Alternative Formats are course materials including textbooks, documents, exams, handouts, etc., converted by the Dart Center into various accessible alternatives such as Microsoft Word documents, PDF's, Text- to- speech, Braille, etc.
These resources and supports will help students find the best alternative format option to support their academic journey.
The conversion process of some alternative formats may be time consuming. To ensure timely delivery of alternative format, students should enter their requests within 48 hours of registering for classes or as soon as the student is able.
For approved alternative format accommodations, students need to speak with their Access Coordinator who will help determine if the student could benefit from an alternative text format.
Students eligible for Braille or using a screen reader (NVDA or Non Visual Desktop Access, JAWS or Job Access with Speech, VoiceOver, etc.) should contact the Assistive Technology Coordinator at 713-743-0660 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment for training and better understanding of available resources.
To begin the conversion of materials, it’s ultimately the student’s responsibility to make an appointment and go through the alternative format training.
The Access Coordinator will mention the different resources available to the student during the Coordinator Introduction Meeting, or CIM, as part of completing the registration process with the Dart Center. It is the studentsstudent’s responsibility to schedule an appointment with the Assistive Technology Coordinator for training on different text- to -speech methods and learn all the resources the Dart Center has to offer.
Should the student need additional course materials in alternative formats, please make this request separately to your Access Coordinator.
Resources available to students at the Dart Center, that will be covered during the alternative format training include:
- Bookshare is the world's largest accessible PDF library. With the help of text-to-speech software, students have the ability to convert text to an audio format.
- Texas Talking Book Program is an audio book resource which provides human-narrated audio books. This program is offered through the State of Texas under the Library of Congress.
- Learning Ally is a non-profit organization, that offers human- narrated audio books.
- Project Gutenberg is a non-profit organization that offers accessible books in alternative formats.
- AccessText is a - collection of publishers, that the Dart Center uses to locate or acquire alternative formats for textbooks. Students will need to follow the process below in the AIM database in order to acquire texts through this resource.
Below is the process for students to request alternative formats from the Dart Center through AccessText:
The resources listed above are free- of- cost except for AccessText. AccessText requires proof of purchase and a signed Agreement to Abide by Copyright Laws form. The process of converting materials through AccessText cannot begin until the student provides proof of purchase for the requested textbook and the above-mentioned signed agreement.
If the books are not available through the other resources mentioned above, then follow these steps:
- Step 1: Log into your Student Portal
- Step 2: Go to My Accommodations and click on Alternative Formats
- Step 3: List all the books required from your classes
- Step 4: The books need to be purchased in order to receive Alternative Formats
- Step 5: Upload the book receipt in the required field
- Step 6: Click on Submit Request
Late requests will be processed in the order they are received. Students should notify the Assistive Technology Coordinator and their Access Coordinator immediately if the alternative format for a specific course is no longer needed.
Alternative format materials are not to be shared with friends, peers or posted online, etc. All students utilizing these resources agree to abide by copyright laws.
The Dart Center will attempt to obtain an alternative format copy from the publisher. However, the conversion process can only begin after the Dart Center has obtained a copy of the text. As such, students may be asked to bring a physical copy of their textbook in order for this process to begin.
Students can expect to receive an accessible copy of their textbook request within 3 to 5 business days of submitting a complete request.
For additional questions, students are encouraged to contact their Access Coordinator and/ or Assistive Technology Coordinator at 713-743-0660 or email@example.com.