Text in alternative format typically means in a format that is able to be read out loud by technology. In order for assistive technology software to read the text, we must locate a copy of the text in a PDF or other accessible format. Disabilities Services then gives the student access to the software and accessible format text.
Our office uses a number of vendors to obtain these accessible formats, but if that is unavailable we have to work directly with publishers to secure the file. Some small publishers, or micro-publishers, are unable to provide these files to our office, so we cut the binding off of the student’s copy of the text and scan the book manually.
Since this can take some time, it is helpful for students to receive notice of which textbooks to secure for the coming semester as early as possible.
The software we utilize to read texts is called Kurzweil 3000. With this software students have the ability read along with the audio narration as well as the ability to highlight in text, take notes in the margins and create outlines within this program. This program is available for professors to experience at the Accessibility Station in the Library.
In some rarer cases, our office secures alternative texts in braille, enlarged print or other formats.