[BlindMath] Inaccessible math books

Susan Kelmer Susan.Kelmer at colorado.edu
Wed Mar 3 17:22:18 UTC 2021

This has been a very robust discussion, and I've read everything with interest and taken plenty of notes.

I will reiterate here, as a provider of alternate format in a 4-year university situation, that we have our hands tied.  Publishers are not going to help us, and we will have to continue to work on creating accessible materials, and doing whatever it takes to do so.

And I will once again suggest strongly that students who are not being accommodated by their campuses need to speak up, and speak up loudly!  It is easy to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, or to ask NFB to take your case.  The only thing that will change how campuses address these issues is for students to speak up.  We at the disability services office at universities know there are problems, and we try our hardest to get materials to students quickly, the real fact is that our campus leadership doesn't back us up.  We have no power to fix the campus culture or force more accessible means from faculty and publishers.  And we are not able to file OCR complaints, as we are not the people being impacted by the lack of accommodation. So the only way to get changes to happen is for students who are not being accommodated properly to SPEAK UP!  File those complaints!  An OCR investigation of a campus means that campus leadership has to get involved and has to respond, and has to fix the problem!  

I know this is a burden for students with disabilities, but no amount of complaining on my part will change how the campus supports our work with students.  Only students can force that change.  I sit here often shaking with rage over how things are being done (or not being done) and having absolutely no power to fix it.  It is beyond frustrating.  

Please speak up! Send that email, file that complaint, make that phone call, whatever it takes.  

Susan Kelmer
Alternate Format Production Program Manager
Disability Services
University of Colorado Boulder
Susan.kelmer at colorado.edu

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