I Am Not The Copyright Police – the answers to all of your alternate format copyright questions


Presented at 11:45am in Penrose 1 on Friday, November 18, 2022.



  • Susan Kelmer, Alternate Format Production Program Manager, University of Colorado Boulder

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


There are always questions surrounding the legality of producing/providing alternate format to students with print disabilities, especially around the question of copyright. This session will provide you with the legal boundaries (and loopholes), and best practices, that govern the provision of alternate format to students with disabilities.


The provision of alternate format often feels illegal, or at least legally questionable, when it comes to copyright and protection of authors and publishers. However, the short answer is that colleges and universities are within their rights to create alternate format by whatever means are necessary, to accommodate a student with a print disability. The law backs us up, clearly, as does case law. In this session, I will share with you best practices in our industry, the relevant laws and acts that give us the power to do what we do, and how to deal with publishers or entities who may try to make this work difficult for us. I will also share with you how to write alternate media/format policies that cover you and your work. You will receive takeaways that you can use in your everyday work in providing alternate format to your students. I hope to set your mind at ease about the legality of what we do, and best ways to communicate those legalities to your organization, and to your students. You will receive materials that include sample language to publishers, sample policy statements, sample agreements that should be part of your process with students.


  1. What are the legalities of alternate media provision to students with print disabilities?
  2. What legal protections are in place for colleges and universities when providing alternate media?
  3. What are best practices when it comes to policy and procedures surrounding alternate media?

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas


Speaker Bio(s)

Susan Kelmer

Ms. Kelmer has been working with alternate format and accessible technology for more than 20 years in a higher education environment. Currently she works at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Alternate Format Production and Access Center, where alternate format materials for students with print disabilities are produced. She also consults with other departments on campus and other campuses about alternate format and how to produce materials effectively. She has presented at multiple AHG conferences in the last 20 years.