Alternative Formats

What is alternative text?

Student Disability Services' Alternative Text services seeks to provide students with print disabilities with a copy of texts in an alternative format such as a PDF that can be used with text-to-speech software. You may access the PDF copy we provide with your own text-to-speech software. Other alternative text formats include large print and Braille.

You can convert your own documents using our service through the SensusAccess link : http://www.sensusaccess.com/web3/uchicago

Notice: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement.

How can I get alternative texts?

First, register with Student Disability Services to record your print disability. As a part of the determination process SDS will review your supporting documentation and request in order to determine which services you might qualify for. Once you have been determined as a person with a print disability who requires alternative text, you may then request access to books in alternative texts through SDS at text.sds@uchicago.edu.

Library books

If you are eligible to receive alternative texts, SDS will add your name to a list of students who are eligible to receive alternative texts from the Library. When you log into the Library Catalog and look at a specific title, you will see the option to submit a request for that book as an alternative text.

Non-Library books

To get other books converted, please email text.sds@uchicago.edu with the title, author, acceptable edition(s), ISBN, and publisher information. Please prioritize the books in your list and we will work on those first.

All titles that are not available via the Library or a public source must be purchased by the reader before we convert it. SDS will ask for a proof of purchase. SDS may also request to scan your physical copy of the book if we are unable to obtain a digital copy. This may involve chopping the book so we can feed the pages into our document scanner. When the conversion is complete, you may pick up the book(s) from SDS.

Other text/print materials

To get other text/print materials converted, try using the SensusAccess link above, or else bring a physical copy into SDS and we will convert it within one business day. Braille requests will take longer.

What are some other alternative text resources?

Bookshare is an accessible online library. You may request access to Bookshare and request individual titles to be added to your Bookshare reading list by emailing Holly Lipschultz, Associate Director, at hlipschultz@uchicago.edu

HathiTrust is a digital repository of books from many libraries. You may look for books in HathiTrust and send the URL to text.sds@uchicago.edu for SDS to download it and send it to you.