Information for Publishers Considering Joining the AccessText Network
How it Works
The AccessText Network is a web-based application that puts all the information a publisher needs to process requests on one ‘dashboard’, accessible from any web-browser. The system is powerful but easy to use, and full documentation and training materials are available.
AccessText is an information “portal” built upon a database of “metadata” (data about individual titles). Disability Service Providers (DSPs) will use the portal to determine their options for obtaining files or permissions to meet specific student needs, and, through portal functions, they can manage the logistics of the process by which those needs are met. AccessText offers an optional secure repository service for publishers that prefer not to handle file distribution logistics themselves.
The AccessText process begins when an institution enters a request for an electronic file for one of the publisher’s titles. The system automatically sends an email to the publisher’s staff letting them know a new request has been made. The publisher can then approve the request and fulfill it all from the dashboard with a few clicks. The system can also be customized by the publisher to auto-fulfill requests and not send out emails. The publisher can view all activity at any time by viewing their dashboard.
Publishers can manage the information about their titles right from the dashboard. The system is designed to give each publisher maximum flexibility in how it manages its control of rights, permissions, and access down to the title and/or school level. They can add titles and edit title information, as needed. All requests from colleges are tracked by title, and many reports are available to show the current number of requests and their status. The system is fully secure and password protected.
College and university students with disabilities that impair their ability to read printed texts are working with their school's (DSP) to obtain accessible electronic files for their textbooks. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) developed the AccessText Network (ATN) to improve this process for publishers, postsecondary institutions, and students.
The mission of AccessText is to provide a simple, efficient, and flexible method for processing file and permission requests from colleges and universities. Eight charter publishers, working through the AAP, donated funds to develop and operate AccessText. The AAP provides funding for ATN’s continued operation. The AAP selected AMAC Accessibility, an initiative of the University System of Georgia, to operate the AccessText Network.
Benefits for Publishers
- Member publishers will be able to more efficiently and securely manage the constantly increasing number of requests for files and permissions. The AccessText application enables publishers to track requests from a dashboard that shows all pending and completed requests.
- All participating schools (“members”) are screened for eligibility by ATN staff before they are allowed to place requests through the AccessText system. Publishers can click on the profile of any requesting school to see their full details and contact information.
- The AccessText staff works closely with publishers to ensure the system meets their needs and is secure and easy to use. Training and support is available on the web and by email and phone.
- Publishers are provided with multiple fulfillment methods. One of which is a complimentary Stored File system where a publisher may opt to have all requests for that file auto-fulfilled greatly reducing workload. Publishers may also opt to fulfill via an email or via their own ftp site or via ATN's complimentary FTP.
- Voluntary participation by publishers with AccessText is a proactive measure to reduce the justification for state legislatures to pass conflicting textbook laws.
- AccessText will help academic publishers better understand the needs of students with disabilities, which will be increasingly important as more K-12 students who have used NIMAS-based books begin to enter college.
AccessText is a proactive measure to ensure students with disabilities are not discriminated against as instructional technology advances.
If you are interested in a demo of the system, please contact Dawn Evans, ATN Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 404-894-8187.
What Happens After a Publishers Decides to Join
- Fill out the Join form.
- Provide a list of your title's metadata (xls, csv, onix/xml, etc...) to ATN staff. We need title, author, edition, copyright, ISBN10, and ISBN13.
- Set ATN up with your ongoing onix feed if applicable.
- ATN will schedule a detailed training session with you and all applicable staff if you wish.
- If you would like ATN staff to store files in the system for you, you may provide the files to ATN and we'll take care of it for you.
- You will provide high res logos and a short description that you would like to appear next to your logo on our website.
Authorized User Verification Process
- How does ATN verify the DSS office is valid?
- ATN staff will verify the integrity of the data submitted on the application form by checking the supplied URL, using web search to confirm the validity of the email domain, and looking for any discrepancies between publicly available information about the institution and the data on the application form. ATN verifies that all users on an AU profile are staff at the post-secondary institution responsible for accommodating students with disabilities. All AU staff must have a valid institutional email address. If ATN staff can't verify the staff and department's procedures via the school's website, then we will call the main phone number of the college to confirm the necessary information to ensure that only eligible users are granted login credentials to the application.
- Can publishers review the AUs profile information?
- Yes, publishers will be able to view the profile information for any AU in the system. They will also see the request history of all titles the AU has made requests for from that publisher. Publishers will not be able to see requests an AU has made for any other publishers titles.
Communicating with Authorized Users (DSS Offices)
- How does a publisher provide information to an Authorized User (AU) about a request?
- Publishers should use the Messages feature to send a message to an AU. Each Message is associated with a specific request, so all communication about that request can be easily tracked in one place.
- Can the AU use the Message feature to contact the publisher?
- Yes. If an AU has an inquiry for a publisher regarding a request they will create a Message. The publisher can then respond to the inquiry directly from the Message, which will track both parties communication related to a specific request.