Apr 12, 2016
Vancouver, BC – A project by the Centre for Accessible Post-Secondary Education Resources BC (CAPER-BC) has earned an international award from the Open Education Consortium. The Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit, developed in collaboration with BCcampus and Camosun College, enables frontline educators to create free and accessible textbooks for all students.
“Our day-to-day work is fixing textbooks that are broken for students with print disabilities,” explains Tara Robertson, Accessibility Librarian for CAPER-BC. “It was exciting to work with content creators to write textbooks that are accessible from the start. This way, students with print disabilities don’t need to wait for the textbook content to be remediated. They can start the course with the rest of their classmates.”
The Open Education Consortium awards recognize organizations that improve access to high-quality education for all individuals. Winners are selected by a panel of educations and open education advocates from around the world.
While traditional textbooks are copyrighted and must be purchased by students, open textbooks exist in the public domain, and are free for students to access online. Among BC post-secondary institutions, Langara College ranks second for number of academic sections adopting open textbooks. To date, 53 open textbooks have been adopted at Langara, saving a total of $239,580 for 1,728 students.
Funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, CAPER-BC produces textbooks, course packs, journal articles and online sources, into alternate format for print disabled students at 20 post-secondary institutions in the province. A print disability prevents a person from using conventional print sources due to visual or physical impairment, or impairment related to comprehension. Find out more at www.caperbc.ca.
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 21,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as house of teachings, a name given to it by the Musqueam people on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.