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 or rent 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 3: For a textbook not found in an alternate format (a resource listed above), 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 us via SecureShare.

  • Step 4: Students who request alternate format text must also submit proof of purchase of the books. Books can be purchased from the bookstore, online vendors, or from other people. You may show proof of purchase in the following ways:
    • Digital purchase/rental receipt 
    • Scan/copy of physical purchase/rental receipt
      • Either above option can be submitted via SecureShare along with your Alternate Format Text Request Form.
    • Bringing the hard copy into the Center for Disability Services
  • Step 5: After the completed Alternate Format Text Request Form is received by CDS, it will be processed. You will receive an email letting you know when your alternate text requests have been completed.

You have your alternate format text. Now what?

Read & Write is a literacy suite software available to all CofC students and allows you to have your textbook read aloud, get the definitions of words, make and extract highlights, and much more! You can visit the Student Software Tutorials page for Read & Write download instructions, video tutorials, quick reference cards on the software.

If you'd like to explore other text-to-speech options, check out these free and low-cost options!