Alternate Format Textbooks
The Alternate Format Textbook Program assists students with print disabilities to obtain e-texts. For the purpose of this program, students with “print disabilities” are those who have:
- visual disabilities
- difficulty processing print due to a learning disability
- difficulty with focus due to short term memory loss
- difficulty physically handling books and/or turning pages
The Alternate Format Program is only available to students who are registered with DSS.
Determining which textbooks you need
Find out which books you require as soon as possible. Log in to My Textbooks on the U of S Bookstore website to get a list of books for your courses. You can also log in to My Textbooks from the My Textbooks channel in the Academics Tab on PAWS.
If the Bookstore does not have books listed for your class/section, contact the instructor and ask for details about the textbooks that will be required. If you cannot find the instructor’s contact information, get in touch with the instructor’s departmental office. If there is no instructor yet assigned to the class/section you are enrolled in, ask for the department’s undergraduate chairperson, and explain your situation to that person.
It is important to start this process prior to the first day of classes, so that you can get your texts early in the term.
Using the Alternate Format Program
It is necessary to provide the Program with as much information about your textbook as possible. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with:
- Course name, number, section (eg Eng 110 (17))
- Instructor’s first and last names
- Textbook information, including:
- Where you bought the text
- When you bought the text
- Amount paid for the text
Once you have forwarded this information, the program co-ordinators will be in touch to advise you of the next steps.
Accessing Student Grant funding for alternate format materials
DSS advises that a student apply for $100 for each course s/he is registered in, to cover the cost obtaining e-texts. You are expected to submit the receipts and any unspent funding at the end of each April (the same procedure that you would use for tutoring services). If you run out of funds during the year, send in your receipts and request more funding.
Finding electronic texts yourself
Many textbooks are already available in electronic format and/or as audio books.
- Start by searching for the titles you need.
- Google has scanned many textbooks.
- Check Amazon.com for electronic texts and audio books.
- Project Gutenberg is a good source for texts that were published at least 100 years ago.
If the text you require is not available in an electronic version, you must purchase a print copy. Once you have done so, the Alternate Format Program Coordinator will be able to assist you in getting an electronic version of that textbook.
Other places to search for electronic texts
It is unlikely that you will find university textbooks at these sites, but they may have other books of interest to you.
- audible.com (audio books)
- British Women Romantic Poets, 1789-1832
- Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse
- EpistemeLinks (Philosophy)
- e-Learning Centre
- LibriVox (audio books)
- Luminarium (works created between 1350 and 1485)
- Perseus (Classics)
- TumbleTalkingBooks (audio books)
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Virginia Library (modern English)
- World Public Library
For more information about the Alternate Format Program, please e-mail email@example.com.