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Accessible Resource Centre - British Columbia

Providing Alternate Format Materials to BC Educators to Promote Access to Learning for Students with Perceptual Disabilities

The Accessible Resource Centre - British Columbia is a BC Ministry of Education funded response to the growing demand for digital or alternate format alternatives to hard-copy print learning materials in BC learning environments. The goal of ARC-BC is to provide BC students with perceptual disabilities and the educators supporting them with high quality digital alternate format materials based on British Columbia's K-12 curriculum.

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

Learn more about ARC-BC, view training, and start your registration.

Current News

Welcome Back - September 2019

Dear ARC-BC Users,

We hope this message finds you all well after a relaxing and fun summer! We are delighted to report that there are a number of new ARC-BC features and services launched and ready for the start of the 2019-2020 academic year! 

Housekeeping for the new year:

ARC-BC’s New Look

ARC-BC has a fresh new look! As a result of the redesign process presented in May, ARC-BC is now easier to use on small screens such as phones and tablets. This ensures that users won’t have to ‘pinch and zoom’ around the page just to be able to read text or click a button!

Screenshot shows a number of different sized displays with the ARC homepage

New Resource for Users – Reading App Profiles

In response to requests from users, the ARC-BC team has created a series of profiles of recommended reading apps for use with ARC-BC files. ARC-BC users often have questions regarding the best technology-format combination for their students and these app profiles are intended to help users inform that decision. These reading apps have been tested by our team and are recommended by file format (e.g., EPUB, Kurzweil, DOCX) and organized based on the operating system used by the student (e.g., Windows, macOS, iOS, Android). These profiles are currently written in text-only – instructional videos will be added to the profiles throughout Fall 2019, so check back!

Screenshot shows an app profile on the ARC site

New Training Options – Workshops on ARC Fundamentals, Inclusive Design, and Web Accessibility

In addition to the online, self-paced training option introduced last year, ARC-BC has three workshops that users can request. More workshops will come online throughout the year. Starting in September, three workshops are available on demand – we’re happy to come to you if there is a district professional development day or community of practice who would be interested in the topics listed on our Workshops page.

Updated New Title/Format Request Form and Procedure

The Request a New Title/Format page is updated. The user’s name and email address are automatically populated in the form. We have also added some new mandatory fields to ensure that we collect enough information at the outset to facilitate a quick start to the production process.

Please help us spread the word Schools are no longer required to donate a print copy of the requested title. We only require a copy to be donated for production if a new copy is not commercially available. Titles for collection building (i.e., not tied to a specific student request) will still need to be donated.

Screenshot shows the main navigation of the ARC site with a red oval around the Request menu button

Adding multiple files to the cart with one click

Many titles in the repository are made up of several files (typically by chapter). We have simplified the process of downloading these titles by adding a button that allows users to add all files of the same format to the cart with one click.

Screenshot shows buttons giving the user the option to add files of the same time to the cart at once.

User Profile & Student Information Update

Again this school year, you will be asked to update your profile. The ARC-BC Content Management Strategy requires updated student information to ensure compliance with relevant copyright legislation. Failure to provide ARC-BC with an updated profile and student information will result in the loss of user privileges. At any time this caseload information may be requested by the Ministry of Education; therefore, accuracy is of vital importance. Users will be prompted to update this information when they first log into ARC-BC this year. 

Please feel free to be in touch with any questions or for more information - arc@prcvi.org.

Best wishes for 2019-2020! Stay tuned for more new upgrades to ARC-BC we’ve made in response to your feedback. Thank you for everything you do to promote digital accessibility and inclusive design for learners.


The ARC-BC Provincial Team