Montana State University

Student Policy on Accessible Texts

Accessible Text Book Procedure

The student must submit appropriate documentation of the disability that meets criteria for alternative textbooks.  Once a student is approved for this accommodation, they will sign the accessible text book policy form and submit an alternative text request. Book receipts and course syllabi must accompany the request form.  *It is important to note that DSS can only acquire books that are required for courses the student is currently registered for. 

Disabled Student Services (DSS) then searches for the text online and through the publishers.  If the text cannot be found in an electronic or audio version the student has the option to submit their book to be scanned.  When DSS scans a book the binding will be cut off, the book will be scanned and then rebound with a spiral binding.  After scanning, DSS will format the book in a Word or PDF document or MP3 format. 

This process may take up to 4-6 weeks from the time the request is submitted.  For this reason, students using their alternative textbook accommodation are encouraged to take advantage of their priority registration status and get their requests in to DSS as soon as possible.  Requests are processed in the order received. 

To access alternatively formatted books in Word or PDF format, students will need to use screen reading (text to speech) software.  Kurzweil 3000 screen reader software is available on campus in the student computer labs, on two computers in the basement of Renne Library, and DSS.  Students can also download a free screen reader from the internet, such as NaturalReader or ReadPlease.  Purchased versions of screen readers offer higher capabilities and more natural sounding voices.  Each screen reader should come with a tutorial, but students are also welcome to set up an appointment at DSS to learn how to utilize the software.

*For students interested acquiring alternative texts that DSS is not permitted to obtain (i.e. books that are not required for the student’s class) there are several ways the student can search for the material.  DisabilityResources.org lists websites where individuals can find alternative text.  Many books on tape are available at the Montana Talking Books Library.  Local and campus libraries also have some materials available in alternative formats.