CITES | University of Illinois

National Federation of the Blind Commends eText

Our eText digital textbook service was commended by the National Federation of the Blind for its dedication to accessibility.

The National Federation of the Blind officially commended the University of Illinois for the eText digital textbook service provided by CITES. The commendation was voted on and approved as a resolution at the NFB's National Convention in Orlando the first weekend of July.

The resolution "highly commend(s)" the eText group, CITES and the University "for leading the way in higher education by showing other institutions and learning management systems the full power of a flexible, interactive, and well-supported platform that is accessible to the blind and geared to a variety of learning styles and abilities."

The full text of the NFB resolution can be found below.

Milind Basole, Lead eLearning Professional and manager of the eText service, is proud of the recognition.

"The eText@Illinois team has always believed in not compromising on accessibility," Basole said. "Validation of our work from an esteemed institution like the NFB is not only profoundly gratifying but reinforces our resolve. It also reinforces our belief that accessibility and great user experience go hand in hand."

Created at the University of Illinois, eText is a browser-based, multimedia-enhanced, fully accessible platform for delivering course content and digital textbooks. 

eText textbooks save students up to 75% the cost of printed textbooks, with revenue from course packs and homegrown textbook sales returned back to campus departments. Course content on eText can be accessed from a variety of devices, such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones as well as adaptive devices for those with disabilities. eText is compatible with MOOCs and other instructional platforms.

eText is one the most accessible means of delivering electronic course content in the world, and it is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Section 508. This means that students with visual, hearing and motor impairments can still easily access all of the knowledge found in a textbook available on the eText platform.

Media specialists, instructional developers and other technical experts at Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) consult with authors interested in developing course content for eText. For more information on the eText service, please visit etext.illinois.edu

National Federation of the Blind Resolution 2013-11

Regarding the University of Illinois eText System

The logo for the National Federation of the Blind

WHEREAS, full and timely access to textbooks is a necessary precondition to the success of a student in higher education; and

WHEREAS, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana delivers classroom content through eText, an accessible and interactive platform of its own making that provides textbooks and other materials to all students in the same manner and at the same time; and

WHEREAS, eText offers not only accessible text, but also other tools needed for academic success, such as note-taking, highlighting, bookmarking, and glossaries; and

WHEREAS, students can customize the book display in eText in a variety of ways—such as choosing margin widths, fonts, and display colors—depending on their preferred method of access and their environment; and

WHEREAS, math equations in eText materials are displayed in text-based MathML, which can be rendered by text-to-speech applications without further intervention, and in Braille where supported—a very welcome feature that even many mostly accessible platforms struggle to implement; and

WHEREAS, eText can be used on a mobile or desktop device with an HTML5-compliant browser, giving all students a way to use this platform when and how they choose: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this fifth day of July, 2013, in the city of Orlando, Florida, that this organization highly commend the eText Group, part of CITES (Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services) at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, for leading the way in higher education by showing other institutions and learning management systems the full power of a flexible, interactive, and well-supported platform that is accessible to the blind and geared to a variety of learning styles and abilities. 

Last updated Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 2:27 pm