The Law and Accessible Texts: Reconciling Civil Rights and Copyrights

Author:Butler, Brandon, LB-Univ Librarian-GeneralUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon

This report is written to inform the participants in a new collaborative project to improve how accessible texts (i.e., texts in formats that meet the needs of users with disabilities)1 are created, managed, and stored. It provides a concise, up-to-date summary of the two key legal pressures that bear on the creation and sharing of accessible texts: the civil rights laws that require creation and distribution of accessible texts by IHEs to ensure equitable access to information, and the copyright laws that are sometimes (as we will show) misperceived as barriers to that effort. Concern that these legal regimes may be in tension contributes to inefficiency in making and sharing accessible texts. Reconciling the mandates of copyright and civil rights clears the way for dramatic improvements in service that both vindicate civil rights and serve the First Amendment values that animate copyright.

copyright, accessibility, instructional technology
Source Citation:

Prue Adler, Brandon Butler, and Krista Cox. The Law and Accessible Texts: Reconciling Civil Rights and Copyrights. Association of Research Libraries (2019).

Association of Research Libraries
Published Date:
July 22, 2019
Sponsoring Agency:
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation