Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations

Alternate Media: Description and Types

Description of Alternate Media and Alternate Media Services
What is Alternate Media?

"Alternate Media" is created when printed materials are converted into other formats for use by persons who have print impairments and cannot access information through traditional print materials.   The "alternate" part refers to the fact that the print has been changed so that is it enlarged, in e-text or audio format, or in Braille and can be "read" using a computer or a mobile device.

Most commonly students need alternate media textbooks, instructional materials, and exams in the classroom. Other college materials not readily available on line on De Anza's web-site, such as publicity materials, or program brochures, can be made available in alternate media, when requested with sufficient notice, by students or the public.  Members of the public may request alternate media of general college materials not available on line by contacting the Alternate Media Specialist directly.

Can Students Get Alternate Media on their Own? 

Students with print impairments are most successful when they learn how to effectively use the various types of access technology for their alternate media needs.  At De Anza, before students request books and materials, the alternate media process helps them understand the most effective technologies and format(s) available. 

Students are encouraged to independently access materials when possible.

  • Web-sites are often easily made accessible using special software programs.
  • Students may independently order alternate media from outside sources.
  • Print materials can be directly accessed by scanning them into computer programs that enable them to be stored, read, and displayed in an accessible format. 
    • Computer stations with Kurzweil 1000/3000 software are located in the Computer Accessibility Lab (CAL), as well as in labs across campus
    • Students already competent to use these should contact the C.A.L. staff staff for more information.
    •  Students unfamiliar with the technology can receive the necessary training.
Does DSS Produce Alternate Media for Students?

To request that DSS convert materials from print into alternate media, students consult first with their DSS counselor or LD Specialist.  The Alternate Media Specialist handles the specific requests for conversion.  SeeSteps to Obtaining Alternative Media for details on accessing these services.

Alternate media may be either:

  • Produced on campus or
  • Obtained from other sources, such as:
    • Publisher e-text,
    • Electronic repositories on the Internet, and
    • Other colleges and universities.

When alternate materials is ordered from an off campus source, students may not need to to provide the book to the Alt Media Specialist, but generally, the student will still be required to purchase the print copy and provide proof of that purchase.

Types of Alternate Media
Audio Format
  • Audio formatted material may be
    1. Ordered by the Alt Media Specialist from an external source, if readily available.
    2. Converted on campus by the Alt Media Specialist from print by scanning and storing the data on electronic files for later student use on a computer, MP3 player, IPOD or other digital media device.
    3. Borrowed by the student from Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind and Dylsexic)
      • Eligible students may obtain personal membership and order their own materials.
      • Materials are played on a Daisy player, available for purchase, or on short term loan from the DSS program.
      • Alt Media Specialist can assist students to
        • Apply for membership,
        • Learn how to search and order books, or
        • Operate a Daisy player for playing Learning Ally Materials.
  • Print may be converted into a variety of e-text formats, including
    • Kurzweil electronic file
    • MP3 audio file
    • PDF files
    • Word/text files
    • Daisy audio file
    • Braille translation
    • Others, as requested
  • These may be obtained in a variety of ways.
    1. Print can be scanned to E-text directly by the student using specialized software available on campus or for purchase to use on personal computers.
    2. The Alt Media Specialist may order E-Text directly from publishers or other E-text sources.
    3. The Alt Media Specialist may convert print materials provided by the student.
    4. Students may also be eligible for personal accounts to borrow e-text from internet libraries specializing in serving persons with disabilities.  The Alt Media Specialist may assist students to locate and register with appropriate services.
Braille and Tactile Graphic Materials
  • Requests for Braille translation of texts, classroom or other college materials are made to the Alt Media Specialist.
  • Tactile Graphics are produced by raised line technology.
Print Enlargement
  • Large print texts are limited in availability, bulky to handle, difficult to carry, and expensive. 
  • Effective, more flexible solutions for students who need to enlarge print size include the use of a:
    1. Computer to enlarge the print, using a software program such as Zoomtext
    2. Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTV), located on campus in the CAL Lab and the Library to enlarge the printed textbook
    3. Digital music player, such as an Ipod, to listen to the text
    4. Portable tablet computer, such as an IPad to enlarge or listen to the text.
  • If no other viable alternative can be utilized, a hard copy enlargement can be printed from E-text, other electronic files or photocopied from the print material directly. 

 Return to DISH Table of Contents

DISH Table of Contents

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Section One: Coming to De Anza College

Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations

General / College-Wide Accommodations and Services

Instructional / Classroom Accommodations and Services:

Alternate Media Services:

Deaf or Hard of Hearing Services:

Legal Aspects

Concerns and Complaints

Section Three: Disability Support Programs & Services Instruction

Section Four: Success Strategies

Section Five: Campus and Community Life

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