Alternative Media

Requesting Electronic Books (Updated 03/12/18)

Books and other required reading materials are provided in accessible formats to students who have documented visual or learning disabilities that affect the reading of printed materials. Students must submit an Accessible Text Request Form to Disability Services at least three weeks before the term begins. If students require brailed texts, they must be in contact with the Media and Technology Coordinator at least three months in advance of needing texts.

Students must follow the following procedure:

  • Students should submit requests for accessible texts at least three weeks before the start of the term. If the required text list is not available on the SU Campus Store website, students will contact the Media and Technology Coordinator so that we can be in contact with professors.
  • Using the attached Accessible Texts Shopping Guide spreadsheet, students will search for texts that are readily available for purchase online in an accessible format. There are additional guidelines in the Finding Accessible Texts handout which is also attached to this message.
  • If a text is available in an accessible format from one of the sources listed in the Accessible Media Shopping Guide any request submitted for that book will be denied.
  • Students must submit an Accessible Text Request Form to Disability Services at least three weeks before the term begins. All requests must include the title of the text, author, publication date and ISBN number.  This information can be found in the textbook look-up at the SU Campus Store website.
  • Book requests submitted on time will be fulfilled or denied within two weeks of submission. Students will be notified if and why their requests have been denied.
  • Students will be notified when texts are ready. Proof of purchase is required for each text requested before the electronic versions will be released. The receipts must indicate whether a text was rented or purchased. Receipts must be turned in at Disability Services or emailed to the Media and Technology Coordinator. Photos of texts will no longer be acceptable as proof of purchase as of 03/12/2018.
  • Students who use electronic books will need a “text-to-speech” software program in order to listen to their textbooks. Disability Services has handouts with more information about these programs. Students can also meet with the Media and Technology Coordinator to become familiar with how to use the software.
  • Students will inform Disability Services of any changes in course materials. Requests submitted after the deadline will be fulfilled in the order received, and may be delayed.
  • If there is a problem with any step in this process, students should notify the Media and Technology Coordinator immediately.
  • Students who have received accessible formats of texts they have rented must return or destroy all electronic files provided by the office at the end of the quarter.

Disability Services Staff Responsibilities to Students:

  • Staff must minimize students’ barriers to learning, such as contacting publishers for accessible formats of texts and working with professors to make reading lists available.
  • Staff must fulfill or deny requests made on time within two weeks of submission.
  • Staff must advise students when they experience problems with the process detailed above.
  • Staff must advise students when they have questions about text accessibility software.

Text-to-Speech Software

To listen to electronic texts, some students may choose to utilize text-to-speech software. These applications are used to convert text files of various formats into spoken sound. Availability of software varies for computers and operating systems used by the student and the types of output may vary given the text-to-speech application being used.

For suggestions on which text-to-speech software to use, please see the Alternative Media Guide.