Alternate Format Policy

These procedures and policies are for all students who are registered with the Disability Services Office (DS) and have been approved to receive alternative formats.

DS will make printed material available in the following formats:

  • E-text (electronic text) — textbooks will be requested from the publisher and class material(s) will be scanned electronically and provided to the student (depending on the size of the document) as an e-mail attachment, on USB drive or CD (compact disc). All files will be scanned and saved in an electronic format.
  • Audio — available audio books will be requested. If the textbook is not available in audio format e-text will be converted to MP3 files using text to audio software. Files will be downloaded to VictorReader Stream.
  • Enlarged Print — e-text(s) will be converted to enlarged print. Class material(s) may be enlarged to the font size required by the student upon request. Student must be aware that the page numbers may not correspond to those in the textbook once material has been enlarged. It may not have the same structure.
  • Braille — students may e-mail an attachment of the document, or drop off hard copies that will be scanned and transcribed to Braille.

Students may require course materials in alternative formats. Common alternative formats include enlarged texts, recorded texts, electronic texts or brailed course materials. DS works with the student to provide an appropriate format for the student. Textbook/print conversion is a time intensive process, especially for technical subject matter, and can require several weeks or even months to complete. Because alternative text production is a time consuming process, a DS staff member may ask an instructor for information about course materials several weeks (or months) in advance.

DS offers resources necessary for students to convert their own materials. DS office maintains an Assistive Technology Lab that is available to registered students.



  • Qualified students with disabilities may be eligible to receive alternative formats for their textbooks from the DS office. (Students must have submitted documentation and been approved for services before any alternative formats will be created.)
  • Students must complete a Semester Registration Form for each semester requesting to receive books in alternative format.
  • Students must be enrolled in courses for the semester they are requesting alternative formats for their books. Students must bring a copy of their receipt and a copy of their class schedule to the Disability Services Office in order for the request to be processed.
  • The student is required to purchase each book that they are requesting to satisfy copyright laws. Students must show proof of ownership (such as a receipt) to the DS office to receive services.
  • It is the student's responsibility to provide a course syllabus to ensure materials are being converted in the appropriate order. Failure to provide a syllabus may result in materials not being converted in the order in which they are required.
  • It is the student's responsibility to submit an Alternative Format Request Form to the DS four to six weeks prior to the first class. Later requests will be filled in the order in which they are received.
  • The student may not revise, convert, disassemble, modify, sell, license, rent, loan or otherwise share the alternative format with any other person.
  • DS will make every effort to give the student the format that is preferred, although we cannot always guarantee that your preferred format will be available.
  • Typically, four to six weeks notice is required to obtain alternative format materials. However, this time can be shorter or longer depending on the date of request, format of the book, and the format being requested from publishers.
  • Production of alternative formats will not begin until the student has submitted a Semester Registration Form for the current semester, an Alternative Format Request Form is completed, an Alternative Format Services Agreement, the requests have been approved by DS staff, proof of purchase has been given to DS office, and the book has been provided/given to DS office.

All materials will be processed in the order in which they were received. DS office will convert the material and return it to the student as soon as possible. In converting printed text into an alternate medium, DS office will try to honor the student's request for a preferred medium. However, depending on the date the material is presented to DS office, the quality of the printed material, the volume and the expected time for return, DS office must make the decision as to which medium would be most expedient in converting the material.



  1. Register for class and purchase your books.
  2. Submit a Semester Registration Form and an Alternative Format Services Agreement Forms.
  3. You must complete an Alternative Format Request Form with your course and book information and provide a copy of your receipt for the books you are requesting.
  4. Provide a copy of your course syllabus to the Disability Services office to ensure materials are being converted in the appropriate order.
  5. Check your Bronc-mail for notices of when materials are ready to be picked up in the DS office. (Allow four to six weeks production time.)

Before submitting an Alternative Format Request Form you must be registered with the Disability Services Office (DS), submit your Semester Registration Form for the current semester and have the accommodation of an "alternative format". If you have not completed this process, you must do so before submitting a request for an alternative format. You must read and be aware of all the Alternative Format Policies and Procedures.

When making a request, you must complete the form and information for each book you are requesting. You must provide a copy of the receipt showing proof of purchase for each book you are requesting. Once you have completed the form you may deliver it to the Disability Services Office (DS), University Center, room 108 or you may fax it to 956-665-2450.

Please note, when possible, the DS office will first submit a request to the publisher for an accessible copy of the book. If the book is not available from the publisher, you will be required to submit your copy of the book for production. In addition, you will need to provide the DS office with a copy of your class syllabus.

NOTE: In order to complete the High Speed Scanning process, books and course packets will be taken apart and scanned, previewed/edited and converted. Depending on the quality of print in the book, the preview/edit time will differ. Since the books are taken apart, there is virtually no resale value. DS will not rebind the books. The student has the option to provide DS with quality Xeroxed copies of their assignments instead of having bindings removed from textbooks.

If you have any questions, please contact a DS staff member at 956-665-7005 or at

Contact Info

Student Accessibility Services Edinburg
Room: University Center 108
Phone: (956) 665-7005
Fax: (956) 665-3840

Student Accessibility Services Brownsville
Room: Cortez 129
Phone: (956) 882-7374
Fax: (956) 882-7861

Office Hours

Mon - Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm
Sat - Sun Closed