Blind injustice

March 3, 2000

Now that the goods and services part of the Disability Discrimination Act is in force, should not textbook publishers offer their books in CD format for visually impaired and other students who rely on speech synthesisers to read them?

I have three blind students taking a social policy course for which we use a single main textbook. If we put the book on disk ourselves, we infringe copyright regulations. The textbook publisher says it leaves all reproduction on CD to the Royal National Institute for the Blind. The under-resourced RNIB reports that it can offer only the fourth edition - of little use since the fifth is out of print in readiness for the sixth next month. With the law, and a visually impaired education secretary, I had hoped we would be further forward.

Julia Edwards University of Glamorgan Business School, Pontypridd

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