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Alternate Format Text

Alternate format text requests are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on an individual’s disability documentation or explanation of the functional limitations of a disability. CDS determines and coordinates reasonable alternate format accommodations to ensure materials are accessible to students with disabilities.

Requesting textbooks in an alternate format can be a lengthy process. Alternate format text may include e-text, audio, large print, braille, or other format. We will work to get the text in the format that works best for you.

Students are encouraged to contact their course instructor or the College of Charleston Bookstore at least four (4) weeks before the class begins to obtain important information about their textbook(s), such as title, author, publisher, edition, and ISBN number.  If a textbook is not readily available in an alternate format, students will need to bring your textbook to the CDS office so we may consider, with the publisher’s permission, cutting the binding, scanning the book, and converting it into an electronic format.

Please follow these steps when requesting alternate format text:

  • Step 1: See whether you can purchase your book as an e-text, audio book, or other alternate format text that will work best for you. If it is available in another format, consider purchasing or renting the alternate format instead of the printed version.
  • Step 2: Check these sites to see if an alternate format text that you need is available.
    • Bookshare - a free resource for accessible books for students with a print disability.
    • Learning Ally - an online library of audiobooks, including college and graduate level textbooks.
    • Library of Congress - the largest library in the world, with more than 162 million books, sound recordings, motion pictures, photographs, maps, and manuscripts.
    • LibriVox - a resource of volunteer read texts creating free public domain audiobooks for download.
    • National Library Service - a free braille and talking book library.
    • Project Gutenberg - a free resource for electronic text and audiobook files for works in the public domain.

      We encourage you to create an individual account to enable greater access to e-text
  • Step 3: If you are not able to obtain an alternate format text, purchase a hard copy of your textbook.
                    Save the receipt. Publishers require that our office have proof of purchase
  • Step 4: For a textbook not found in an alternate format, you must complete and submit an Alternate Format Text Request Form to the Center for Disability Services. 

    Please download this Alternate Format Text Request Form, fill it out, save it to your computer, and send it to via email.

  • Step 5: After the completed Alternate Format Text Request Form is received by CDS, you will receive an email notifying you that it is ready for pick-up.

If you have any questions, please contact