Providing BC Educators with Alternate Format Materials for their Students with Perceptual Disabilities

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:57 PM

The Accessible Resource Centre – British Columbia (ARC-BC) is a collection of alternate format materials of recommended resources for the British Columbia K-12 curriculum that serves every school district in the province.

ARC-BC is managed by the Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) and works in consultation and partnership with BC school districts, other alternate format producers, and publishers to provide recommended and requested materials in a timely manner.

ARC-BC collects, produces and distributes high quality digital and alternate format materials for use by students with perceptual disabilities as a service to BC school districts. Educators in all school districts are able to search this online repository or "digital library" to find and download alternate format resources related to the BC curriculum.

By providing alternate format versions of the standard print materials used in the BC curriculum in a centralized, coordinated and secure manner, BC educators are able to quickly locate and acquire the alternate versions needed, without having to scan and edit the materials while ensuring they adhere to copyright law.

Andornot worked with ARC-BC staff to specify, design and develop the first version in 2008. Numerous changes and enhancements have been made every year since, to improve workflow and resource access for users and ARC-BC staff.

The public face of the site gives participants a fast and flexible search, a shopping cart for downloads, and a personal area to manage their account profile, search alerts, and download history. Digital resources can be downloaded in a variety of formats for students with perceptual disabilities, and participants have the opportunity to improve the collection through the submission of new or improved material.

On the admin side, the site features online data entry with advanced file upload, user account administration, and site activity reporting.

From a technical perspective, the system consists of a .NET web application and MS SQL back-end, as well as full text searching using Apache Lucene.

Contact Andornot to discuss development of custom applications such as this.

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