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Texts in Alternate Format: Policy and Procedures

Binghamton University students whose disabilities prevent them from reading standard instructional materials may request assistance from Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in obtaining their academic readings in alternate format. Comprehensive disability documentation from a professional licensed or certified to diagnose and treat the individual's disability(ies) is required. Possible alternate formats include:

It will be your responsibility to complete a "Request for Textbooks in Alternate Format" form available from the SSD office in UU-119 or you can request them online at the following website so the office can proceed with the alternate format text ordering and/or conversion process.

Since ordering or creating alternate format text materials is a lengthy and time-consuming process, it is critical that SSD receive Requests for Textbooks in Alternate Format forms from authorized students at least 4 weeks prior to the start of a semester. Students who wait until the last minute to confirm their schedules or their need for alternate format text materials may experience a delay in receiving them.

Before receipt of textbooks in an alternate format, students must:

Campus-based Text Conversion Services

SSD attempts to obtain alternate format textbooks from the publisher or other approved resources.  However, if a digital or audio version of the book is unavailable, SSD will offer to remove the binding from the student's purchased copy of the book so the pages can be fed into a high-speed scanner and converted into a digital format. The original paper copy of the book will be rebound in a readily usable format and returned to the student. The student will receive the textbook in the requested digital format (PDF, KESI, or MS Word) so that various computer software programs will be able to read the text aloud to the student. SSD works with students to teach them how to use these adaptive computer technologies. 

Other Resources for Students to Obtain Audio Books

  1. Learning Ally ( student memberships and downloads of textbook audio recordings.
  2. Bookshare ( offers student memberships and downloads of textbooks in digital format.
  3. World Library Catalog ( provides information on the availability of published audio books obtainable through interlibrary loan.
  4. Many of the major textbook publishers allow students the option of purchasing their textbook in paper or digital format, as seen on the individual publisher websites. 
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Last Updated: 11/21/13