Alternate Format - Faculty

Alternate Format - Faculty

Information for Faculty

Alternate Format refers to the process of converting materials and books into a different format such as audio, electronic text, enlargements, or Braille. CAR has trained staff in our office who facilitate this process for faculty members when they need to submit materials. This page outlines details about this process, as well as provides guidelines for faculty.

On this Page:

Guidelines and Timeline for Material Submission

Re-formatted materials must be given to the student within a reasonable timeframe, as required by law. If an alternate format was requested reasonably far in advance, the student should be able to receive the reformatted materials at the same time that all other students receive their materials.
If manual production needs to be completed by our department such as conversion to Braille or other specialized formats, the material may need to be hand-edited, line by line, before being converted. This often requires a considerable amount of time and resources.

For this reason, it is essential that CAR staff receive a copy of your course syllabus with reading assignments as soon as possible so that they can prepare only the material required for the course. It is imperative you make every effort to meet the bookstore deadline for ordering your course materials. Students may need to purchase their books and materials weeks in advance so that their reformatted materials will be ready the first day of class.

As each student request is different , there is no concrete timeline for submitting materials to alternate format. It takes CAR up to 15 business days to return the reformatted material to the student. Please consult with the student’s primary Accommodation Specialist for more information about this.

How and Where to Submit Course Materials

There are many different ways instructors can submit items to Alternate Format for conversion for students.

  • The easiest ways is to email the materials to
  • If you submit materials on a CD or flash drive, please provide them in Microsoft Word with the material saved in Rich Text Format or Plain Text if possible.
  • We prefer materials to be submitted digitally for ease of access, however if you only have them in hard copy we can accept that as well.

If you have any other questions regarding submitting materials, please contact CAR Alternate Format or a student’s Accommodation Specialist.


If it is stated in a student’s Letter of Accommodation (LOA) that they receive enlarged text as an accommodation, please provide handouts in at least 18 pt. font.

CAR Alternate Format can facilitate this process for faculty members, if they submit materials using the information above.

Contact Alternate Format



Am I, as the instructor, able to format digital materials for students?

  • Students who use digital text as an accommodation, often get their materials formatted through our Alternate Format staff. This allows us to ensure that it is formatted correctly for screen readers. Faculty are welcome to send materials directly to students, if this is an arrangement that works best for both parties.

What happens if I find material the same day I want to use it in class? How is it formatted for the student?

  • Students with accommodations must receive materials in an accessible format at the same time as the rest of the class. This may mean that instructors need to find materials early. As stated above, it may be acceptable to send materials directly to the student. Please check with the student’s Accommodation Specialist regarding questions like these.

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