Alternate format program
Print matter in alternate format accommodation
Students who have been determined eligible to receive this accommodation may request print material from any course they are currently enrolled in be converted to an accessible format. In order to receive print matter in an alternate format, students must follow three steps:
- Register with Disability Resources for the current semester
- Complete and submit an alternate format request form for each print conversion
- Show proof of purchase for each textbook conversion requested
Register with Disability Resources
In order to activate and use any accommodations, students are required to register with Disability Resources every semester. First semester freshmen, and students who have just been determined eligible for accommodations, will need to schedule a registration appointment with one of the DR Specialists the first semester they want to use their accommodations. Statewide and Online Campus students will need to contact a DR Specialist for assistance in registering with Disability Resources the first time. Otherwise, students are able to register with Disability Resources every semester online.
Alternate format request form
Once a student has registered with Disability Resources for the semester, they will need to submit an alternate format request form for every textbook, journal article, or other print matter they need converted into an accessible format. This means if a particular course requires two textbooks, the student will need to submit two request forms, one for each book. Similarly, if an online or hybrid class has six journal articles, the student will need to submit six request forms, one for each journal article. Students are encouraged to complete and submit the Request Form as soon as possible before the semester begins. This is particularly true for content that is science or math based.
The converted print material can be delivered in one of three formats:
- E-Text (PDF)
- Word or RTF
E-Text (electronic text)
Electronic text is typically delivered either as a structured PDF document. For a textbook, each chapter is created as a separate file. This type of format should be requested if the student needs the combination of visual and audio feedback to assist with reading comprehension. Typically, a student who requires both visual and audio feedback will be using some type of text-to-speech software, such as Read and Write. If the student requests E-Text, and indicates they will be using Read and Write (or any other text-to-speech software), the files will typically be delivered as PDF files.
Word or RTF
This type of format should also be requested if the student is using any type of screen reading software, such as JAWS. If a student requests this as their preferred format, and indicates they will be using JAWS (or any other screen reading technology), the files will be delivered as Word files that are screen reader optimized. This means the files will contain headers, lists, alternate text for pictures and graphics, meaningful links, and accessible tables. Students who are making this type of request will also need to indicate on the form if they would like picture descriptions or picture captions, and if they need tactile graphics. Students may also want to request this type of format if they are creating their own audio (MP3) files with other software, such as Read and Write.
This type of format is delivered as an MP3 audio file. This type of file can be played just like a music file on a desktop or laptop computer, tablet or smart phone. This type of format should be requested if a student does not need the combination of visual and audio feedback, and for those who are auditory learners. The print conversion to MP3 format does not include graphs, tables, charts or pictures. These are referenced in the audio file with a page number, so the student may look them up in the textbook if needed. This option is not available to choose on the alternate format request form. Students requesting MP3 as their preferred format should choose the Word or RTF option on the form, and then send and email to email@example.com indicating their MP3 preference.
This type of format is typically requested for more complex print matter found in STEM classes. Braille may be delivered as either an embossed Braille volume, or as an electronic Braille file. An electronic Braille file is typically used with a portable device that provides a refreshable Braille display. Unless otherwise noted, all files are delivered as Grade II Braille, and math files are delivered as Nemeth Braille.
Proof of purchase
Publishers currently have a requirement that students provide Disability Resources with a proof of purchase for each textbook that requires a conversion to an accessible format. Disability Resources is required to keep copies of the proof of purchase on file. Proof of purchase can include a sales receipt, order confirmation, or a copy of the front and back of the textbook. Disability Resources does not require a proof of purchase to begin working on the textbook conversion, so students do not need to wait to submit the alternate format request form until they have a proof of purchase. However, a proof of purchase will need to be provided before the converted content is delivered to the student.
Conversion time frames
Conversions of textbooks and other printed material could take up to four weeks to complete. The time frame for completion depends on several factors, which could include:
- Whether or not the requested material is already in the database for the alternate format program
- The type of content requested – science, math and engineering content takes more time to properly convert
- If Disability Resources is able to obtain an electronic copy of the material from the publisher
- The quality of the document scan if it is a journal article
In some instances, Disability Resources may ask the student to provide a syllabus, so that the appropriate content is provided in a timely manner, based on the anticipated date of use in the syllabus.