CMU's Alternative Text Policy

The following policy document has been developed to provide information and direction regarding the alternative text services the Student Disability Services (SDS) Office provides, as well as guidelines relative to how these services may be obtained from this office. This policy will be reviewed and modified on a regular basis to meet the ongoing needs of students with visual impairments and print disabilities at Central Michigan University (CMU). Students who request books in Alternative Format are responsible for the information in the policy . 

Recipients of Alternative Text

Alternative text may only be requested by students registered with SDS who havebeen approved for this accommodation.

Requests for Alternative Text

Alternative text must be requested each semester for each text needed, and  thestudent must be enrolled in the course for which the alternate text is being requested.

Purchasing of Materials to be Scanned by SDS, or Provided by Publisher

The student must purchase text books which are being scanned or ordered from publishers. The student must provide proof of the purchase before he or she receives alternative material from the SDS office.

Submission of Requests

Requests for alternate texts should be submitted by completing theAlternative Text Request Form.A separate request form must be completed for each alternate text requested. If students need assistance with the forms, they should call (989) 774-3018 or vist the SDS office.

Alternate text requests shouldbe submitted as soon as possible. Ideally, once a student enrolls in a course, he or she should try to get the reading list for the course from the instructor or the bookstore.Request are processed in the order they are received. 

Turn-around Times

Turn-around times for alternate text requests are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Alternate text production for formatted text will begin when SDS has received the request form and/or the hardcopy textbook. Depending on the alternative format requested, students should expect that they will not receive hard copy materials back from the SDS for about three weeks.

In order to meet immediate needs of as many students as possible, formatted alternatetext may be provided in stages based on direction from the requesting student.

Working with Publishers

SDS will make every effort to work with publishers to receive e-text in a timely manner. SDS will request e-text directly from publishers if the student does not want his or her book chopped and scanned, or if the book cannot be provided by other resources.


If the alternate text request is for formatted text and it cannot be located through other resources, SDS will scan the hard copy materials. The time frame will be established on a case-by-case basis based on student need but is generally 5-7 business days.

Hard Copy Text Conversion

Students can locally produce hard copy alternate text (Braille, large print) from electronic files provided by SDS for their personal use.

Student Use of Scanner

Students can scan materials using a scanner in the SDS Adaptive Technology Lab.

Canceling or Modifying Requests

In the event that a student drops the class, or there is a change in the materials needed to be provided, the student should notify SDS immediately.

This policy was adapted with permission from the Alternate Text Production Center (ATPC) of the California Community Colleges’ policy. 11/2006

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