Alternative Format Guidelines

Main Office: A255 Murphy Hall (310) 825-1501 voice, (310) 825-9656 fax
Proctoring Center: A242 Murphy Hall (310) 825-2651
Alternative Format Services (310) 825-2651

UCLA's Center for Accessible Education is mandated by Federal, State and University policy to provide academic support services to students with documented permanent and temporary disabilities. A student with a disability may need alternative access to print material. Students with visual or learning disabilities, who are unable to read standard printed material, may need their required reading in alternative formats such as Braille, Audio-Tape, e-text or Large Print. There are many resources that offer books in these formats nationwide and locally. All UCLA students, including students with disabilities are required to purchase their own books/educational materials.

Qualifying for Alternative Format Service

Students must register with the Center for Accessible Education and provide documentation of their disability. To register with the CAE, make an appointment with the appropriate Disability Specialist mentioned below.

  1. Students with a learning disability, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, psychological disability or an acquired brain injury must meet with a CAE Learning Disabilities Specialist.
  1. Students with Physical, Visual or health-related disabilities must meet with an CAE Advisor.

The CAE Disability Specialist will ask you to complete the CAE Information Sheet, review your documentation, and discuss with you your eligibility for Alternative Format Services. Should you qualify for Alternative Format Services, you will be asked to make an appointment to meet with the Alternative Format Coordinator. When you meet with the Service Coordinator, you will be asked to fill out an Alternative Format Request Form and discuss in detail how to meet your needs.

How the Service Works

Typically, it takes two weeks or more to have materials converted to an alternative format. (Some scanning requests, depending on the complexity, may take no more than a week to complete). Students may receive books/print materials in an alternative format following the procedures articulated below. Depending on the student's disability and the nature of the disability, the Alternative Format Coordinator will consider students using the following approaches:

  1. Using "Scan and Read" workstation. (At the Proctoring Center, Disabilities and Computing Program and CLICC lab for read only).
  2. Contacting Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.
  3. Contacting Braille Institute. (E-text, Braille)
  4. Checking on-line resources.
  5. Converting to Electronic Text
  6. Reading onto Audio Tapes
  7. Any combination of the above options.

The Alternative Format Request Form must be completed each quarter that you require the service. All students must attach a course syllabus or reading list to the request form each quarter the service is needed. CAE will provide alternative format services for required readings only. Graduate students working on research for a dissertation must submit the Alternative Format Request Form and a copy of an abstract or a letter from the department describing the subject and the projected reading load for each quarter.

Please Note: It is very important to get classes early through priority enrollment and to contact professors and departments for reading assignments well in advance of each new term. This way, you will be able to make your service request to the CAE in a timely manner.

Alternative Format Options:

  • Audio Taped Materials: Students needing books on audio cassette tape must first inquire of Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, Inc. (RFB&D) to see if the assigned titles are available from their library. Students who are not members of RFB&D can have the membership fees paid by the CAE while enrolled as a UCLA student. CAE can sign the verification on the RFBD application. If RFBD does not have the required books and readings in their library and there is sufficient time for them to produce the readings, CAE can ship two copies to RFBD for recording (one from the student, one from CAE). As an alternative to RFB&D, students with learning disabilities may use "scan and read" assistive technology for reading text materials.
  • Scanned Materials: Students who need a book scanned are required to purchase the book and give it to the Alternative Format Coordinator to be scanned. The process requires the spine of the book to be cut so that the pages can pass through the scanner. The CAE will rebind the book at our expense before returning it to the student. The scanned material will be burned onto a CD to be picked up from the Alternative Format Coordinator located in A242 Murphy Hall.
  • CAE Reader: If materials are not already available through RFB&D, the CAE can have textbooks audio taped. Students must first meet with the Alternative Format Coordinator to discuss needs and to fill out an Alternative Format Request Form. Students must provide CAE with the books/educational materials to be read. It is important to have the course syllabus so that the tapes can be provided to the student according to when the readings are assigned. Students must contact the Alternative Format Coordinator each quarter prior to a continuation of a reader. Students may not exceed 15 hours of CAE reading per week without confirming the additional required hours with the Alternative Format Coordinator. Readers may only read academically related materials that include: textbooks, classroom materials, and other text materials required for the course.
  • Braille Materials: Students should check online resources to see if books are already available in Braille at If the books are not available students may request the CAE to have their books converted to Braille. Students must first meet with the Alternative Format Coordinator to discuss the needs and to fill out an Alternative Format Request Form. Students must provide CAE with the books/educational materials to be converted into Braille. Typically, it requires at least two weeks to convert materials, so it is important to get the process started early. Please provide the CAE with the course syllabus. If handouts or exams need to be Brailled, it is most expedient to receive them in an electronic version from the professor.
  • Large Print: The CAE can enlarge books, handouts, lecture notes, and exams. Students must first meet with the Alternative Format Coordinator to discuss needs and to fill out an Alternative Format Request Form. Students must provide CAE with the books/educational materials to be converted into large print.

Adaptive Technology

UCLA's Disabilities and Computing Program (DCP): The CAE refers students who may need to explore the use and purchase of adaptive computer technology to the Disabilities and Computing Program (DCP). The DCP offers assessment and orientation to adaptive computer technology that includes adaptive keyboards, voice recognition systems, and other adaptations allowing students to work independently. Students may contact the DCP directly to arrange for appropriate assessment and orientation to their program. For information or an appointment with DCP call (310) 206-7133.

How to Resolve Service Delivery Problems

It is fair to say that even with the best efforts of everyone involved with your service delivery at UCLA, a problem may occur. If this should happen, we strongly encourage you to let us know so that we can work together to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Experience has shown us that many times a problem arises because of a misunderstanding or miscommunication; therefore, clarification can be a quick and effective solution. We can help to resolve problems you may have with your service providers, professors, TA's or Departments. It is often best to discuss the issue with the person involved first, and if a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, to then appeal to the person's supervisor or department chair. However, we can assist you with making this determination and should we be unable to resolve the problem in the CAE, we will refer you to appropriate on-campus resources that can help.

For any issue or problem, you will be treated with respect, receive a timely response to your inquiries, and will have your issues dealt with in a confidential manner (if so requested). Retaliation in any form against persons who file complaints is prohibited by disability-related law and University policy. We encourage you to bring up any issues or problems as soon as possible, give clear and detailed information and be respectful of those people with whom you are working.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the University to adopt and publish procedures to resolve problems regarding access to the educational program for persons with disabilities. An individual who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of disability should contact UCLA ADA/504 Compliance Officer, Monroe Gorden at (310) 825-1514, or via email at If you wish to know more about your rights as a disabled person under Federal and State law and University policy, CAE can refer you to the appropriate entity.


Confidentiality is extended to all students receiving services from the CAE. CAE staff and service providers are required to keep all student and assignment related information strictly confidential.


The key to a successful term is for everyone to take responsibility for their part in the service. CAE may not be able to make effective arrangements if the request along with the necessary assigned books and materials are not submitted in a complete and timely manner. Typically, it takes two weeks or more to have materials converted to an alternative format. If there are any problems or concerns contact the coordinator immediately. Remember, communication is the key to success!

Service Providers' Employment

Service providers, other than volunteer notetakers, are employees of the CAE and the University. The CAE and its employees must observe laws and regulations pertaining to the Personnel Policies. This is a reminder that meal periods and rest periods are required by Personnel Policies for Staff Members Section 31-B-1 and 31-B-2 for student employees and Cue Clerical Unit Contract Article 10, schedule E and F for non-student employees. Please feel free to contact the CAE if you have questions regarding these policies.

If you would like this information in an alternative format, contact the Center for Accessible Education at (310) 825-1501 (310) 825-9656 (fax).

Alternative Format Guidelines 06/30/2016