California State University, Long Beach                                                 

Policy Statement

08-11

                                                                                                                 April 7 , 2008


                                                                                                                 

Accessibility and Faculty Responsibility for the Selection of Instructional Materials

The policy was recommended by the Academic Senate on March 13, 2008 and approved by the President on March 20, 2008.

Preamble

CSULB and the CSU are committed to provide equal access to information resources to all individuals. Our commitment is both an ethical matter and a legal mandate. CSULB and CSU policies must comply with federal and state laws governing access to information and services for students / persons with disabilities. The CSU Academic Senate (CSU AS-2700-05) urges campus academic senates and the Chancellor’s Office (CSU Executive Order 926 and Coded Memo AA 2006-41) requires campus administrations to create plans to support faculty and staff practices that will ensure timely access to all instructional materials.

The successful implementation of this policy requires the active cooperation of the faculty, departments, administration, staff, and students.

Students with disabilities are responsible for notifying their current and future instructors as early as possible of their needs for an accommodation of a verified disability. A student with a disability is urged to consult with Disabled Student Services as soon as possible in order to identify possible accommodations to enhance academic success.

The campus administration is responsible for allocating resources to the colleges and departments in a timely manner in order to enhance the likelihood that departments will assign appoint faculty to courses early enough to assure the success of this policy.

The campus administration and the faculty community of scholars 1 are responsible for developing plans for ensuring that all instructional materials are accessible to all students. These plans include developing the following protocols for faculty to use for:

A. Selecting accessible textbooks;

B. Compiling course packets in accessible print formats;

C. Integrating universal design and accessibility training modules into any courses that require students to create web-based instructional materials;

D. Assisting faculty to make accessible their learning management systems (e.g., Beachboard) and the materials thereby disseminated; and

E. Selecting digital and multimedia materials used in courses (this protocol shall also be used by departments, colleges, and the library when purchasing digital or multimedia instructional materials).

Instructional Technology Support Services (ITSS), in collaboration with the Faculty Center for Professional Development (FCPD), shall develop plans and workshops to prepare faculty in making their course content and instructional materials accessible to all students. Departments are urged to encourage their faculty to avail themselves of these professional development opportunities.

Exceptions to this policy may be made when accessibility to instructional materials cannot be achieved in a reasonable manner. In addition, a department will need to explain why, and to what extent, compliance creates (an) undue burdens2.

Definition of Terms Instructional materials include textbooks, course packets, handouts, maps, multimedia, digital media, web-based materials, and learning management systems (e.g. Beachboard). Accessible materials are those that are readable, perceivable, and understandable by all students 3.

The Purpose of this Policy

This policy functions as follows:

A. To provide guidance to faculty and departments on textbook and other instructional material selection options that would further universal accessibility.

B. To assist in insuring that instructional materials will indeed be accessible in a timely manner to all students, to promote real-time use of the materials.

General Principles

A. When special circumstances exist, representatives from student support services such as Disabled Student Services can meet with department chairs and their faculty, to help determine which courses and course materials can meet the desired accessibility criteria without a causing a fundamental alteration in the course, or causing an undue hardship.

B. The Office of the Provost, in consultation with the college deans, campus bookstore and Disabled Student Services, will establish deadlines each academic year for faculty submissions of requests for instructional materials to be used in their courses. The campus administration is responsible for allocating resources to the colleges and departments in a timely manner in order to enhance the likelihood that departments will assign faculty to courses early enough to assure the success of this policy.

1. The deadlines established for faculty submissions of requests for instructional materials will provide sufficient lead time for the campus and off campus bookstores to identify and secure accessible instructional materials and/or for Disabled Student Services to consult with the CSU Center for Alternate Media (CAM), publishers, and other sources.

2. If necessary, textbooks, course packets, and/or other resource materials assigned by faculty will be converted to formats accessible to students.

C. Departments have responsibility for assuring that faculty members submit their requests for instructional materials by the deadlines established by the Office of the Provost.

1. In the event that faculty do not submit their requests for instructional materials by the deadlines established by the Office of the Provost, then those requests will be submitted by an appropriate body as determined by the department; and, in the case where the appropriate department body does not submit the requests, those requests for instructional materials will be submitted by the department chair to the campus bookstore.

2. An appropriate body for purposes of this policy may be the department chair, the department curriculum committee, an ad hoc committee consisting of those teaching the course, a course coordinator, or such other body as may be approved by the department.


D. The faculty member teaching the course has the professional responsibility for the intent choice of textbook and other instructional material selection for a course.

Therefore, the following apply:

1. Faculty will use the protocols developed by the campus administration and the faculty community of scholars for selecting accessible text books, preparing course packets in accessible print formats, creating and disseminating web-based instructional materials, and for selecting digital and multimedia materials used in courses.

2. Faculty will use instructional materials that are in a format acceptable to the Federal Access Board Guidelines4 as accessible.

3. Faculty will use the campus learning management system (e.g., Beachboard), to the maximum extent possible, both for delivering technology-enabled course content, and for posting syllabi and instructional materials that are in usable and accessible formats in both traditional and hybrid courses.

4. Accessible instructional materials will be handled in a manner that upholds copyright laws, and respects intellectual property right.

1 AAUP, Policy Document and Reports 3-4 (10th ed., 2006), U.S. Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Green v. Howard University).

2 http://www.access-board.gov/elearning%20and%20508.htm

3 CSULB Website on Accessible Technology Initiative - glossary of "Accessible Technology" http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/students2/committees/ati/glossary/

4 http://www.calstate.edu/accessibility/section508/

 


EFFECTIVE: Immediately