Alternate Formats

Conversion of print materials into alternate formats is required by students whose disabilities affect the processing of print materials, for example, blind or partially sighted students, students with certain learning disabilities, and students with other conditions, such as Irlen Syndrome.

The types of alternate formats prepared depend upon the nature of the student's disability and the equipment/software used. Alternate format may include scanning and editing text for use with specialized software such as text to speech software, involve producing large print or braille documents, or audio mp3 production.

Course Materials

Have your course materials arrive at the bookstore three weeks in advance of the start of classes. This allows our office sufficient time to obtain the materials and begin the process of adapting them before classes begin. It ensures your student has course material to work with at the beginning of term, in the same way that classmates do. Understandably, you will not know if you have a student who requires alternate format much before the term begins, so by regularly ordering in advance, your material will always be accessible. When providing readings or handouts in class, offering a text accessible electronic version (pdf, doc, docx, rtf) provides students with a format that can be read using adaptive technology software and/or be more readily adapted into the required format.


To allow time for conversion, exams requiring alternate format must arrive at the SAS office a minimum of three working days before the exam date, preferably in electronic format (text-accessible pdf, doc, docx, rtf). Delivery options include uploading into ClockWork or e-mailing the exam since electronic format is needed in order to prepare the material. Every exam must be accompanied by exam instructions and authorization information, entered through the ClockWork interface or attached to the email.

Occasionally, exam questions may be unsuitable for conversion to alternate format (for example, a three-dimensional image). In this case, a member of the Alternate Format Team will contact you to discuss the possibility of an adapted question which will test the same content/concept in a more suitable format.