Eastern Michigan University

Alternative Media: E-Text and Audio Information for Students

What is Alternative Media?

Alternative media are class materials that are provided in a different format to facilitate equal educational access for students with various disabilities. Most students request textbooks in a format that they listen to or enlarge. The alternative format may include PDF/Word files to enlarge or use with a screen reader, audio books, MP3/WAV files, etc.


What is the Process for Requesting and Receiving Alternative Media?

Steps for requesting and receiving alternative media when advisor and student determine that alternative media is an appropriate accommodation:

  1. Advisor and student determine that alternative media is an appropriate accommodation.
  2. Student registers for free membership with Bookshare (Go to Bookshare)
  3. Before each semester begins, student finds textbook information for each class or by emailing the professor of the class. (Go to EMU bookstore website)
  4. Before each semester begins, student checks Bookshare for availability of alternative media.
  5. If student is not able to access alternative media via Bookshare, student submits the “Request for Books/Materials in Other Format” form to the DRC every semester alternative media is needed (ideally, 4 weeks before classes begin).
  6. DRC requests and receives text from the publisher in a digital file. If the digital file is not available, student provides his or her textbook to the DRC to chop and scan.
  7. Depending on student’s preferred format, DRC provides PDF and/or Word/Rich Text Format (RTF) file within 3 weeks of student’s request via Zimbra Briefcase or student pickup.
  8. Student uses DRC-provided files with text-to-speech software, enlarges, or converts to MP3. See the “Software Options” section under the "Alternative Media Resources" section of this website.

View the Alternative Media Process Flowchart

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