National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota

Resolution A09-01

 

WHEREAS, for many years the Minnesota State Services for the Blind Communication Center has been a nationwide leader in the provision of textbooks and educational materials in Braille and audio formats to postsecondary students and others; and

 

WHEREAS, The creation of electronic formats is an intermediate step in the creation of braille and the Communication Center already has great expertise in the scanning of books as part of the braille transcription process; and

 

WHEREAS, a great many students are becoming accustomed to provision of electronic texts, requesting them from colleges and universities rather than audio; and

 

WHEREAS, electronic texts, particularly those in a DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) format, have a number of advantages over audio materials, including greater access to the spelling, punctuation, and formatting of the material, as well as greater ease of navigation by chapter, page, subheading, paragraph, search, etc; and

 

WHEREAS, many schools and universities are providing texts in electronic formats, giving students flexibility in the medium in which to read the material, the environment in which it is read and the type of device used to read it; and

 

WHEREAS, many publishers provide electronic versions of books, and these can easily be translated into accessible formats; and

 

WHEREAS, in many cases, an electronic version of a book can be translated into an accessible format more quickly, even in high quality, than a human-recorded audio version; and

 

WHEREAS, schools are opting to scan their own material rather than utilize the Communication Center, which can lead to uneven quality for students and resulting in duplication; and

 

WHEREAS, offering electronic texts would enable the Communication Center to maintain its leadership status as a quality provider of alternative formats.  Now therefore

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this 25th day of October, 2009, in the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, that this organization strongly urge the Communication Center to provide educational materials in an electronic text format such as DAISY or BRF when requested.