The Catholic University of America

Alternative Format Guide

Getting Started

All new students requesting materials, for the first time, in alternative formats should meet with the EText Supervisor to your discuss specific needs and what formats will work best for you. Even if you have used alternative formats before, our office may be able to suggest formats more suitable to your college study habits.  We may refer to alternative formats as: alt formats, electronic text, or etext. We use these terms all to refer to the same accommodation.

What Can I Convert?

You can ask our office to convert any material that is required or recommended for course completion. This includes but is not limited to:

  • textbooks
  • tests or quizzes
  • course handouts
  • books needed for research
  • documents posted to Blackboard
  • materials for internships (as permitted)

Software for EText

A principal advantage of eText is that your computer can “read” the text to you. You may already have a preferred reading application but if not, CUA provides an application called Read & Write Gold to all students, faculty and staff.  Read & Write provides a suite of functions to aid in reading, writing and research.  Contact DSS for information on downloading and installing the application.

 

What You Need to Do

1.     Ask for alternative formats as a part of your accommodations! If it’s not one of your accommodations we cannot convert your books.

2.     Complete and return an alternative format request form goo.gl/forms/0T36MtI5tubLDfTf2 , including title, author, edition, and ISBN.

3.     Turn in a proof of purchase to DSS for all necessary materials. If you have an electronic receipt, you may forward it to the EText office CUA-AltFormats@cua.edu .

4.     Send us a copy of your syllabus for each class. We use that for scheduling delivery of your materials

5.     Be patient. We strive to convert all materials within two weeks, but at the beginning of the semester, there is a high demand.

 

 The Production Process

 You may wonder why some conversions take so long. Here is a brief description of the steps in process to take your book from paper to digital.

Student workers then diligently work to ensure that the computer has correctly converted the image of your text into editable text.

  1. After we receive a request, we search our electronic library, other resources, and ask for publishers for an electronic copy. If we have an electronic version, we convert it to the format appropriate for your needs.
  2. If we can’t find an electronic copy, we need to obtain the hard copy, chop off the spine, and run it through our high speed scanners.
  3. Student workers then diligently work to ensure that the computer has correctly converted the image of your text into editable text. 
  4. Depending on your format, workers will run your text through another specialized software, then deliver it to you either through eMail, or internet transfer (Box.com).

 

 Tips to Help Our Staff

  • It’s never too early to turn in your book list! Students approved for alternative formats are on the priority registration list. You should contact your professor early to obtain a list of required texts for your course. Partial lists are OK so you don’t need to wait until you get your entire booklist
  • If you are dropping a class or do not need a book, please notify our office.
  • If there are problems with your converted book, we can help. We’ll work with you to make sure you have materials to help you succeed!