Authorized User Membership Agreement

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The AccessText Network Membership Terms of Use

Acceptance of Terms

By checking the boxes below, you will be agreeing that you have read, understand, and agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use set forth below for the AccessText Network available on this site.
This document contains the following sections: Project and Services Overview, Member Publisher Policy, Authorized User Terms, Membership Terms, Access to File Exchange, Limitation of Liability, Agreement of Project Terms, and Defined Terms.

Project and Services Overview

Thanks for participating in the AccessText Network. The AccessText Network is a membership-based system in which Disability Support Service personnel communicate through a web portal with individual publishers to gain access to electronic files needed by their students who are diagnosed with a Print-Related Disability.

The AccessText Network mission is to improve and promote timely access to electronic versions of print educational materials used for the benefit of post-secondary students with diagnosed Print-Related Disabilities, currently enrolled at accredited institutions and who have provided the necessary documentation. The AccessText Network offers, but is not limited to, the following services and benefits to post-secondary institutions: (1) a database providing data on educational materials, formats and fulfillment; (2) a web-based account for office staff to request, track and report on educational materials; (3) a one-time institutional membership verification process for requesting textbooks; (4) permission for Authorized Users to share Alternative Text files with one another when authorized by the Publisher; (5) electronic rating scale "report card" for files; (6) toll-free technical assistance support line; (7) training resources for Disability service providers, students and faculty.

Leading publishers developed the AccessText Network along with the Association of American Publishers ("AAP") with the goal of helping students with Print-Related Disabilities achieve their college education on an equal playing field through access to alternative textbooks. The Board of Regents of Georgia (BOR) through the Alternative Media Access Center (AMAC), with the support of the AAP and publishers, are responsible for developing and maintaining the AccessText Application and verifying Authorized Users subject to this Agreement.

An AccessText Network Authorized User refers collectively to a DSS Office at an accredited higher education institution responsible for serving students with diagnosed disabilities OR a state-funded Alternate Media Center, which operates under the jurisdiction of a state education agency and is responsible for providing alternative media to higher education member institutions. DSS Offices and Alternate Media Centers must remain members in good standing in order to continue accessing the AccessText Network.

  • I confirm that I am employed at [Name of Institution] which is recognized as a Postsecondary Educational Institution State Approved Agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education (www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/) or state-funded Alternate Media Center.
  • I acknowledge that a notification must be sent by my institution to AccessText within three (3) business days of any change in contact information or membership status.

Member Publisher Procedures

The AccessText Network refers collectively to the Authorized Users, Publishers, and the AccessText Application (web portal), all of which form the basis for the cooperating Network. Authorized Users of the Network will request a Publisher File through the AccessText Application. The process for obtaining a Publisher File varies between Files, as well as between Publishers. Upon receipt of the request, the Publishers will either grant permission for use of the File or indicate to the requestor that the File is not available. If permission is granted, the publisher may elect to use one of two options - either permission will be granted through an automated process or a manual process. Regardless of the method used, once the publisher has granted permission, the Authorized User can expect to receive a file shortly thereafter. If the file has not been received within ten days of receiving the permission to use it, the Authorized User should contact AccessText Tech Support for assistance in determining the status of the file. Once the file has been received, the Authorized User may enhance the file to render it accessible to the Qualified Student. The AccessText Network refers to the final file as a "Post-Production File." Finally, while Authorized Users may retain their Post-Production Files, they must make additional requests each time that they need to redistribute the Post-Production File to a Qualified Student or provide an Alternative Text to another Authorized User.

If Publisher does not have the requested Publisher File, Publisher may respond with one of the following: (1) permission to obtain the Alternative Text from an Authorized User; (2) permission to scan the requested print material; (3) notice that Publisher does not hold the copyright for the requested print material; (4) permission to scan a portion of the requested print material; or (5) denial of the request.

Authorized User Terms

  • I, (Primary Contact Name), (Primary Contact Job Title), confirm that I am employed at (Name of School) which is recognized as a Postsecondary Educational Institution State Approved Agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education (www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/) or state-funded Alternate Media Center.
  • I acknowledge that a notification must be sent by my institution to AccessText within three (3) business days of any change in contact information or membership status.

Authorized Users of the AccessText Network are considered in good standing based on their agreement to the following membership terms.

  • I, (Primary Contact Name), will ensure that all Qualified Students being served through (Name of School) will have documentation demonstrating a fundamental limitation in their ability to access standard print educational materials.
  • I will only request a Publisher File from a Publisher, or an Alternative Text from another Authorized User, for a Qualified Student who is currently enrolled in a course for which the text concerned is required or recommended.
  • I will only provide an Alternative Text to a Qualified Student after the student has demonstrated that he or she has purchased a copy, or that a copy has been purchased for him or her, of the commercially-available print version of the Alternative Text.
  • I will only provide an Alternative Text to another Authorized User when both I and the Authorized User who needs the Text have received permission from the Publisher.
  • I acknowledge that if I receive a request from a Qualified Student for an Alternative Text that I have already supplied to another Qualified Student, I must submit a new request for permission and, if the Publisher so requires, not redistribute the file until I receive express permission to do so.
  • I agree to securely archive or dispose of each Publisher File once the Qualified Student requiring said File completes the course or is no longer enrolled at the institution, whichever should occur first. I further agree to dispose promptly and securely of any Alternative Text at such time as the Authorized User is no longer authorized to operate under the jurisdiction of a college or university system.
  • I understand that Publisher reserves the right to withdraw from the above grant of rights any Alternative Text for which (i) Publisher has reasonable grounds to believe the Publisher File contains material errors, or is or could be subject to a claim that it is defamatory, obscene, invades the right of privacy, or infringes the copyright or other rights of any person or entity; (ii) Publisher no longer retains the right to grant such rights; or (iii) a non-print version, suitable for use by students with Print-Related Disabilities, is made commercially available by Publisher and identified as such in Publisher Data. I further understand that, unless legally obligated to do so, Publisher shall not revoke permission pertaining to a file for a Qualified Student to whom the Alternative Text has been provided and who is still enrolled in the course for which it was provided.
  • I acknowledge that all use of Publisher Files, Post-Production Files, and Alternative Texts shall be in compliance with the Publisher grant of rights as noted for each file.

Authorized User Membership and Payment Terms

  • I acknowledge the membership term for DSS offices will begin upon receipt by AccessText of this signed electronic membership form.
  • I acknowledge that this agreement will need to be renewed annually. Membership agreements are not retroactive and only apply to the AccessText fiscal year in which they are signed.

Access To File Exchange

  • If I have elected to subscribe to the File Exchange, I understand that access to the Exchange will begin upon receipt by AccessText of the subscription fee or 25 post-production files and will expire 12 months after that date, unless a renewal payment or 25 additional files are received before the expiration date.

Limitation of Liability

Authorized Users acknowledge that each participating Publisher makes no representation or warranties with respect to Publisher Files, which are provided for use by Authorized Users "as is." The publishers make no representation or warranties with respect to any Alternative Text or the use of a Publisher File as an Alternative Text. Publishers disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including without limitation the implied warranties of title, non-infringement, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to any Publisher File. Publishers also make no representations or warranties as to whether the information accessible via the AccessText Network, including but not limited to publisher data and Publisher Files, is accurate, complete, or current. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable laws, each Publisher and its employees, agents, suppliers, and contractors shall in no event be liable for any claims, charges, and contractors damages, liabilities, losses, and expenses of whatever nature and howsoever arising, including, without limitation any compensatory, incidental, direct, indirect, special, punitive, or consequential damages, loss of use, loss of data, loss caused by a computer or electronic virus, loss of income or profit, loss of or damage to property, claims of third parties, or other losses of any kind of character, even if the publisher has been advised of the possibility of such damages or losses, arising out of or in connection with the AccessText Network.

Agreement of Terms

  • I acknowledge and agree that this Agreement constitutes the final expression of the understanding and agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter and is intended as a complete and exclusive statement of the terms of the parties' agreement, supersedes and cancels all previous agreements and understandings, either oral or in writing, between the parties to this Agreement, and is not subject to or entered into on the basis of any oral or written terms or representations other than those contained herein.
  • I acknowledge and accept that if [Institution] becomes out of compliance with the terms of this membership agreement, then the Authorized User's membership will be suspended until the AccessText Membership Service Unit can provide additional review. If the ATN believes that [Institution] is out of compliance, ATN will give [Institution] the opportunity to provide whatever documentation it may wish to share evidencing its compliance before ATN suspends (or, on the basis of the documentation provided, foregoes suspending) service.
  • I agree to this document and will abide by all terms of this AccessText Network agreement on this date.

Pertinent Terms

The following terms are defined for your convenience. Whenever any of these terms are used in this document or within the AccessText Network, please assume their meaning as defined in this list:

AccessText Application refers collectively to the website, database, search boxes, interactive forms, reports, notifications and procedures that constitute the system devised by AMAC for the purpose of improving and enhancing the process by which DSS Offices and Alternate Media Centers interact with publishers for the purpose of providing Alternative Texts to Qualified Students.

Alternate Media Centers refers to organizations that operate under the jurisdiction of a state education agency and provide Alternative Texts for multiple DSS Offices.

Alternative Text refers to any post-production file or file scanned with Publisher permission and provided by a DSS Office in a format other than the commercially available print version of the material to one or more Qualified Students. Examples of alternative text formats include Braille transcription of printed materials, XML tagging of an electronic file, and conversion of a file to audio formats such as mp3 or wav.

Authorized Users refers collectively to DSS Offices and Alternate Media Centers that are members in good standing of the AccessText Network.

Disability has the same meaning as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (as amended), 42 U.S.C. § 12102, as it exists from time-to-time.

Print-Related Disability refers to a Disability that impairs the person's ability to read or comprehend the commercially-available print version of a textbook or other printed instructional materials.

Post-Production Files refers to the file derived from a Publisher File that has been enhanced to provide an alternative text format to a Qualified Student. A Publisher File may not need to be enhanced and may be suitable for use as a Post-Production File depending on the format of the File and the nature of the particular Print-Related Disability.

DSS Offices refers to Disability Service offices of institutions of higher education.

Publisher File refers to an original file delivered to one or more Authorized Users by the Publisher in response to a request made through the AccessText Application.

Qualified Student refers to a student who is enrolled at the certified higher education institution and is currently receiving an accommodation based on a documented Print-Related Disability, which prevents him or her from accessing hard copy print material. Documentation must be on file with the requesting DSS office. Additional information on qualified disability documentation can be located at the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) or in the AccessText Wiki.

By checking this box as my electronic signature, I agree to all the Terms of Use set forth above.