The Alternative text format accommodation provides students with print-related disabilities access to course materials and textbooks. Alternative format material includes required textbooks, assigned readings, instructor slide shows, and class handouts. Class notes and suggested reading/texts are not necessarily made available in an alternative format. These formats are often used with literacy software, text-to-speech readers, or screen readers.
Some examples of Alternative text formats include:
• large print
• electronic formats
Locating and/or producing Alternative materials takes time. Students are encouraged to submit their Alternative text needs to Disability Services (DS) as soon as they receive their course schedules.
Alternative Text Requests will be accepted after the due dates, but materials cannot be guaranteed in a timely manner.
About Alternative Text Format
The Alternative text format accommodation assists students with print-related disabilities by providing text in Alternative formats. Alternative formats include large print, audio, braille, and electronic formats, such as PDFs or Word documents. Often students with this accommodation use electronic files of their textbooks and other course materials with a text to speech component on personal computers to listen to the reading material.
Successfully using this accommodation can enable students to cut down on their reading time and increase their comprehension. Using this accommodation can enable students to comprehend more information in a shorter time and may lead to greater academic success. Using text to speech software can become a life-long skill that will increase success, not only in college, but in professional and personal lives after college.
Requesting Alternative Formats
Requests for Alternative formats should be submitted four (4) weeks, prior to the beginning of the semester. These timelines will provide Disability Services with sufficient time to contact instructors and other alternative media resources in order to request a copy of the text for scanning. If a copy of the text is available through any of these sources, the text will be processed into the requested format, and Disability Services will notify the student when the text is available.
If Disability Services is not able to obtain a copy of the text through any resource, then DS will need to use the student’s textbook for processing into an alternative format. The student will be notified by Disability Services and will be responsible for providing their textbook to DS for processing. The same timelines as listed above should be followed when a student is providing their own text to DS for processing into an Alternative format. Student texts will be taken apart and rebound with a spiral binding.