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Alternate Media

A student registered with the Accessibility Support Center (ASC), with proper documentation, may be eligible to receive text in alternate format. Examples of formats offered include electronic text (e-text), digital audio, text enlargement, and braille.

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Office Hours:

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


Building 1000 Room 1073 in The Hub, upstairs behind the library

Available formats

Electronic text (e-text)

Students requesting e-text must make their request for e-text in a timely manner, preferably 1-2 months before the semester when the book is required. To receive e-text students must show proof of purchase for their textbooks. The alternate media specialist will attempt to find the e-text from the publisher or other e-text databases and resources.

If the e-text is not available, the Alternate Media Specialist will remove the spine of the book, scan it, proofread the scanned text, and convert the e-text to an appropriate format for use with screen-reading software such as Claro, Text Aloud or JAWS.

Audio books

Some textbooks can be obtained as audiobooks (books read aloud by human readers or computer) from Learning Ally (Formerly, Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic). Students then can listen to their texts using free Learning Ally software or an MP3 player. Be advised that not all textbooks are available from Learning Ally, particularly if the texts are new editions or are highly specialized. If the audio file is not available, the student is advised to have e-text created as described above. MP3 files may also be prepared by the Alternate Media Specialist upon request, but can take considerable time to produce, depending on the content.

Braille and tactile graphics

Braille is a system of reading and writing for blind individuals. ASC provides braille embossing and tactile graphics created on special heat-sensitive paper to produce raised lines and images.

Print enlarging

ASC uses closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) and document cameras for page magnification if electronic text is not available. CCTVs are available in the Library and at ASC. A CCTV or document camera is also available to be transported to classrooms upon request. Documents may also be enlarged using oversized paper and the ASC photocopier.

Request process

  1. Arrange accommodations with an ASC Counselor or Learning Disabilities Specialist.
  2. Schedule an appointment and meet with the Alternate Media Specialist.
  3. At your appointment, bring receipts for books or the books themselves to verify proof of purchase. It is also helpful to bring a USB drive, laptop, phone, or tablet, and all associated wires to transfer files.

Alternate Media Request form (.rtf)

What happens next

  1. When the application and request is completed, the Alternate Media Specialist will determine the availability of pre-existing electronic texts (e-text).
  2. For ASC to provide alternate formats of a text, the student must provide proof or purchase for the book and must sign a contract about the parameters of using this service. The following conditions apply:
    • the student has a verified print disability.
    • the student is enrolled in a class.
    • the requested material is required for the class.
    • the student has signed a copyright protection agreement.
  3. When e-text is available and received from a publisher, it often must be edited with special software.
  4. After the text has been prepared, Alternate Media Specialist will deliver it to the student via USB drive, USB cable, CD, or a file sharing service such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
  5. If e-text from the publisher or another source is not available, the student may elect to have the material scanned and digitally reproduced for use with assistive software.
  6. To scan the material, the Alternate Media Specialist needs to cut the book's spine, and the book cannot be returned or re-sold to the bookstore. For this reason, we recommend buying rather than renting textbooks. Used copies can often be found at low prices.
  7. After the material is scanned, it will be re-bound and returned.

Creating Accessible Media

The Teaching and Learning Center provides faculty and staff resources and training in creating accessible media and webpages. Training also includes steps for captioning video and web content design.
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Main Campus, 6500 Soquel Drive Aptos CA 95003, 831.479.6100