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Alternate Format Textbooks

Information Regarding Textbooks in Alternate Format

Each semester, Accessibility Services sets a priority request date where any request made by this date will be guaranteed ready by the first day of the semester. Please check with Accessibility Services to find out when this date is.

Identifying What Textbooks are Required:

  • View Course Offerings.
  • Select the current semester (i.e. Fall Semester 2020-2021).
  • Type in your course information with the campus, subject, and catalog number. Then click “Search” at the bottom of the page.
  • Use the course or section number to identify the section you are registered for. Click on your section to view a drop-down menu with the required textbook information
  • If the book information is not listed in course offerings, click on the instructor’s name to email them and request the information on their required textbook(s).
  • If there is not an instructor listed or the instructor has not responded to your request within 3 days, please contact your Accessibility Coordinator for assistance.

Requesting Textbooks in Alternate Format

  1. Check to see if your textbook is available through Bookshare. Bookshare offers many options for free to eligible students with disabilities. For information on how to get started with Bookshare check the Bookshare instructions.
  2. If your book is not available through Bookshare, VitalSource is another option that provides accessible materials. VitalSource is not free, but the cost is often less than the cost of purchasing a hard copy textbook. VitalSource has built-in accessibility features, so it is recommended you purchase this option if available. For information on how to find books through VitalSource, consult the VitalSource Instructions.
  3. If your book is not available through Bookshare or VitalSource, you may submit a request to Student Accessibility Services by completing the Alternate Format Request form in Accommodate.
    1. Once you submit your request, you will receive a confirmation message that your form has been submitted.
    2. Provide proof of purchase to Accessibility Services by providing a copy of your receipt/invoice that shows the ISBN and edition purchased or by providing a receipt/invoice and show the purchased book to Accessibility Services. You can do this by taking pictures of the front and back of the book and providing those, as well as a copy of the receipt, to Accessibility Services. While there is no additional cost to submit a request through Accessibility Services, you will be required to provide proof that you have purchased your textbook in order for Accessibility Services to fulfill your request.
    3. Once Accessibility Services has processed and converted the requested material and you have shown proof of purchase, the book will be shared with you through OneDrive.
    4. To access your material once you receive an email, click on the folder of the book title that has been shared with you. We recommend that you download and save the file to your desktop, as you will not be able to edit the shared document

Bookshare Instructions

Create an Account

  1. Go to Bookshare's website
  2. Select “Sign Up Today”
  3. Select “Sign Up Individual”
  4. Follow the prompts in the sign-up process. You will need to provide:
    • School information
    • Your name, address, birthday, etc.
    • Create login information (username, password)
    • Upload official documentation of your disability.
    • Complete a signature.
  5. As long as your disability meets their eligibility, you can access any and all the books on Bookshare for free.

Finding a Book

  • Go to Bookshare's website and login with your credentials.
  • Search for your desired textbook by entering the title, author, or ISBN in the search bar at the top.
    • For a more specific search, use the “Advanced Search” option
    • You can also browse their collections to discover other books to read.
  • Your search results will show up with a list of all the books that meet your search criteria. Select the book title for more information about the book.
  • Select “Read Now” (in the “Action” box on the right). This will allow you to read your book from Bookshare Web Reader, which opens in your internet browser.
    • Bookshare Web Reader features:
      • Text to speech with word highlighting
      • Flexible display options
      • Font choices, including OpenDyslexic and large print up to 70 point.
      • Use either Google Chrome or Safari for access to the above-mentioned features.
      • Bookshare provides a Bookshare How-to Guide to show you how to access different features based on your needs and preferences. 

Vital Source Instructions

VitalSource has lots of book options that tend to be cheaper than buying or renting from other places. You do not have to fit any eligibility requirements, as anyone can access VitalSource! Their books have many great reading features as well!

Search for your book

You can search for your book before creating an account, to verify availability and check the price.

  1. In the top search bar, type in the title, ISBN, or author of the book you are looking for.
  2. A collection of books will pop up that match your search, as well as their price ranges.
  3. If you see the book you want, select it.
  4. Here you can see the details of your selected book, the price depending on the duration of your purchase, as well as a synopsis of the book. Scroll down to see what features this book offers.
  5. If this is the book you want to purchase, select “Add to Cart.”
  6. If you want to continue shopping for additional books, click “Continue Shopping” and repeat the above steps.
  7. If you are done shopping, click “View Cart and Checkout” in the cart window that pops up.
  8. Now you are viewing your cart, with your selected books to purchase. Before you continue:
    • Verify you have the right book.
    •  Check the duration to make sure you have selected the appropriate amount of time to purchase the book based on how long you need/want it
  9. If everything looks good, select “Begin Checkout.”
  10. Now, you will be asked to either sign in or create an account. If you have previously had a professor use VitalSource to give you access to an eTextbook, you may already have an account. Try signing in with your school email and password.
  11. If you need to create an account, click “Create Account” and fill in the prompts.
  12. Once you create your account, you will be taken back to your checkout, where you can now input your payment information.
  13. You should now have access to your eTextbook.
  14. For information on how to read books aloud and adjust your reading settings check out VitalSource Read Aloud Features.