Alternative Format

Alternative Format Accommodations refer to accommodations that create access to print information. Services that help to create that type of access include MP3, Braille, E-test, PDFs and tactile graphics.

Course reading materials can be converted to accessible formats for students with print disabilities. Only required textbooks are converted by default; additional course materials (e.g. Canvas articles, recommended texts) may be converted upon request.

Alternative Format may include

Documents are converted to a computer generated (digital or synthetic speech) audio MP3 file. Can be played on mp3 players, computers, smart phones, etc.

A tactile writing system in which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with the fingertips.


E-text is a word processing format that can be accessed by screen reading software on both PC and Mac platforms. It is typically produced to include everything which is edited to maintain the styles and headings of the original text as well as includes descriptions of all images, charts, graphs, etc.

This is a PDF file where text on the page is readable by some screen readers including Adobe Reader which is a free download from If files are in a Word document or similar type file, you do not need to change the file to PDF. Many PDF files are in a PDF image format which is simply a digital image of the page and does not have text recognition and is not accessible.


Raised images to convey non-textual information such as maps, graphs and diagrams.


Faculty Responsibility

Instructors who have a student receiving this accommodation will receive an e-mail from the Student Accessibility requesting the course materials and possible access to the blackboard course used during the semester. This request may come prior to a formal accommodation letter but allows our staff to get a jump start on processing requests to prevent any delays. Faculty will receive a formal accommodation notice close to the start of the semester.

Canvas Ally is a tool that has been purchased by the university which is integrated into Canvas and focuses on making digital course content more accessible. This product helps ensure your courses are inclusive and improves the students' learning experience by improving usability, accessibility and overall quality. For more information about Canvas Ally and its integration into Canvas as well as training opportunities, you can visit

Student Accessibility highly recommends faculty familiarize themselves with this program as this will be the primary resource for ensuring course materials in Canvas are converted into the format necessary to ensure students access to your course

The provision of Alternative Format accommodations is a time intensive and individualized process. If you have specific questions about the process, a request you get, or how you might be able to ensure your materials are accessible please contact us at 480-965-1234 or by email at