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eTextbook usage is rapidly increasing across the country and within the CSU. While eTextbooks offer significant potential benefits in terms of cost reduction, rich feature sets, and portability, they must be accessible to all students including those with print disabilities such as those with blindness, low-vision, learning disabilities, or physical disabilities that impact the ability to manipulate physical books.

CSU Rent Digital Project

The CSU Rent Digital project allows students to rent digital textbooks at a significant savings compared to purchasing the print textbook. More information regarding this project is available at the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS) website.

The CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) has been actively involved throughout the Rent Digital project to ensure that participating eTextbook vendors effectively evaluate and document the level of accessibility support provided by their eTextbook platforms and commit to continually improve accessibility support over time.

In order to drive improvements to vendor accessibility support, the ATI coordinated with all Rent Digital vendors to complete the following tasks:

  • Conduct a product accessibility screening
  • Validate the vendor's Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
  • Share findings from the product screening and VPAT validation with the vendor
  • When appropriate, have vendors submit corrected or updated VPATs.
  • Have vendors submit a completed Accessibility Roadmap. which lists major accessibility gaps and describes the current disposition, anticipated remediation timeline, and available workarounds for each gap until remediation is completed.

CSU campuses are encouraged to use the validated VPATs and Accessibility Roadmaps that have been posted to the ALS accessibility website to plan for the accessibility implications associated with these eTextbook platforms. Updates to these documents will be posted to that site.

Center for Accessible Media (CAM)

CAM is a centralized web-based application allowing alternate media staff at CSU and UC campuses to list, identify, and distribute accessible, electronic reading materials (predominantly textbooks) for use by eligible students with print disabilities. Since its inception in 2004, CAM has logged 21,000 holdings and facilitated more than 7,000 exchanges of reading materials. The goals for operating CAM include reducing redundant alternate media production efforts, increasing timeliness of delivery, providing system-wide tracking of alternate media inventory and request data, providing campus advocacy to publishers and distributors of reading materials, and coordinating research and training on promising practices in alternate media production. For more information about this resource contact ATI in the Chancellor's Office.