for this partnership project, Federating Repositories of Accessible Materials for Higher Education, led by the University of Virginia. George Mason University, Texas A&M University, the University of Illinois, Northern Arizona University, and Vanderbilt University will join UVA and UW-Madison in the pilot group funded by this grant. These universities are known for their long-standing dedication and leadership on issues related to web and content accessibility.

At all of the participating universities, the library and the disability services office, including the McBurney Disability Resource Center at UW-Madison, will be included in the work. Additionally, at UW-Madison, GMU, UVA, and Vanderbilt the university presses will also be involved.

“By providing digital source files and participating in the creation of new workflows,” said Dennis Lloyd, Director of the University of Wisconsin Press, “we can identify potential implementation challenges from the inside of the publishing process.”

As the UW Press prepares to move into its new location in UW-Madison’s Memorial Library, this initiative further strengthens this key partnership, noted Lisa Carter, Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian.

“This program offers an opportunity for collaboration between university partners and other influential and trusted entities, such as HathiTrust, Bookshare, and The Internet Archive, to address critical needs in providing accessible learning materials to students,” says Carter. “The fact that we have three campus partners involved here at UW-Madison is a testament to the dedication our campus community has to address a variety of accessibility needs.”

Learn more about the grant and the program here!