Alternative format materials are provided as an authorized accommodation for print-related disabilities. They allow students to access course materials in a different format, including electronic text (e-text), large print, braille, audio, and tactile graphics.
Many publishers have made recent efforts to ensure accessibility of their textbooks through online textbook portals. Students are encouraged to determine if a publisher's online textbook portal would meet their accessibility needs and obtain alternative format materials in that manner.
Some publishers take longer than others to process alternative format requests. If a publisher has not provided or is unable to provide an alternative format of the text, the student may provide their print copy of the text to the Office of Accessibility Services to have it cut, scanned, and returned. OAS tries for a ten-business-day turnaround for all alternative format requests. Be aware that some requests may take up to 4-6 weeks or longer.
All information provided to students in a registered course at West Virginia University is available in alternative formats by request as part of an authorized accommodation. This includes articles, lecture slides, and required/suggested reading materials. Alternative format materials are only for the authorized student's academic use. Students agree to not share their alternative format materials by signing the OAS copyright agreement form in SAMM.
How to request alternative formats
Within 48 hours of registering for classes, adding a new class, or changing a course section, students authorized for alternative format accommodations should do the following:
- Request alternative format accommodations for each course in SAMM
- Electronically sign the OAS Copyright Agreement Form (available upon login in SAMM)
- Submit information related to the requested materials, in SAMM under Alternative Formats
- When applicable, include all receipts verifying the purchase of text books and materials
The decision for what type of alternative format books and materials supplied is based on the documentation submitted to OAS at the time of the student's application and discussion with their Accessibility Specialist.
Students who receive electronic texts as an alternative format accommodation will receive information on how to access their textbooks through their OAS assigned Kurzweil 3000 account.
If authorized to receive alternative format materials in a non-electronic format, students will be instructed to pick up their materials from the OAS office.