Alternative Format Solutions Initiative: recommendations for curricular access in the US
One of AltFormat.org's demands is the provision of a national repository of curricular materials, allowing schools to access and convert curricular materials into alternative formats with absolute ease. These demands are echoed in the States, through the Alternative Format Solutions Initiative.
The Alternative Format Solutions Initiative (AFSI), is a project sponsored by the American Association of Publishers (AAP) with the primary goal of developing a cooperative solution to the provision of AltFormat materials in the US higher education space.
The Alternative Format Solutions Initiative is operating in cooperation with the AHEAD E-Text Solutions Group, and other advocacy organizations, and clearly indicates a need for centralised approach in any efforts to develop a sustaining solution to the complex issues of curricular access in the US.
After a year of data collection, interviews and focus groups, in and out of the educational system, a series of recommendations were presented by the initiative at the CSUN conference in March of 2007. These include:
- The establishment of an Information Portal/Clearinghouse of existing AltFormat holdings
- The development of a capacity for the national distribution of "Source" files from Publishers.
- The development of a network of "Established and Approved" third party providers of "End User" or student ready files.
- The development and dissemination of best practices for the operation of the "National" system.
The next step in the effort is the development of a comprehensive plan of action to engage and involve all of the constituent groups and move forward with a model that is self-sustain, effective and efficient in meeting the ever increasing needs for quality access to curricular materials.