Many of your purchasers are working with disabled learners who find traditional textbooks difficult or impossible to access. The law requires that the educational institutions should provide course content in an accessible way. Most educational courses are still book based and rely heavily on publishers to help them source digital versions of the published texts for disabled learners. In most courses, the availability of these digital versions is critical to the success of a disabled learner therefore educationalists are under pressure to deliver a suitable format in a suitable timescale (in line with a legal imperative).
For publishers there is no legal obligation to make an electronic version available but a responsive approach is likely to influence future adoptions since using books from unresponsive publishers exposes institutions to a high risk in terms of meeting their own DDA responsibilities.
For publishers, dealing with requests for digital versions of textbooks poses challenges because
- It is outside the normal workflow.
- There may be no established protocols in place.
- Customers may make impractical requests (for example Word versions of textbooks).
- Customers may be agitated by working under very tight timescales.
- Correspondence can end up in the wrong inbox, delaying the response and creating poor customer relationships.