Alternate Formats for Print Materials

The Alternate Media Office of the Disabled Students Programs and Services provides alternatives to print materials such as textbooks, course readers, teachers' handouts, and examinations.

The Alternate Media Office can provide qualifying students with formats such as Braille, large print, audio, or electronic text.

The Alternate Media Office is located on the Ocean campus in Batmale 338. Please call 415-452-5481 to make an appointment.

In order to receive alternate formats, students must first be qualified and referred by a DSPS counselor.

Alternate Formats and Software Available

There are several electronic formats--usually called "e-text"--that you will receive. Here are a few of the most common:

PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format)

This is the most common format sent by textbook publishers. The advantage of this format is that it retains the look of the book and typically includes pictures. This is an excellent format for students who do not have major vision impairments because it looks like the book.

Microsoft Word

This is a text format sometimes used by publishers. If the alternate media office scans your book, we may also give you Microsoft Word.

DAISY (e-text from Bookshare.org)

Bookshare.org is an organization that we work with. DAISY files from Bookshare are in text format and have good navigation. You can get your own account at Bookshare.org.

DAISY (audiobooks from LearningAlly)

LearningAlly, formerly known as RFBD, is another organization that we work with. LearningAlly files are in audio format. You can get your own account at LearningAlly.org.

We have many software programs in the Accessible Computer Laboratories on the Ocean Campus and John Adams Center that will play these files. In addition there is a smaller selection of software at the Rosenberg Library on the Ocean campus and at the Mission campus library. Ask a DSPS staff or faculty member for assistance in choosing the right program for you.

Suggested software in the Accessible Computer Labs

  • For PDF files for students with learning disabilities or minor vision impairments: Kurzweil 3000.
  • For PDF files for students with major vision impairments: Kurzweil 1000, ZoomText.
  • Microsoft Word files for students with learning disabilities or minor vision impairments: Kurzweil 3000.
  • Microsoft Word files for students with vision impairments: Kurzweil 1000, Zoomtext, JAWS.
  • DAISY files from LearningAlly or Bookshare for students with learning disabilities or minor vision impairments: Check with the instructor.
  • DAISY files for students with major vision impairments: JAWS.

Students can also get apps for their iOS and Android devices. Check with the alternate media specialist.

For Faculty: Captioning and Web Accessibility

The Alternate Media Office facilitates captioning of videos and advises faculty members on the accessibility of online distance education materials.

CCSF faculty members can contact the Alternate Media Specialist at 415-452-5481 to inquire about captioning and accessibility of online materials.