Alternate format course materials

Providing course materials suited to you

The formats of university-provided course materials are listed in the course syllabus to be noted before you register for a course. An online course and its content may not be available in hard copy.

Course material may include e-text or hard copy textbooks, reading files, digital reading room documents, online course content, quizzes, assignment guides or multimedia materials. Accessibility Services aids students in using e-textbook platforms, assistive technology, and library resources to maximize the university-provided course material.

Alternate format is a service and accommodation assessed by an Accessibility Services team member. Each request takes into consideration the impact of the student’s disability, the required course materials, the requested format, and unit technology or resources. This service is not based on preference or past provision.

A student may require alternate format course material due to the impact of a disability. Accessibility Services provides the following alternate format for required course material after a student has received confirmation of the accommodation and submitted the New Course Accommodation form for each course enrollment (and Course Registration Plan if funded).

  • Searchable PDF with navigation support—bookmarks, split into chapters.
  • A hard copy of the e-textbook (if available from the publisher)
  • Braille or tactile supplemental guides to accompany a digital textbook (request at least 8 weeks before course start).
  • Un-zoned Kurzweil 3000 format (zoned KESI service is only provided when funded; request 8 weeks before course start date)
  • A text transcript of AU-produced multimedia (if closed captioning is not available)

Accessibility Services has the following service delivery strategies to meet various learning needs.

  • Students must request alternate format services for each course, indicating the specific material and format needed due to the impact of a disability, not preference.
  • Accessibility Services may provide a similar alternative to the requested format if it is known to work with assistive technology.
  • All requests depend on the student’s disability-related need, source availability, unit capacity and technology.
  • All requests depend on the student’s disability-related need, source availability, unit capacity and technology.
  • Request alternate format course material services each time you register in a course using the New Course Accommodation form found on the Accessibility Services Forms page.
  • We assist eligible students in applying for funding to contract format providers and technology to independently reproduce their course materials into formats that best meet their needs (i.e., OCR software, a printer/scanner, and/or hire a service provider to create material).

Accessibility Services provides alternate formats on a cost-recovery basis whenever possible. Learners eligible for the Canada Student Grant for Students with Disabilities will have the estimate for services submitted on their application. More about potential funding for equipment and services is found on our funding resource page.

Contact the Assistive Technology team in Accessibility Services for more details about information on this page.

Updated September 29, 2023 by Digital & Web Operations (