Alternate Media

What is Alternate Media?

Many students with disabilities find it difficult, if not impossible, to read and understand a standard textbook. Through the Alternate Media Center, textbooks and class materials can be converted to e-text, audio, Braille, large print, or other alternate format.

Who is eligible?

Students who are blind or visually impaired, as well as those with motor impairments and learning disabilities, may qualify for services through the Alternate Media Center.

What do I do to receive the service?

The first step is to determine if you qualify. Your DRC counselor can help you evaluate your needs. An Academic Accommodations Plan is completed listing the appropriate accommodations for your specific disability. The next step is to meet with the Alternate Media Specialist. Together, you and the Alternate Media Specialist will go over your request and determine the best way to prepare your materials. The Alternate Media Specialist will also discuss your responsibilities in the alternate media process. Planning ahead is essential for a successful semester. Choose your classes early, find out what books you will need, and meet with the Alternate Media Specialist as soon as possible to discuss your alternate media needs. The better you plan, the smoother the semester will go.

I’ve been approved for Alternate Media and have met with the Alternate Media Specialist. How can I request my textbooks/course materials?

You can request Alternate Media/E-text formats using the MyDRC Alternate Format Textbooks Module. From here you can create requests for your textbooks, view the status of the requests, and download the files once the requests have been completed. Please refer to the step-by-step instructions on how to create an Alternate Media request. If you have questions, email or call (760) 744-1150 ext. 2377. Requests can take up to 10 working days to be completed once approved. We strongly advise you submit your requests as soon as the book information is available.

Instructors: Take these steps to implement the  “Alternate Format Material” Accommodation:

Review all of the documents, pages, and files distributed in person and electronically in your Canvas course or in person class, etc.

  • In Canvas, run Accessibility checkers and correct any errors you can. Visit the ATRC Accessibility Portal for more information on the built-in Canvas checkers.
  • Contact the ATC (, ext. 2377, or LRC 127) for support if  you find accessibility errors you are unable to fix on your own.

Examine your Textbooks.

  • “Alternate format material” also applies to textbooks you use in your course.  If a student has “alternate format material” listed on their Accommodation Letter, please do the following right away:
    • Check in with the student to make sure they are working with DRC’s Access Tech Center/Alternate Media Specialist to get an alternate format of the textbook that is accessible with their preferred document and screen reading software.

What will DRC’s Alternate Media Team do to make the instructional materials, including PowerPoints, pdfs,  and textbooks, exams/quizzes accessible for students with this accommodation?

  • Alternate media production is the process by which the original formats are converted into a version used by the student. This conversion process can be time consuming and, if there are any delays to identifying a required course textbook or reading sections, then students with disabilities may not receive the alternate version in a timely manner.

What can you do to facilitate alternate media production and the accessibility and usability of exams/quizzes in your course for the student with this accommodation?

  • Please email your exam or quiz to at least 5 business days before exam or quiz date. This time allows for the conversion of the exam or quiz into an accessible format.

What can you do to facilitate alternate media production and the accessibility and usability of files, documents, and textbooks  in your course for the student with this accommodation?

  • Contact the and grant the ATC professionals access to your Canvas course as a TA so they can access all course materials.