Eastern Michigan University

Alternative Media: Braille Text Information for Students

Alternative media materials are class materials provided in an alternative format by the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to provide equal educational access to students with visual impairments, learning disabilities, and other disabilities. Alternative formats include PDF or Word files to enlarge or use with a screen reader, audio books, MP3/WAV files, Braille, etc. In most cases, digital files or audio files are appropriate to provide equal access to text (see Alternative Media Process and Information for Students).

In a few cases, Braille is the only viable option. College textbooks in Braille are very difficult to find and often must be created. Therefore, the timeline from student request of textbook to student receipt of textbook is at least 3-4 months. This is an approximate timeline and may take longer. It is in the student's best interest to give the DRC as much time as possible to obtain the Braille textbooks. If student requests Braille text within four weeks of the start of the semester, a DRC Advisor and student will likely discuss other options and the appropriateness and reasonableness of fulfilling the Braille request for the given semester. Plans for future semesters can be discussed at that point.

The CATE Lab is able to convert simple text to Braille. The student is to contact the CATE Lab for conversion to Braille for handouts, exams, etc.


Process for Requesting and Receiving Braille Text

  1. Advisor and student determine that Braille text is an appropriate accommodation and that equal access cannot be provided with e-text or audio files.
  2. Student makes request for Braille to sa_alternativemedia@emich.edu or (734) 487-2470 as soon as possible every semester Braille text is needed (ideally, at least 3 months before classes begin).
    1. Book title, edition, author, and ISBN information is always preferred, but class schedule is adequate to begin the process.
    2. It is the student's responsibility to inform the DRC if requested materials change as soon as possible (i.e., drop/add classes, different texts are needed, etc.).
  3. Student must acknowledge book purchase and that he or she will not share the copyrighted materials with another individual.
  4. The DRC contacts the student when the DRC has obtained the Braille text.
  5. Student picks up Braille text from DRC in a timely manner.