Alternative Format Textbooks and Classroom Materials

Students with print related disabilities may qualify for textbooks and other printed or web based classroom materials in an alternative format. Alternative format material is provided in digital format that is accessible using screen reading software on a computer or tablet. Other format options may be possible depending on individual circumstances.  

Our role is to provide accessible print material in an alternative format designed to meet your needs.

  • Digital format material is electronic based text read through text-to-speech software technology such as: Natural Reader, Kurzweil, or using other capable e-book readers, i.e. Kindle, I-Pad. Textbook material in a digital format is obtained from the textbook publisher and is strictly intended for student use only. We will help you access the digital format material by installing and reviewing the operation of text-to-speech software. You may also purchase your books in an e-text format through a bookstore.

Procedures to Obtain Alternate Textbooks or Materials

Each semester you must:

  • Be eligible for this accommodation - See your Accommodation Plan
  • Purchase your Textbooks.  It may take up to 3 weeks to receive digital formatted copy of the material, so purchase early. (If requesting Braille, the time line will be significantly longer.)
  • Schedule an appointment to meet with John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist
    • Bring your Books for the semester.
    • Bring a copy of your receipt from the purchase of the books
    • Bring your computer or tablet.
  • If you are given written materials such as worksheets, handouts or supplemental reading assignments these can be transferred into audio files.  Schedule an appointment with John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist, to access this service. 

Try Text to Speech Technology

It is a good idea to try audio textbooks and e-text prior to attending college so you can learn how to listen and take notes from them. This skill will be beneficial to your success if you have a print access disability.

Several easy to use, free text to speech, screen reading programs can be downloaded.  Try one or more of them at:

  • - this is a free download with good but limited features.  Expanded features are available for purchase.
  • For PDF documents use the built in reader found in Adobe Reader 8 or higher.
  • Open document,
  • click View,
  • click Read Out Loud,
  • click Activate Read Out Loud

SCTCC is not affiliated with the makers of these programs. We cannot provide technical support or promise that these programs will work for you. If you have problems installing or using any software listed on this page, please contact the makers of the software for assistance.


Contact Info

320.308.5000 or 1.800.222.1009

1540 Northway Drive
St. Cloud, MN 56303