What is Alternate Media?
Alternate media is a broad term used to encompass a variety of formats to which printed text is converted for use with various software and computer technology. This allows students with disabilities that are approved for the accommodation to use computers and/or other electronic devices more effectively in their studies. To become eligible for this accommodation, it must be approved by an SSD counselor and is decided case-by-case based on the student’s disability.
What is the Goal of the Alternate Media Production Team?
Alternate media provides quality materials in accessible formats to our students in a timely and efficient manner. We take pride in providing textbooks and additional course materials in various accessible formats that include but are not limited to Kurzweil 3000 (1000 for individuals with visual impairments), Adobe PDFs, Microsoft Word document files, Plain/Rich text files or MP3 audio files (when necessary).
How Does the Alternate Media Process Work?
Students who are approved for this accommodation must meet with the Alternate Media Coordinator or designee to complete a separate intake before submitting an official request. The coordinator/designee will review the policies, procedures, and guidelines for receiving alternate media with the student. The coordinator/designee reviews the online submission form with the student followed by a brief training on Kurzweil 3000. Students with visual impairments and using other assistive technology will not be required to attend Kurzweil training unless they are interested in Kurzweil 1000. They will receive an alternate format commensurate with their needs.
- Students must submit a request every term preferably as soon as the student registers for classes, approximately six (6) weeks prior to the start of the new term. To submit for alternate media, go to Services to Students with Disabilities website. Once on the website go to the “Services” tab and click on “Alternate Media and Additional Materials Request.” If students are unable to submit via the online submission form, an email with a list of classes with the required course information may be submitted to email@example.com.
- Requests are processed in the order in which they are received (first-come, first-served), but are not guaranteed to be completed in that order.
- Students are required to provide proof of purchase (receipt or purchase order) and sign a Copyright Agreement form for each textbook received. Third party receipts from fellow students will not be accepted as proof of purchase.
- Students renting textbooks will have access to accessible materials for the duration of the rental agreement (one term).
- Students requesting additional materials, anything not a textbook per the CSUSB Bookstore Listing, in an alternative format, must submit the Alternate Media and Additional Materials Request form for those materials. In addition, students must submit legible copies of the materials to Alternate Media via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If digital copies are not available to submit via email, students will arrange to meet with a member of the production team to hand off the hard copy materials.
Alternate Media Production
Alternate media can be a time-consuming process depending on the type of format the student needs. In line with our goal of ensuring timely and quality products, our conversion to Kurzweil 3000 has made the production of course materials a more streamlined and manageable process, allowing us to produce materials in a timelier manner and with greater accuracy. We at SSD, and the Alternate Media Production Team, firmly believe that it is important for our students to have access to their course materials without having to physically come to campus. As a result, our students receive their books via access to the campus approved Google Shared Drive, available through MyCoyote, for individuals with visual impairments, and/or the Kurzweil cloud-based system.
In addition to producing accessible materials, students who are approved for alternate media have access to technical support should they encounter difficulties accessing their files. Alternate media production staff are available during SSD’s hours of operations (Monday-Thursday, 1 pm-10 pm and Saturday, 8 am-5 pm) to answer questions regarding alternate media production and/or accessibility concerns. Issues regarding changes in assistive technology and training are referred to Kevin Cleppe at the Assistive Technology Center (ATC).
Information and Resources
The Alternative Media Production Team has created an Information and Resources page to help keep our students abreast of new and innovative ways technology can be utilized to provide equal access to their course materials.