Welcome to EMMA: Educational Materials Made Accessible–and Shareable!



  • Bill Kasdorf, Principal, Kasdorf & Associates, LLC
  • Jonn Unsworth, Dean of Libraries, University Librarian, & Professor of English; Principal Investigator on FRAME, University of Virginia

Session Details

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


EMMA is both a repository of remediated higher education content and a collaborative system for sharing remediated resources between colleges and universities. Developed under a four-year Mellon grant by the Disability Services Offices (DSO) and libraries at seven universities and by three major repositories (Bookshare, the Internet Archive, and the HathiTrust), it provides a sophisticated UX, based on a new metadata model for remediation, to facilitate the discovery and sharing of remediated resources between its members.


EMMA--Educational Materials Made Accessible--is both a repository of remediated higher education content and a system and organization for facilitating the safe, legal sharing of remediated resources between trusted partners for use by qualified recipients.

The result of a Mellon-funded initiative (FRAME--Federating Repositories for Accessible Materials in Higher Education), it was created in a four-year collaboration by the disability services offices and academic libraries at seven universities, as well as three repositories: Benetech's Bookshare, the Internet Archive, and the HathiTrust. A fourth repository, EMMA, was created at the University of Virginia for resources not originating in those three repositories. With the upcoming completion of the grant-funded work in early 2023, EMMA is transitioning to a nonprofit membership organization, the dues for which are expected to be more than offset by the cost savings for DSOs by obtaining resources already remediated by peer institutions.

A key accomplishment of the FRAME project was the development of a sophisticated user experience (UX) in EMMA to facilitate both the discovery of remediated resources (and source files to remediate) across all four repositories as well as the deposit of remediated resources by member DSOs. An important aspect of this UX was the development of a robust metadata model to provide the information DSOs need in order to properly describe the resources they are contributing, including the extent and nature of the remediation. Likewise, that metadata enables other DSOs to be able to choose, between multiple available copies of a given resource, the one best suited for the qualified recipient they are serving. This metadata model is in the process of becoming standardized by NISO.

This session will explain EMMA in depth, including the metadata model, a demonstration of the user interface by which to discover and deposit resources, the benefits of membership and how to become a member.


  1. EMMA facilitates the safe, legal sharing of remediated resources for qualified recipients between DSOs.
  2. A membership organization for Higher Education institutions, their DSOs are the users of the system.
  3. A sophisticated metadata model and UX have been developed to streamline discovery and deposit of resources.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Procurement, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Bill Kasdorf

Bill Kasdorf, kasdorf.bill@gmail.com, is Principal of Kasdorf & Associates, LLC, a consultancy focusing on editorial and production workflows, XML/HTML/EPUB modeling, standards and best practices, and accessibility. He is a founding partner of Publishing Technology Partners. Bill is active in the W3C Publishing@W3C activity and serves as the W3C Global Publishing Evangelist. He is a member of NISO and co-chairs two NISO Working Groups. He is a member of SSP, BISG, IPTC, and the DAISY Consortium. He is the recipient of the SSP Distinguished Service Award. He is general editor of The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing and serves on the editorial board of Learned Publishing. Consulting clients have included societies such as NEJM, NAP, and ACP; university presses at MIT, Harvard, Cambridge, Toronto, and Columbia; publishers such as SAGE, Norton, and Pearson; and organizations such as the Cochrane Library, OCLC, ORCID, and the EU Publishing Office.

Jonn Unsworth

In June of 2016, John Unsworth was appointed Dean of Libraries, University Librarian, and Professor of English at the University of Virginia. From 2012 to 2016, John served as Vice-Provost for Library and Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at Brandeis University, where he was also University Librarian and Professor of English. In August of 2013, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Humanities Council.

Before joining Brandeis University, John was Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 2003 to 2012. In addition to being a Professor in GSLIS, at Illinois he also held appointments in the department of English and on the Library faculty. At Illinois he also served as Director of the Illinois Informatics Institute, from 2008 to 2011.

From 1993-2003, he served as the first Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, and as a faculty member in the English Department, at the University of Virginia. For his work at IATH, he received the 2005 Richard W. Lyman Award from the National Humanities Center. He chaired the national commission that produced Our Cultural Commonwealth, the 2006 report on Cyberinfrastructure for Humanities and Social Science, on behalf of the American Council of Learned Societies, and he has supervised research projects across the disciplines in the humanities. He has also published widely on the topic of electronic scholarship, as well as co-directing one of nine national partnerships in the Library of Congress's National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program, and securing grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Getty Grant Program, IBM, Sun, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and others.

His first faculty appointment was in English, at North Carolina State University, from 1989 to 1993. He attended Princeton University and Amherst College as an undergraduate, graduating from Amherst in 1981. He received a Master's degree in English from Boston University in 1982 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia in 1988. In 1990, at NCSU, he co-founded the first peer-reviewed electronic journal in the humanities, Postmodern Culture (now published by Johns Hopkins University Press, as part of Project Muse). He also organized, incorporated, and chaired the Text Encoding Initiative Consortium, co-chaired the Modern Language Association's Committee on Scholarly Editions, and served as President of the Association for Computers and the Humanities and later as chair of the steering committee for the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, as well as serving on many other editorial and advisory boards.

He was born in 1958, in Northampton, Massachusetts; in 1978, he married Margaret English, with whom he has three children: Bill, Thomas, and Eleanor.