November 17, 2017
AAP Welcomes Senate Introduction of AIM HIGH Act to Advance Learning Materials Access for College Students with Disabilities
Bi-partisan legislation from Sen. Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Hatch (R-UT) will improve availability of accessible electronic instructional materials.
Washington, DC; Nov. 17, 2017 – The Association of American Publishers (AAP) welcomes the introduction of the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education Act (AIM HIGH) in the U.S. Senate yesterday by Sen. Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Hatch (R-UT). The legislation is supported by a coalition that includes AAP, Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), National Federation of the Blind (NFB), American Council on Education (ACE), and EDUCAUSE.
The AIM HIGH Act creates an independent Commission to issue a set of voluntary guidelines that enables stakeholders to work better together towards their shared goal of a marketplace that provides greater access to learning materials for students with disabilities. The ultimate goal of the legislation is to help ensure that students with disabilities are afforded the same educational benefits as non-disabled students regarding access to higher education materials and related technologies.
The proposed Commission will include representatives from the communities of persons with disabilities, industry developers and manufacturers of instructional materials and related technologies, and representatives from higher education institutions. The commission will develop guidelines based on a review of national and international information technology accessibility standards, which will be sent to the Secretary of Education and open for public comments.
Nothing in the legislation will change existing federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s disabilities.
“AAP and our members understand how critical learning materials are to student success, which is why we have shepherded this legislation for years along with the NFB, EDUCAUSE, ACE and SIIA. The AIM HIGH Act will help increase the commercial availability of accessible instructional materials in higher education and we urge its prompt passage in both the House and the Senate,” said Allan Adler, General Counsel and Vice President of Government Affairs, AAP.
Similar bi-partisan legislation (AIM HE: H.R. 1772) was introduced by Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) in the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2017.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) represents more than 300 book and journal publishers in the United States on matters of law and policy. Find us online at publishers.org or on twitter at @AmericanPublish.