SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION SERIES
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.
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