General Information

Alternative Media is provided to students whose disability prevents them from accessing their course materials as-is. Disability Resource Services works with students to provide materials in a format best suited for the individual need. Alternative Media can be provided for all course materials, including testing, if approved by a Disability Resource Services adviser.

Disability Resource Services provides the following formats:

Electronic Text.

Electronic text is a digital version of printed text, usually given in PDF format, that allows greater interaction for students who use assistive technology. Examples of this include highlighting and commenting, enlarging text, text-to-speech programs, the use of screen readers, and refreshable braille displays.
The CSU is authorized to fill requests and distribute text electronically (e-text) as allowed by Assembly Bill 422. E-text is provided by the publisher as alternate material for educational use by our students, or is created by the Disability Resource Services Alternative Media staff.


MP3 Audio is the use of a human or electronic voice that continuously reads text out loud as one or more files, or as an audio CD. Disability Resource Services provides MP3 on a case-by-case basis. This is because audio is not easily navigable, takes much longer to create, and doesn’t offer the same amount of options for study purposes.

Enlarged Text.

Enlarged text can be provided for students who require it. In most circumstances, students will be given electronic text that can be enlarged. However, in some cases, such as testing, enlarged format in print may be provided.


The American Foundation for the Blind defines braille as “…a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or who have low vision”. Braille can be provided in a hardcopy format. However, if a student uses a refreshable braille display, course materials can be supplied as digital documents optimized for use with this assistive technology.

Captioned Video.

Video captions serve to call out audio cues visually. These appear as additional words across the screen. Unlike regular subtitles, captions provide additional information such as important sounds, speaker identification, and may appear at different parts of the screen to avoid blocking important visual information.

Audio Description.

Audio Description utilizes a human voice to narrate important visual information not conveyed through audio during a video segment. Audio description is beneficial for both individuals who are blind/have low vision, and those who have processing or comprehension disabilities.

Other Formats.

On a case-by-case basis and after meeting with the alternative media specialist.

How to Set Up Alternative Media

Alternative Media is an accommodation that is approved by your advisor. Once alternative media is approved, the student must set up an appointment with the Alternative Media Specialist. During the appointment, the Alternative Media Specialist will work with the student to determine which alternative format and programs will be most suitable for the student.

During this appointment, the student should bring the technology that will be used to access their course materials. This includes, but is not limited to, laptops, tablets, phones, recorders, and assistive technology. Failure to bring technology may result in the need to reschedule the appointment or add another appointment for training.

Students must sign and submit an Alternate Media Policy before utilizing the service.

Requesting Materials in Alternative Format

Students can request any and all course materials for conversion to alternative format. Requests can be made by filling out our online form, by turning in a Paper Request to the DRS office, or emailing the form to the alternative media specialist.

It is recommended that students submit requests for their course materials as soon as possible after registering for classes. Converting materials takes time, sometimes up to 4-6 weeks. For this reason, students are urged to check for their course materials as soon as possible. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis, with exception to those who cannot otherwise access their course materials (i.e. Blind, Deaf, etc.). If course materials are not posted, students are urged to contact their professors and request the course materials. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the course materials needed for conversion and to submit requests as needed. Disability Resource Services will not be held responsible for missed due dates for assignments due to late requests.

Important: If DRS is experiencing difficulties providing materials in a timely manner due to the scale of conversion needed for materials, we will work with students and their professors to try to ensure the student does not fall behind in their coursework.

Requesting Exams in Alternative Format

If you would like alternative format for your exams, be sure to speak to your advisor about it. You must be approved for alternative format on exams. You do not need to turn in a course materials request form for each exam. Instead, on your testing card, please check the “text-to-speech” option. Exam cards that do not have this option checked will not be processed in alternative format.

Receiving Course Materials

Course Materials in alternate format can take up to 4-6 weeks to deliver, depending on the amount of remediation that needs to be done. Materials are uploaded to a Google Drive folder that is shared between your Stan State email and Disability Resource Services. When course materials are complete, an email notification will be sent. Course materials can be accessed by login at any time and are available to download. Course materials are cleared from the drive at the end of each semester.

If a student needs to receive their course materials another way, please contact the Alternative Media Specialist at or via phone at (209) 667-3159.

Additional Outside Resources

Stanislaus State ProQuest Ebook Central

Stanislaus State’s library has a section that allows students to read ebooks online. The website also allows students to download PDFs of books in limited page quantity.

Visit ProQuest Ebook Central

Learning Ally (Formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic).

Eligible students may obtain textbooks from Learning Ally. Learning Ally is a non-profit corporation designed to provide human-narrated text material. This service is available to qualifying persons with visual, learning, or mobility disabilities.

Learn more about Learning Ally Membership

It is the student's responsibility to order their textbooks from Learning Ally each semester.

Disability Resource Services is available to assist you if you experience problems.

Learning Ally

Send ALL Correspondence To:
20 Roszel Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08540


Monday - Friday
8:30am-6:00pm EST

Or fill out the contact sheet.


LibriVox is another resource that offers free, public domain audiobooks. They are supplied as MP3s. No sign-up is necessary.

Visit the LibriVox web site

California State Library Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL).

California State Library loans Braille cassette and talking books, magazines, and playback equipment to northern Californians unable to read conventional print.

Visit the BTBL Web site

Search the BTBL Online Catalog

Contact BTBL


Vitalsource has an ever-growing library of accessible, electronic textbooks that can be purchased on their website. Materials can be reviewed via their Bookshelf Application, which is available online as well as offline, works with screen readers, and incorporates a Read out Loud function for sighted users who use text-to-speech.

Publishers such as Pearson choose to deliver electronic course materials through Vitalsource BookShelf. It is recommended that you search for your course materials on VitalSource before purchasing printed materials.

Visit the Vitalsource Website.

Audiobooks on

 Amazon Audible has a large selection of e-book as well as audio books with human narration. In addition, Amazon now has Whispersync, a feature that allows human narration, when available, to sync up to the digital text and highlight as it is read. Users can also toggle between listening and reading without losing their place in the text.

Learn about Amazon Audible.

The Audio Description Project.

The American Council of the Blind provides information about Audio Description, from what it is and who does it, to a Master Audio Description List for Movies, Shows, and Videos.

Visit the Audio Description Project Website

Updated: July 18, 2023