Alternative Format Request Policy and Procedure

Accessibility Resources provides alternative formats for course materials to registered students. If you receive the Alternative Format accommodation, follow the procedure outlined on this page to request accessible documents for your courses.


Accessibility Resources facilitates access to alternative formats for required and recommended course documents for students approved for the accommodation "Readings in Digital Format." The Digital Access Team helps provide accessible digital versions of textbooks, journal articles, scholarly publications and other text materials required for the completion of your course. 

  • The content must be required (or recommended) for the completion of a course, as evidenced by the relevant syllabus (provided by the student).
  • Proof of purchase is required before any alternative format materials can be released.
    • If you no longer have proof of purchase, you must offer your physical copy of the material to be converted (a process which removes the spine of the book, rendering your book ineligible for buy-back).
    • We cannot guarantee rented textbooks.
  • Please submit your alternative requests at least two weeks prior to the semester beginning, or two weeks prior to the assignment of the reading. 
    • It may take two to four weeks to receive alternative formats. 
    • For longer content, you may receive content in sections, based on the course schedule provided in your syllabus, to ensure you have the content you need.
  • Materials will only be distributed once per request. If the recipient loses their copy, they must complete another alternative format request.
  • If materials are available through the University of Cincinnati Library, such as journal articles or magazines, please contact the Digital Access Team directly at
  • If an alternative version (such as ePUB, Kindle, or App Store) of the material is available for sale, we strongly recommend purchasing/renting, as this will reduce the potential for delays in providing your materials and may result in better quality course materials

Alternative formats can be provided in one of three formats:

  • Searchable Text Document – This format may be a PDF or Word document (Word documents may appear differently than the original content). These documents will be digital text, and will be searchable. This content is intended to be used by basic text-to-speech software.
  • Screen Reader Accessible – This format may be a PDF or Word document and will have accessible markup and will be accessible to most advanced screen readers. If you select this option, you may be contacted by the Digital Access Team to determine the best format to meet your needs.
  • ePUB – This format arrives as an ePUB that may be used with an eReader software such as iBooks. This format may be provided if “Searchable Text Document” is selected, but a PDF or Word document is not available. It often does not include images, and should be used in conjunction with your physical document.

Accessibility Resources can assist you with acquiring or utilizing any assistive technology that may be required to access your course materials.


To request your textbooks and course materials in an alternative format, you must submit an Alternative Format Request Form for each document. The form must be filled out completely. Failing to complete the form could result in a delay in providing your materials.

Begin the process as soon as you are registered in your class. Required texts are often available as soon as you are able to enroll in a course. Requesting alternative formats late or after the start of the semester could result in delays.

  1. Complete the Alternative Format Request Form for each book and/or article you may need.
    1. Provide a copy of your syllabus for the course indicating that the material requested is required for an academic course.
    2. If you are requesting a textbook, you must submit a receipt indicating proof of purchase.
      1. You may upload the Proof of purchase when completing the Alternative Format Request Form, or you may email, fax, or hand deliver receipts to Accessibility Resources (see contact information below).
  2. A Digital Access Team member will contact you via your UC email address when your content is available. Your content will be provided through a OneDrive link. Follow the link to download your files.
  3. Your content should now be in an accessible format. If you require assistive technology to utilize your content, please contact Accessibility Resources and request to meet with an assistive technology specialist.

NOTE: We cannot complete the process of providing textbooks in digital format if we do not have the course syllabus and proof of purchase. Please provide an assigned reading schedule if it is not included in the syllabus.

Other ways to submit proof of purchase

  • Email the Digital Access Team:
  • Fax: (513) 556-1838
    ATTN: Textbook Receipts from [Your Name]
  • Mailing Address:
    Accessibility Resources Office, University of Cincinnati, 210 University Pavilion,
    P.O. Box 210213, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0213

Terms of Use Agreement

Use of this accommodation provides the student with an alternative format of copyright material. This material is for the sole use of the recipient for the academic accommodation of the specified course. Any misuse, alteration of, or distribution of this copyright material to anyone other than the original recipient may be a violation of copyright law. The original recipient of the accommodation will be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, and may be subject to punishment.