Requesting Modifications in SB 48 (College Textbooks:
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RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) commend Senator Alquist for her authoring of SB 48; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU request Senator Alquist to consider introducing additional legislation that would specify that the electronic version of the textbook provided by publishers as required by SB 48 be compatible with commonly used Braille translation, screen reading software, and other ADA compliant forms; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the ASCSU request Senator Alquist to consider introducing additional legislation that would modify SB 48 so that its provisions take effect no later than January 1, 2015; and be it further
RESOLVED: That this resolution be sent to Senator Alquist, the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees, campus Presidents, campus Senate Chairs, and the Association of American Publishers, and American Association of University Professors.
RATIONALE: RATIONALE: The ASCSU is grateful to Senator Alquist for authoring SB 48. We note that the ASCSU has passed a number of resolutions dealing with textbook accessibility and affordability. In 2006, the ASCSU passed AS-2730-06/AA. This resolution called on publishers to provide e-text versions of course materials at the time such materials are adopted “in a format that is compatible with Braille production, screen reading software, and other ADA compliant forms.” While existing legislation requires publishers to make this material available upon request, delays in getting the material prepared can seriously disadvantage students who need such materials at the start of the academic term. While SB 48 specifies that publishers provide text materials in electronic format, there are electronic formats which do not support Braille translation or screen reading software or other ADA compliant forms.
Also in 2006 the ASCSU passed AS-2747-06/FA. This resolution encouraged faculty to select “course materials that minimize cost to students”. As pointed out in the Report of the CSU Affordability Taskforce (see http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Reports/Textbook_Affordability_Taskforce_report.pdf), electronic versions of textbooks have the capability to reduce student costs. The ASCSU supports an earlier implementation date for the requirments of SB 48 instead of the present deadline of 2020. We believe that, from a technical perspective, publishers should be able to comply with this law within the next five years.
Approved – January 21-22, 2010