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Digitization for the Disabled

Robert Martinengo, of the University System of Georgia, has an interesting job. He works on converting textbooks into formats accessible to the disabled. In this day and age, that means a little more than just audiobooks - although audio certainly plays a huge role. It means "assistive technology" - which helps students with cognitive disabilities (as well as the blind and deaf) read differently.

Bob recently gave an address at the O'Reilly TOC conference about the ways assistive technology and developing book technology can work together for consumers as well as the disabled. He brought up an interesting copyright point - that the need for accessible materials for disabled people is so pressing, getting permissions to create these "derivative works" is often an obstacle. He's proposing a change in copyright law to allow educational institutions to create accessible media for their disabled constituencies, without having to defy copyright law to get these folks the materials they are entitled to.

More info is here.
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