January 27, 2022

Pilot Project: Internet Archive Helps Make Books Accessible For Students with Disabilities

From an Internet Archive Blog Post:

The Internet Archive will be part of a team that is working to address a key challenge for students with disabilities: getting books in accessible formats. This participation aligns with an existing Internet Archive program to make materials available and accessible to readers with disabilities.


A newly-funded pilot project, “Federated Repositories of Accessible Materials for Higher Education,” aims to address this problem. This is a two-year pilot program that has recently been funded by a $1,000,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the University of Virginia (as principal investigator) with a primary goal of reducing the duplication of remediation activity across the seve (7) universities participating in the pilot. It will also support the cumulative improvement of accessible texts and decrease the turnaround time for delivering those texts to students and faculty.


The Internet Archive’s role in this pilot project dovetails with our existing program to make materials available and accessible to readers with disabilities. Our current program allows any organization that is already working with people with disabilities, known as Qualifying Authorities, to access the digital files of over 1.8 million books (about 900,000 of which are otherwise unavailable).

Read the Complete Blog Post

Note: infoDOCKET first posted about this pilot project on Jan. 11, 2019:  “Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards $1,000,000 Grant to “Federating Repositories of Accessible Materials for Higher Education” Project”

Note 2: White Paper (2017): “Libraries: Take AIM! Accessible Instructional Materials and Higher Education”

Pilot Project Partners

  • University of Virginia
  • George Mason University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Illinois
  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Internet Archive
  • HathiTrust
  • Bookshare
About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.