What is Publisher Content?
Along with textbooks, publishers often provide additional materials such as PowerPoint presentations, test banks, videos, other multimedia and more.
Some publishers provide the textbook in electronic format (eBook), which requires students to view the textbook using technology. Instructors may also adopt a platform such as MyMathLab, which requires students to complete assignments on the publisher's website.
All of these types of instructional materials must be accessible.
Why Does Publisher Content Need To Be Accessible?
Because all students need the ability to access all course materials, instructional content provided by a publisher is no different than instructor-created content in terms of accessibility requirements. It is the responsibility of the instructor to ensure that all content provided to students is accessible.
How Can I Request Accessible Content From My Publisher?
As faculty and staff across the district have become more aware of accessibility, many have already requested Voluntary Product Accessibilty Templates (VPATs) from various publishers and vendors.
Please check the
VPAT Database (login required) to see if the tools or content you're using have been submitted and reviewed.
If you don't see the tool or content you're using in the database, please reach out to the publisher or vendor to confirm that all materials, tools, websites, etc. are accessible to students with disabilities.
A sample email template follows:
Subject: Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) Request
I need to know if the content you are providing for my course is accessible to students with disabilities, ADA compliant, and follows Federal Section 508 and WCAG guidelines. If not, please let me know what steps are being taken to ensure that all students have equal access to the content produced by your company.
I would also like to be sent a link to your Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and WCAG 2.0 information to keep on file.
Important: Instructors should save a copy of this email and any following correspondence.
Once you've received the VPAT,
submit the VPAT to the database (login required) for review.
If the publisher can't provide accessible content, it is the instructor's responsibility to find or create accessible alternatives (or to switch to a publisher with more accessible content).
For help following up with publishers or assessing the accessibility issues students may encounter when using publisher content in your course, email
If vendors have questions about how to complete a VPAT or how to make their content accessible, there are a number of
web accessibility vendors that they can reach out to.