Spotlight on Innovation: How Georgia Tech and AMAC Are Working to Make Course Materials More Accessible

Cropped view of person's hands typing on laptop computer
Member Exclusive


The US Department of Education has awarded multi-million dollar "First in the World" grants to 24 colleges and universities that are innovating to solve critical challenges with access, recruitment, retention, and student success. At AI, we have interviewed each of the recipients to learn more about the projects these institutions are pursuing, how their approaches are unique, and what other colleges and universities can learn from these new efforts.

by Lisa Cook and Daniel Fusch, Academic Impressions

Despite increased demand for more accessible course materials for disabled students, there is often a lot of inertia on the part of the textbook industry. Georgia Tech's Bob Martinengo, who serves as the accessibility solutions publisher outreach specialist for AMAC Accessibility Solutions—an organization that is part of Georgia Tech's College of Architecture, and that was incubated out of the University System of Georgia in 2005—offers this theory for why some changes have been slow:

"The industry has often said 'yes, but we are concerned about cost' or 'we're working on this project, but maybe tomorrow.' The problem has been around so long that there's little measurable movement."
Bob Martinengo, AMAC and Georgia Tech

Martinengo wants to see two things change, in particular:

  • Increase the pace of change to build excitement around innovations in course materials accessibility; "we need a tipping point moment."
  • Empower diverse students with more say about the digital platforms they use and how they wish to read textbooks.

We hope you’re enjoying this read. The full text of this article or report is complimentary for Academic Impressions members. to read it!

If you're signed up to receive our Daily Pulse, but your institution does not have an active membership, you won't have access to this article.


An Academic Impressions membership provides multiple users on your campus with unlimited access to exclusive reports, research briefs, hundreds of free webcasts and online trainings, and discounts on conferences. Learn more about membership and get unlimited training and reading for you and your team today.