Alternative Format

Students who have met with a CAE counselor and have been approved for the Alternative Format accommodation may request to have their textbooks converted to an accessible electronic format, which can be read aloud using a screen reader or text to speech (TTS) software, enlarged, etc. Specialized formats such as Braille or raised graphics can also be produced, if needed. To submit a request, please complete the CAE Alternative Format Request Form and submit it using the button at the bottom of the form. If you have any questions or for an alternative method by which to submit your request, please contact Tony Buffo at tbuffo@saonet.ucla.edu.

Prior to submitting an Alternative Format request

  1. Begin researching your required textbooks as early as possible – three or more weeks prior to the start of the quarter, if possible
    1. Look textbook titles up online (UCLA Bookstore)
    2. Email your instructors for a syllabus or book list
  2. Search Bookshare to see if your book is available. If your textbooks are available on Bookshare, you will not need to submit an alternative format request. You will have immediate access by downloading the textbooks you found. If you do not have a student membership with Bookshare, please contact the Assistive Technology Specialist to see if you are eligible.
  3. If your textbook is not available through Bookshare, you will need to purchase or rent a printed copy of the book and save your receipt. If buying a used copy, please select one that is as unmarked as possible, as the hard copy may need to be cut and scanned to create an electronic version.
    1. Consider purchasing your textbook as an e-book, audio book, or other preferred format, rather than purchasing a printed version. These versions will allow for immediate access and you will not need to make an alternative format request.

To submit an Alternative Format request

  1. Complete and submit an alternative format request form to the Assistive Technology Specialist via email or in person (Murphy A255).
  2. Additional information needed for a request:
    • Proof of Purchase (receipt)
    • Copies of the title and copyright pages of each textbook requested
    • Course syllabus, when available

Please note the following important information:

  1. CAE provides alternative format services for required textbooks. Recommended textbooks may be requested but will need approval and will be produced after required textbooks are completed.
  2. Graduate students engaged in research for a dissertation must submit the CAE 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.

How long will it take to have my print version textbooks converted?

  1. Please allow at least three weeks to begin receiving material for your textbook requests.
  2. Brailling services can take up to 8 weeks.

What if I prefer my documents in Word format?

To ensure timely access to textbooks, the format that is provided by the publisher will be made accessible and provided to the student. The format is typically a PDF. Therefore, a preferred format, other than PDF, will only be considered if the format received from the publisher is not accessible to the assistive technology the student is using.

What if I have instructor created course readings that are not accessible?

Please inform your instructor immediately. Instructors can work with the CAE Assistive Technology Specialist as well as DCP to get training on creating accessible course content.