Texas Education Code - EDUC § 51.970. Instructional Material for Blind and Visually Impaired Students and Students With Dyslexia

(a) In this section:

(1) “Blind or visually impaired student” includes any student whose visual acuity is impaired to the extent that the student is unable to read the print in the standard instructional material used in a course in which the student is enrolled.

(2) “Coordinating board” means the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(3) “Dyslexia” means a condition of dyslexia considered to be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act ( 42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq. ) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ( 29 U.S.C. Section 794 ).

(4) “Institution of higher education” has the meaning assigned by Section 61.003 .

(5) “Instructional material” means a printed textbook or other printed instructional material or a combination of a printed book and supplementary printed instructional material that:

(A) conveys information to or otherwise contributes to the learning process of a student;  and

(B) was published on or after January 1, 2004.

(6) “Special instructional material” means instructional material in Braille, large print, audio format, digital text, or any other medium or any apparatus that conveys information to or otherwise contributes to the learning process of a blind or visually impaired student or a student with dyslexia.

(b) This section applies only to instructional material that is:

(1) written and published primarily for postsecondary instruction of students;  and

(2) required or essential for a student's success in a course at an institution of higher education, as identified by the instructor of the course for which the instructional material will be used, in consultation with the person at the institution with primary responsibility for services for students with disabilities and in accordance with rules adopted under Subsection (i)(1).

(c) To assist the institution in producing special instructional material, a publisher or manufacturer of instructional material assigned by an institution of higher education for use by students in connection with a course at the institution shall provide to the institution on the institution's request in accordance with this section a copy in an electronic format of the instructional material.  The publisher or manufacturer, as applicable, shall provide the electronic copy not later than the 15th business day after the date of receipt of the request.

(d) A request made by an institution of higher education under Subsection (c) must:

(1) certify that for each blind or visually impaired student or student with dyslexia who will use specialized instructional material based on the requested copy of the material in an electronic format for a course in which the student is enrolled at the institution, either the institution or the student has purchased a printed copy of the instructional material;  and

(2) be signed by the person at the institution with primary responsibility for services for students with disabilities.

(e) A publisher or manufacturer may require that a request made by an institution of higher education under Subsection (c) include from each student for whom the institution is making the request a signed statement in which the student agrees:

(1) to use the requested electronic copy and related special instructional material only for the student's own educational purposes;  and

(2) not to copy or otherwise distribute in a manner that violates 17 U. S.C. Section 101 et seq. the requested electronic copy or the instructional material on which the requested electronic copy is based.

(f) Each electronic copy of instructional material must:

(1) be in a format that:

(A) except as provided by Subsection (g), contains all of the information that is in the instructional material, including any text, sidebar, table of contents, chapter headings, chapter subheadings, footnotes, index, glossary, and bibliography, and is approved by the publisher or manufacturer, as applicable, and the institution of higher education as a format that will contain that material;  and

(B) is compatible with commonly used Braille translation and speech synthesis software;  and

(2) include any correction or revision available at the time the electronic copy is provided.

(g) If the publisher or manufacturer and the institution of higher education are not able to agree on a format as required by Subsection (f)(1)(A), the publisher or manufacturer, as applicable, shall provide the electronic copy of the instructional material in a format that can be read by a word processing application and that contains as much of the material specified by that subsection as is practicable.

(h) The coordinating board may impose a reasonable administrative penalty, not to exceed $250 per violation, against a publisher or manufacturer that knowingly violates this section.  The coordinating board shall provide for a hearing to be held, in accordance with coordinating board rule, to determine whether a penalty is to be imposed and the amount of any penalty.  The coordinating board shall base the amount of any penalty on:

(1) the seriousness of the violation;

(2) any history of a previous violation;

(3) the amount necessary to deter a future violation;

(4) any effort to correct the violation;  and

(5) any other matter justice requires.

(i) The coordinating board, in consultation with an advocacy organization for persons who are blind or visually impaired, an advocacy organization for persons with dyslexia, representatives from one or more instructional material publishing companies or publishing associations, and institutions of higher education, shall adopt rules for administering this section, including rules that address:

(1) the method for identifying instructional material considered to be required or essential for a student's success in a course;

(2) the procedures and standards relating to distribution of electronic copies of instructional material under this section;  and

(3) any other matter considered necessary or appropriate for the administration of this section.

(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a publisher or manufacturer is not required to comply with Subsection (c) or (f), as applicable, if the coordinating board, using procedures and criteria adopted by coordinating board rule and based on information provided by the publisher or manufacturer, determines that:

(1) compliance by the manufacturer or publisher would violate a law, rule, or regulation relating to copyrights;  or

(2) the instructional material on which the requested electronic copy is based is:

(A) out of print;  or

(B) in a format that makes it impracticable to convert the material into an electronic format.


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard