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American Foundation for the Blind
Textbook and Instructional Materials Solutions Forum

November 2001

Statement of Purpose:

The focus of the Production Work Group is to identify the processes involved in the production and dissemination of textbooks and instructional materials in specialized media needed by students who are visually impaired.  This work group will recommend guidelines and strategies for acceptable quality braille transcriptions; appropriate adaptations of materials for producing textbooks to ensure they are educationally sound for visually impaired students; and eliminating duplication of efforts.

New Activities for 2001-2002:

  • Develop a fact sheet describing best practices in the production of tactile graphics.
  • Prepare and publish a list of resource sites for obtaining tactile graphics.
  • Develop a document to support the need for State’s to have more trained braille transcribers.
  • Develop a statement of support for passage of the Instructional Materials Accessibility Act of 2002.
  • Identify each state that is currently using a centralized system for production and dissemination of accessible textbooks.
  • Develop a fact sheet describing best practices in establishing and operating a centralized textbook depository and production system.

Activity Areas – Completed:

  • Develop a list of the states that have adoption cycles.
  • This objective was completed in May of 2000 and has been posted on the TSBVI web site.
  • Develop a national survey to find out how the production process is handled in each state. The survey was developed and sent to stakeholders during the spring of 2000.  Dr. Anne Corn and Dr. Robert Wall at Vanderbilt University compiled the results.  The results were initially reviewed at the AFB Solutions Forum meeting at APH in October 2000.  They were revisited at the Solutions Forum meeting at JLTLI in March 2001.

Activities Areas – Yet to be Addressed:

  • Develop a definition of acceptable quality for braille.
  • Establish guidelines for appropriate adaptation of materials to make textbooks educationally sound for blind children.
  • Develop a list of publishers who publish standardized assessment tools.
  • Identify ways to address requests for “documents on demand.”
  • Prepare and publish a sample policies and procedure manual for Instructional Resource Centers; encourage interagency sharing of information.
  • Explore the feasibility of a tactile graphics repository where graphics are collected, cataloged, and housed for use by all.
  • Prepare and publish information about current efforts to improve computer production of tactile graphics