What does the Alternative Text Program provide?
- Alternative Text formats of textbooks and course materials.
- Related assistive technology support, including recommendations, trainings, and referrals.
What is alternative text?
- Alternative Text provides students with accessible texts and course materials. Formats include electronic text files, audio files, and Braille, among other types.
Procedure for Obtaining Alternative Text
- Meet with a DRS counselor to determine your need and eligibility for alternative text. You may schedule by calling (360) 650-3083.
- Schedule an appointment with the Alternative Text Specialist, Brenda Kotewa, to discuss your needs and determine the best format. You may schedule by calling (360) 650-3083.
- Students who are eligible for alternative text also receive priority registration. Register for courses on the priority date for each term.
- Obtain a list of textbooks immediately after registering and prior to the start of the quarter. Textbook information is available through the Associated Students Bookstore.
- In addition to requesting alternative text through MyDRS, complete the request form for alternative materials. This form is available as a .pdf or as an electronic form. Requests are due four weeks prior to the start of the term. If a book list is not available for a class, please make note of that on the request form or contact the Alternative Text Specialist.
- Purchase or rent required textbooks.
- Students must provide the Alternative Text Specialist with other required reading materials that need to be converted, such as articles, as soon as possible.
- Notify the Alternative Text Specialist immediately if there is a change in your course registration or required reading list.
- Check WWU student email regularly.
Alternative Text Program Responsibilities
- Requests are handled in the order in which they are received. Requests submitted four weeks prior to the beginning of the term or earlier are given priority. Alternative text is obtained through a wide variety of sources. The timeline for conversion is unpredictable, depending on whether or not disAbility Resources for Students must purchase, scan, and edit the text. It may not be possible to provide all formats of a book, especially if the request is made for audio books. The Alternative Text Specialist will provide students with an accessible alternative format.
- Once the Alternative Text Specialist completes your request, you will be notified by email. Students using electronic text formats will receive an invitation to DropBox. Electronic text files will be uploaded to this DropBox folder. Students using Braille will be notified by their DRS counselor when materials are available for pick-up.
- The Alternative Text Specialist is available to provide assistive technology support, including information about free or low-cost text-to-speech software.
Online Resources for Alternative Text
Below is a list of online resources available to students needing alternative formats of course materials, including textbooks. Exploring these websites and using these resources for your alternative text can jump start access to your textbooks!
Some of these websites provide free electronic formats. For other websites, you can actually purchase your textbook in an electronic format from the get-go. However, be sure that the format you purchase is accessible. An Accommodations Counselor in DRS can help you determine if the format is going to meet your academic needs.
- Bookshare, www.bookshare.org an accessible online library for people with print-based disabilities. Free membership available to students who are affiliated with DRS. Ask your DRS counselor about qualifying for this membership.
- Learning Ally, www.learningally.org an accessible online library of texts in audio format. Free membership available to students who are affiliated with DRS. Ask your DRS counselor about qualifying for this membership.
- Project Gutenberg. www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page. Recommended for: classical studies, philosophy, literature, and history texts.
- Amazon-E Docs. www.amazon.com. Recommended for: textbooks and documents of all types.
- Louis Database of Accessible Materials. louis.aph.org/catalog/CategoryInfo.aspx?cid=152. Recommended for: almost any textbook or novel.
- Archive.org. www.archive.org. Recommended for: almost any media type.
- American Verse Project. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?page=browse&c=amverse. Recommended for: literature.
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/. Recommended for: Shakespeare-related literature.