Alternate Text Policies and Procedures

What is ALT-TEXT?
Students who have specific learning disabilities, visual disabilities, or other disabilities that interfere with access to standard printed materials may qualify for the accommodation of alternate format text (alt-text) as an auxiliary aid to provide access to printed course materials. Alternate format text means that printed materials are provided in a format other than the standard print format. Alternate text may include:

These formats may require that the student have specialized playback equipment and/or specialized software in order to access the format. Specialized equipment may include:


One of the goals of higher education is to develop in students the tools and skills that will facilitate success beyond the higher education environment. Students are welcomed and encouraged to manage their own alt-text needs to the greatest extent possible so that they are in control of their own success. Some resources for managing success include:

1. Obtain an individual membership in Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and other organizations that provide printed materials in alternate formats. Individuals may order and/or utilize alt-text materials from Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and other resources at no additional cost to the individual.

2. Use scanning and reading software on your personal computer. The software will scan most printed material and create a digital file that can then be enlarged, read aloud by the computer, or saved to a disk to read later. Software is available to qualified students at no cost through Disabled Student Support Services.

Procedures For Obtaining Alt-Text

Students who require alt-text that cannot be obtained through one of the resources listed above will be required to comply with the following procedures:

1. A student who requests alt-text must have this as an approved accommodation based on documentation supporting the need for alt-text.

2. The student must be listed as a member of AMAC (Alternative Media Access Center) and must sign the AMAC participation agreement form. Membership application to AMAC must be completed and certified by Disabled Student Support Services. Membership in AMAC is free.

3. The student must purchase a copy of the book and provide a copy of the receipt to Disabled Student Support Services in order to comply with copyright law.

4. The student must request the textbook in a timely manner, generally at least three weeks before the start of the semester.

5. Requests for alternate format textbooks are to be submitted through the online request form at

6. For other printed materials (journal articles, class handouts, etc.), the student must provide:
a. a copy of the material that is clear enough to be scanned
b. starting and ending points clearly marked if it is part of a larger document
c. Title of text, if applicable
d. Author or editor's name, if applicable
e. course name and number
f. Instructor's name

Students must allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing of alt-text requests. That time may be shorter or longer depending on the availability of the text from outside sources. A variety of sources are utilized to procure alt-text, and some sources have a 4 - 6 week turnaround time. In addition, in-house production requires sufficient time for scanning, proofing, and final production. It is recommended that students submit requests for alt-text as early as possible to avoid potentially falling behind in classwork.

The Office for disAbled Student Support Services will make every effort to honor a student's request for a particular format. However, be advised that first consideration will be given to timeliness by utilizing alt-text from outside sources as long as the format is useable. In addition, some materials do not lend themselves to particular formats and may need to be provided in the format that is most accessible.

Students are expected to return borrowed materials (Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic or other outside sources) in a timely manner. Materials should be returned within two weeks of the end of the semester in which they are provided. Students who do not return materials in a timely manner can expect to have their registration put on hold until materials are returned.