Alternative Format / E-Text - Information, Procedure and Request Form

Alternative Format / E-Text - Information, Procedure and Request Form

The Office of Accessibility Resources and Service assists qualified students with disabilities to obtain course materials, including textbooks, electronic documents, exams, and other materials, in alternative formats when required for students to access such materials. This process pertains only to alternative format of textbooks. All other alternative format requests should be made in writing to ars@unc.edu.

  1. At least 6 weeks prior to the semester, students must contact their instructors to discuss any alternative text needs for their courses. Students must work with instructors to identify any required textbooks, in-class handouts, Sakai or other materials posted in a classroom management system, and any other required readings that will need to be converted to an accessible format.
  2. Once students identify the applicable course materials, they must then check to determine whether an accessible format of the requested title is not already commercially available. Students shall consult the list of Alternative Text Resources (https://drc.uga.edu/site/content_page/alternative-text-resources) and AccessText (include hyperlink) textbook finder for the relevant titles.
  3. First you should investigate to see if the book you need is already in a digital/alternative format by searching AccessText - http://www.accesstext.org/accessible-textbook-finder - this service helps providers, students, faculty, and publishers find the products, services, and up-to-date accessibility information they need. AccessText is available to everyone; no membership required. If you can locate the alternative format of the book(s) you need from Access Text or from any of the sources below then please go ahead and download it if that option is available.
    1. Academic Ebooks - http://www.ebooks.com/subjects/academic/
    2. BiblioVault http://www.bibliovault.org/
    3. Bookshare - https://www.bookshare.org - FREE to qualifying members, Bookshare provides books in Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) and Braille Refreshable Format (BRF). ARS will certify qualifying members.​
    4. Hathi Trust Digital Library - http://www.hathitrust.org/ - login using your onyen and password
    5. Learning Allyhttps://www.learningally.org/ - Learning Ally produces books in audio format, Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) format for members who qualify. Accessibility Resources has an organizational membership. Check the Learning Ally website to see if you qualify and if the book is available. If you meet the criteria, complete the form below giving details of the publication(s). ARS staff will then order the book and send it to you via e-mail.​
    6. LibriVox - https://librivox.org/ - free public domain audiobooks
    7. Gutenberg Project - https://www.gutenberg.org - Free
    8. The Open Library - https://openlibrary.org/ - The Online Books Page - Listing over 1 million free books on the Web​
    9. VitalSourcehttps://www.vitalsource.com/ - e-textbooks have an in-built screen reader, alternatively TextHelp Read and Write Gold can be used.
    10. World Public Library - http://www.worldlibrary.net - is a not-for-profit US group with 750,000 out of copyright e-books saved as downloadable PDFs. All of the E-Books are in PDF file format, and all Audio eBooks are in MP3 file format.
  4. If an accessible format of the requested title is not available commercially, students should fill out the Alternative Format Request Form below to formally request it through ARS. If ARS staff discover an accessible version of the course materials are commercially available in the same format requested, students will be referred to that source and your request may be canceled. Please note that it can take time for publishers to respond and ARS has no control over the timeliness of their response to our request; requests should be submitted as early as possible.
  5. To comply with copyright law, students must obtain a copy of each title requested. Proof of ownership must accompany the Alternative Format Request including but not limited to requests for textbooks, course packets and lab manuals. Production of the alternative text will not begin until proof of ownership is supplied.
  6. A scan or copy of the proof of ownership is preferred over the original. Acceptable forms of proof of ownership include:
    1. Dated bookstore receipt of textbook purchase or rental
    2. Shipment confirmation email or packing slip from online purchase or rental
    3. In lieu of the above, the student can present their textbook(s) to Accessibility Resources & Service (ARS) staff for in-person verification.
  7. Proof of ownership is NOT required for course readings supplied by the instructor whether in class or online via Sakai. If you have any questions regarding proof of ownership, please contact the Office of Accessibility Resources and Service via email at ars@unc.edu.
  8. Students should submit their Alternative Format Requests and proof of ownership as early as possible. ARS will begin accepting requests for the upcoming term at the opening of that semester’s Priority Registration. Waiting until classes begin, when staff are at their busiest, could mean a significant delay in getting materials. Depending on the date of submission, ARS staff may also ask for a copy of the course syllabi.
  9. Students will still need to submit proof of ownership, which can be submitted in one of the following ways:
    1. Upload the proof of ownership to the request form
    2. Email the completed request and proof of ownership as attachments to ARS at ars@unc.edu
  10. All submitted Alternative Format Requests should include the course name and section number, title name and edition, and the 10- or 13-digit ISBN. Incomplete information can result in conversion of the incorrect title and may delay fulfillment of an Alternative Format Request.
  11. Production of materials usually takes up to 2 weeks. Students must allow sufficient time to process the requests. To expedite fulfillment, a different accessible format may be provided as long as such format is effective in providing access for the student.
  12. Braille users must make arrangements to meet with ARS at least 8 weeks prior to start of each semester. Depending on the complexity of material, ARS may not be able to acquire the text with limited notice and some material will require a two semester advance notice. NOTE - Braille materials will be sent to a third party for production.
  13. ARS will notify students via email when requested materials are complete. Students must retrieve alternative format materials in a timely manner and may be required to sign or reply to the email acknowledging receipt.
  14. Students must notify ARS immediately of any changes to class schedules, course syllabi or if there are any difficulties with your alternative formatted materials.
  15. Students must return all alternative text materials and/or leased equipment to ARS on or before the last day of finals. Failure to comply may result in a flag being placed on your student record.
  16. Materials provided by the ARS may not be reproduced or shared. All alternative format files downloaded to a students’ computer must be deleted at the end of the semester.
  17. Students must adhere to the UNC Honor Code, set forth in the Instrument, in their use of alternative format materials.
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