The Internet Archive hopes to expand access to books to people with disabilities by leveraging multiple Qualifying Authorities to qualify user status. Qualifying Authorities maintain lists of Internet Archive users that they have qualified to access a collection of books for the print disabled. The digital lending system allows access to qualified users as well as access to one member of the public per every physical book.
Qualifying Authorities certify users as qualifying under the appropriate disability laws. Typically, these users are blind or have another visual, cognitive, or physical disability that interferes with reading books. Qualifying Authorities may include schools, libraries, elder-care organizations, municipalities, appropriate professionals, or service organization who can evaluate and attest that people are impacted by a physical, vision, learning, or cognitive disability.
In this program, the Qualifying Authority would register qualified Internet Archive users by adding them to a collection of users. Additionally, Qualifying Authorities can request access to digital source files for books to support conversion of those books into special formats for readers with disabilities.
Benefits for Qualified Users
The qualified users may then borrow special formats of books from the Internet Archive collection of books for the print-disabled for up to 14 days. At the end of the 14 days, the qualified user may renew. To contrast, non-qualified users may not have any access to a particular book, only get particular formats, or have to join the waitlist to access material that is already lent out. Qualified users would not have to wait.
Qualified users will be offered books through the digital rights management technologies used to lend books to users on archive.org. As part of this program the participating organizations will make some of their books available for digital lending to qualified users and the public.
Full Access for Further Remediation
The administrator of a qualifying authority can request full download access to any book so that it can be further remediated by sending a message to the Internet Archive.
Interested in participating? Please complete the application form.
(fyi: Open Libraries engagement form)