ACE: Announcing a new Scholars Portal core service

The Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE) pilot project is now transitioning to a Scholars Portal core service. ACE is a growing repository currently containing over 1,200 texts in five different accessible formats (two types of PDFs, text, DAISY, and ePub). This service was made available to all OCUL participants in December 2013. Currently in partnership with twelve universities, this repository has been designed to support students and faculty with print disabilities across participating institutions. Having successfully completed its pilot year at the end of November 2013, this initiative is ready to embrace growth opportunities in 2014. 

Who has access?

Users with verified print disabilities can obtain an access token from accessibility staff at their institutions. This “token” - a unique password linked to each institution without identifying the specific user - allows visitors to browse the accessible collections and download material for personal research or studies. User identity is protected by this token system and personal information is not shared beyond the walls of their institutions. This was an important consideration for the ACE pilot, as personal and medical information is highly sensitive and should be well protected.

Where is the repository housed?

This repository is housed on the Scholars Portal Books platform, modified for this project. Extensive accessibility testing was conducted to ensure that the platform is fully accessible to users with a variety of assistive devices. User testing took place throughout months of October and November 2013, where the project manager travelled to many participating institutions to meet with students who are eligible for this service and record feedback. An additional ACE User Advisory Group was formed in 2013, comprised of representatives from participating institutions. This group is helpful in determining the accessibility levels of the platform as well as its contents. Users in this group come from a variety of disciplines and use a variety of assistive devices.

How do books get into the repository?

Students and faculty submit digitization requests through their institution’s accessibility offices, which then forwards the request to the ACE project team. If the material is available at their institutional library, this material can be made accessible through the ACE repository.

Questions?

Katya Pereyaslavska

Project Manager, ACE Repository

Email or call at 416 946 8616

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