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Textbooks The Right Book at the Right Time for Students with Visual Impairments Special Thanks: Tricia Lee (Region 9 ESC); Deborah Thompson (Region 20 ESC); Tina Herzberg (Region 12 ESC); Jim Durkel (TSBVI); Marty Murrell (TEA); Chuck Mayo (TEA)
Information Only Applies To PUBLIC SCHOOLS
State-adopted Textbooks Timeline Ordering State-adopted Textbooks Producing State-adopted Textbooks Supplemental and Non State-adopted Textbooks The Role of the Certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment Related to Textbooks Resources for Obtaining Non State-adopted Materials.
Each year, the State Board of Education (SBOE) adopts new textbooks for a specific subject. • These books are adopted for a period of 6 -7 years; and • are available to Texas Public Schools.
Refer to the TEA Website for a schedule outlining which books/subjects are adopted each year. http: //www. tea. state. tx. us/Textbooks/adoptprocess/ Look under the heading: “Cycle for Adoption of Materials in Foundation and Enrichment Subjects. ”
State-adopted Textbooks school TEA class Time Line
The following timeline is for Braille Textbooks: 1. Braille Production Centers submit proposals to braille the textbooks; 2. Bids are awarded to braille the textbooks; 3. In November, SBOE adopts the textbooks;
The following timeline is for Braille Textbooks: 4. Centers begin to braille the first three chapters; 5. Districts must order all state-adopted textbooks by April 1; 6. Centers braille remaining chapters of textbooks that were ordered (each book can take 2 -12 months to complete).
Adoption is done the same way for large print textbooks. Bids for producing large print editions are solicited and contracts awarded by TEA. Request for large print editions of a text are sent to the contracted producer.
Audiotape textbooks are ordered directly from the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and not through TEA. Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic do not have a specific time frame for placing orders, but they do recommend that school districts order audiotapes as soon as they know which titles the student will need.
Ordering State-adopted Textbooks
The district’s Textbook Coordinator submits orders to TEA electronically using the EMAT On-line Annual Requisition or via paper. Directions for ordering can be found in the Textbook Coordinator’s Manual on the Web at: http: //www. tea. state. tx. us/Textbooks/materials/tcmanual. html
Information specific to books for students with visual impairments is located in the “Special Textbooks for Special Students” chapter of the Textbook Coordinator’s Manual. http: //www. tea. state. tx. us/Textbooks/materials/man 4. htm#gg
Before ordering remember that the following requests cannot be made electronically: • Request for texts in un-contracted braille (grade 1); and/or • If the Coordinator is willing to accept incomplete texts and receive partial orders of individual chapters as they are put into braille, he/she must make the request when ordering and again this cannot be done electronically.
After district orders are received: • TEA compares the textbook request for large print and braille with the Annual Registration of Students with Visual Impairments. • If the order information is consistent, the order is processed; if the order is not consistent, then the order is set aside until the difference can be resolved.
To avoid major delays, make sure that accurate information is provided on both the Registration and the textbook order.
Contact Chuck Mayo, Assistant Division Director, Textbook Administration and Director for Accessibility, Textbook Administration, if you know the information will not be consistent (for example, a student moved into your district after the Registration’s January deadline). Chuck Mayo Contact Information: Phone: (512) 463 -9601 Fax: (512) 463 -9501 E-mail: [email protected] state. tx. us
Producing newly Stateadopted Textbooks
After orders are approved and processed by TEA: • TEA passes the orders to the Braille/Large Print Production Centers. • The Centers shift their brailling priorities from doing a few chapters of all the books to completing the books that have been ordered.
Remember that districts that are able to turn in their orders before the April 1 deadline have a better chance of having their books ready by the first day of school.
Usually by the end of the next full school year, the centers are able to have all the previous year’s adoption brailled. The challenge is to have all the books ready by the first school year, which is especially problematic for math and high-level science books.
Remember math & high-level science books take longer to braille because: • Unlike literary books, graphs, charts, etc. , are not available in electronic format; and • There is a critical shortage of transcribers with the special expertise and certification to produce these textbooks.
When large print & braille textbooks are completed The centers send the textbooks to the districts with the addresses provided by TEA. Remember this usually occurs during the summer and the books will be stored until school begins.
To avoid the misplacement of textbooks delivered over the summer, the district should have a written procedure on how books in alternate format will be processed and how the certified teacher of the visually impaired and campus administration will be notified.
When braille and large print textbooks are not delivered on time: • Contact the Textbook Coordinator at the TEA Textbook Division. • Determine the problem • Find a remedy Remedies might include: • Partial shipments of the completed volumes; • Overnight delivery
Districts can help to ensure that state-adopted textbooks will be available on time by: having the school board, campus administrators, textbook coordinators, classroom teachers, parents, and the certified VI teacher work together. The following suggestions have been provided to make this happen….
1. When the district is choosing the textbooks to adopt locally, consider the needs of the students who require braille/large print. 2. Be aware, several years in advance, of the schedule of subjects/books being adopted. 3. If using higher-level math or science textbooks, develop a graduation plan so the student will not require one of these books the first year of adoption.
4. If at all possible, especially if the adoption involves higher-level math/science books, delay the adoption of the new textbook for one year. This will allow the state time to produce these difficult to braille books. 5. Schedule local adoptions as soon as possible after the November SBOE adoption, so that the alternate format editions can be ordered well in advance of the April 1 deadline.
6. Submit alternate format textbook orders to TEA as soon as the student’s needs for the following year are known, well in advance of the April 1 deadline. 7. Accurately complete the Annual Registration of Students with Visual Impairments which must be submitted to the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in January.
8. Develop and implement written procedures for early identification and ordering of needed braille/large print textbooks. 9. Develop and implement written procedures for handling braille/large print books when they are delivered to the district, including notifying the student’s certified VI teacher and campus administrator.
10. Develop and implement written procedures for reporting late books to the Textbook Coordinator, and if necessary, to TEA. 11. The local VI teacher should develop a relationship with the local/district textbook coordinator.
Supplemental Materials & Non State-adopted Textbooks
The following materials are NOT available from the State at no cost to the district: • Non state-adopted textbooks; • State-adopted texts used as supplemental texts; and • Supplemental materials such as workbooks and ancillary readers.
It is the district’s responsibility to make all supplemental and non state-adopted textbooks or materials available in braille/large print/books on tape.
Before Ordering… If there is a braille/large print/audio reader who will be in the course: • Require those who make textbook decisions to include the availability and cost of the alternate format editions as one of the criteria for choosing the textbook. • Determine if the book is available for purchase or loan in the alternate format.
If there is a braille/large print/audio reader who will be in the course: • Determine if it is possible to translate the book into the alternate format. (This can take many months. ) • Anticipate and budget for these costs or build in procedures that can help minimize the cost. • Review a number of books that will meet the needs of a particular class to see if at least one will be affordable and possibly available.
Remember it can be very expensive to have a book brailled, especially for math, science, foreign languages, and other advanced level books. Some braille versions of texts can cost as much as $20, 000 each.
The average braille costs can run $2 to $5 per page, depending on braille codes used and the need to develop tactile graphics.
To reduce cost and production time, it is important for the VI teacher to be aware of available resources. These resources can: • Help determine if the book is already in the alternate format. • Let the districts know which method of obtaining the book is the most cost effective.
The district’s regional education service center can provide technical assistance and training about available resources.
When negotiating with publishers for the supplemental or non state-adopted textbooks, the district should require the publisher to: • Provide literary textbooks in an electronic file format that meets at least the minimal requirements of the TEA for the stateadopted books. This may reduce time and cost of producing the book in braille/large print.
It is the district’s responsibility to: • Ensure that a quality textbook is produced in braille/large print/audio, with no errors and with appropriate formatting. • Ensure graphs, charts, diagram, tables, and maps are addressed either through transcribers notes and/or quality tactile graphics. • Ensure that only a highly trained and certified braille transcriber approves the formatted text.
Please Note… It is not cost effective or appropriate to use a certified vision teacher to braille a textbook. Although a VI teacher can read, write, and teach braille, typically the teacher will not have the specific training or skills or time necessary to produce braille textbooks.
Please Note… It is also inappropriate to use unskilled paraprofessionals who use braille translation software as the only means of producing the books. Also… Without specific training, an unskilled paraprofessional WILL NOT be able to produce appropriate tactile diagrams that must supplement the text.
The Result… If anyone other than a highly trained and certified braille transcriber is used, the result may be a product with errors and inappropriate formatting.
Remember…enlarging a textbook on a copy machine is not an appropriate way to produce large print textbooks. Important information such as color in diagrams and charts may be lost. Contrast and clarity of print may be compromised.
The district can ensure that the adapted textbooks will be available on time by following the provided suggestions:
1. Establish and follow written procedures for determining how textbooks will be chosen for general education courses that include criteria such as availability and cost of alternate format books. 2. Follow the “TEA Textbook Decision Tree” to determine the most cost effective method of obtaining an edition of a book.
14. The local district arranges to have the materials brailled by: ·local transcriber, ·contract transcriber, ·ESC-if they offer this service, or The district is responsible for any costs. ·APH ATTIC http: //www. aph. org/atic. htm 3. Is the book a stateadopted textbook? http: //www. tea. state. tx. us/Textbooks/mat erials/bulletin/ 5. Search the online APH Louis database at http: //www. aph. org/louis. htm Is the book listed in the APH Louis database as available in either embossed format or in file format? 22. The local district arranges to have the materials brailled by: ·Local certified transcriber, ·Contract transcriber, ·ESC-if they offer this service, or ·VI teacher (if caseload allows). The district is responsible for any costs. o. APH ATTIC http: //www. aph. org/atic. htm 23. Check other listings of previously brailled books e. g. NLS database Web-Blind at http: //www. loc. gov/nls/webblnd/advancedsearch. html TSBVI downloadable braille material links at www. tsbvi. edu/braille/index. htm
3. Establish and follow written procedures for contracting with individual transcribers or braille production centers when books are not available. Include requirements such as certifications, experience, references, etc. 4. When possible, seek a transcriber who can use the publisher’s electronic file. 5. Be familiar with prevailing cost for braille transcription.
6. Provide local transcribers opportunities for professional development at the local, state, and national level. 7. Address the district and regional need for transcribers through the Regional Plan for Students with Visual Impairments coordinated by the education service center.
8. If the district has a high and ongoing demand for braille production, employ certified transcribers for the district. 9. If transcribers are not available, recruit and train individuals to become certified transcribers. 10. Develop an appropriate pay scale and career ladder that reflects the high level skills involved.
11. Meet with the education service center regarding training for braille transcribers. 12. Determine the courses students who need alternate formats will be taking as early as possible to produce the materials on time. (Remember some high school textbooks can take up to a year to produce in braille. )
The Role of the Certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments Related to Textbooks
The certified VI teacher is a key member of the district team that helps ensure students who need alternate format books have the right book at the right time.
This team will minimally include: • • Textbook Administrator Classroom Teacher Special Education Director Campus Administrator VI Teacher Student (in some cases) Student’s Parents (in some cases)
To meet the challenge of getting the right book at the right time, each district will develop: • • Policies, Procedures, Roles, and Responsibilities.
The VI Teacher has the knowledge and skills to: Conduct the Learning Media Assessment to determine if the student needs braille/large print. Teach the student to read using braille code. Teach some student(s) to use optical devices to read regular print books. Report textbook delays, errors, etc. , to appropriate administrators within the district or, if necessary, with the TEA for timely follow-up.
The VI Teacher has the knowledge and skills to: Work with the student’s classroom teacher to determine which materials need to be adapted in braille/large print/audio. Work with appropriate campus administrator, early, to determine the student’s schedule for the following year to determine what materials need to be adapted. Begin working in the Spring semester with teachers who will be teaching the student next year to determine reading media needs.
The VI Teacher has the knowledge and skills to: Work with the appropriate campus administrators to determine which textbooks will be available in adapted format from the State and which the district must provide. Work with textbook decision makers to help reduce unanticipated high braille cost. Help recruit and obtain training for districtemployed transcribers. Provide guidance and direction to the district transcribers to meet the unique needs of the students who use braille.
The VI Teacher has the knowledge and skills to: Provide input to appropriate district administrators regarding contracting with qualified transcribers to produce textbooks. Provide direct input into the Registration of Students with Visual Impairments to ensure it is accurate. Provide input to the Textbook Coordinator regarding any unique braille requirements (i. e. , contracted vs. uncontracted) for specific students, to ensure that the orders for braille state-adopted textbooks are accurate.
The VI Teacher has the knowledge and skills to: Provide input related to this issue in the development of the Regional Plan for Services to Students with Visual Impairments, which is coordinated by the ESC. Verify that the textbooks received from the State or from other sources are timely, without errors, and in appropriate format.
Resources for Obtaining Non State-adopted Materials
Accessible Media Producers Database (AMP): The AMP database includes the names, locations, and qualification of producers of accessible materials for visually impaired and blind individuals. Contact Information: Accessible Media Producers Database (AMP) American Printing House for the Blind 1839 Frankford Avenue Louisville, KY 40206 Phone: 502 -895 -2405 Email: [email protected] org Fax: 502 -899 -2274 Web: www. aph. org/ampdb. htm
Louis Database of Accessible Materials: A list of contributing agencies to the Louis Database of Accessible Materials, many of which produce materials in braille, can be accessed via the APH website. Contact Information: Louis Database of Accessible Materials American Printing House for the Blind 1839 Frankford Avenue KY 40206 Phone: 502 -895 -2405 Email: [email protected] org Louisville, Fax: 502 -899 -2274 Web: www. aph. org/louis. htm
Accessible Textbooks Initiative and Collaboration Project (ATIC): The goal of ATIC is to provide accessible textbooks in braille and other media to students who are visually impaired in as effective a manner as possible. Contact Information: Accessible Textbooks Initiative & Collaboration Project (ATIC) American Printing House for the Blind 1839 Frankford Avenue Louisville, KY 40206 Phone: 502 -895 -2405 Email: [email protected] org Fax: 502 -899 -2274 Web: www. aph. org/atic/index. html
Additional Websites International Electronic Book Library http: //www. braille. org/ National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) http: //www. loc. gov/nls Computers to Help People, Inc. http: //www. chpi. org/ Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired: http: //www. tsbvi. edu/braille/index. htm
This production has been brought to you by: A Center for Educational Services for All Blind and Visually Impaired Students in Texas 1100 W 45 th Street; Austin, TX 78756 -3494 (512) 454 -8631 1 -800 -TSB-KARE TDD (512) 206 -9451 www. tsbvi. edu This production has been made possible by funding from: TEA via decentralized projects for students with visual impairments at ESC Region XI All Rights Reserved: Any portion of the production may be reproduced for educational or personnel development purposes only. For any other uses please contact TSBVI Outreach Program at (512) 206 -9270. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability in employment or the provision of services.