Alternate Media

Students who cannot access standard print (including students who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or have learning disabilities) may need their textbooks and other course materials provided in alternate formats (e.g. audio, Braille, closed captioning, electronic text, etc.). The Alternate Media Specialist provides services for students with documented print impairments upon referral from a DSS Learning Disabilities (LD) Specialist. Students with print impairments are encouraged to discuss alternate media options with their LD Specialist.

Some of the alternate formats (e.g. electronic text, Kurzweil, Learning Ally audio books) require the use of specialized hardware or software in order to access the materials. Students must be trained in the use of this specialized software in order to use the alternate formats. Training can be obtained in the Fullerton College Adaptive Computer Lab (ACL).

Fullerton College is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal and timely access to programs, facilities, admissions, and activities.

FC Alternate Media Policy

  • Eligibility for alternate media is determined by the DSS Director and/or LD Specialists and is based on the professional documentation of verified disabilities provided by the student.
  • Requests for materials in alternate format will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Once a request is made, the following points are considered in determining a reasonable accommodation: (a) functional limitations of verified disability supplied by the student, (b) the recommendation of DSS professionals, (c) format preference of student.
  • Students requesting materials in alternate format must provide an ORIGINAL receipt for the textbook (s) and/or other course materials before the alternate media request is processed. The ORIGINAL receipt will be retained by the Alternate Media Specialist until after the Fullerton College Bookstore return date, which is typically one week after classes begin.
  • Requests for materials in alternate format must be submitted as soon as the student learns of their need; late requests will be honored provided that the student making the request understands that the Alternate Media Specialist will set the timeline for completion of the work according to the date received.
  • Alternate media must be requested each semester as needed. For each title requested, the Alternate Media Request Form must be filled out and turned in to the Alternate Media Specialist.
  • Project completion times for alternate media requests are determined on a case-by-case basis. Upon review of material to be formatted and converted, the Alternate Media Specialist will make every effort to complete the request in a timely manner.
  • Alternate media requests that require scanning will require the removal of the textbook binding.
  • Students will be provided with one alternate format copy for each material required for academic use. The student will not copy of reproduce any alternate media material provided by DSS, nor allow anyone else to do so. Misuse of this material such as reproduction or distribution of the alternate media is an infringement of copyright laws and a violation of the Alternate Media Policies and Procedures, which may result in disciplinary action.
  • Students requesting materials from Learning Ally can create their own account or use Fullerton College’s account. Contact the Alternate Media Specialist for further directions.

Alternate Media Requests

Requesting course materials in alternate formats from DSS requires students to submit requests within one week of registering for classes. Requests will be honored in the order that they are received. Late requests will be honored provided that the student making the request understands that there may be a delay in receiving materials.

To request your material in alternate formats, follow these steps:

  1. Register for classes using MyGateway.
  2. Print a copy of your class schedule and bring it to Disability Support Services within one week of registering.
  3. Purchase your textbooks and supply the ORIGINAL receipt to the Alternate Media Specialist within ten days of receiving the book list email, so your requests can be processed in a timely manner. If you have difficulty obtaining the book, contact the Alternate Media Specialist to explain the situation and discuss a strategy.
  4. Complete the Alternate Media Request Form and turn it in to the Alternate Media Specialist along with the original receipt(s) and a physical copy of the textbook(s) if cutting/scanning is required.

Alternate Media Resources

Accessibility Resources Livebinder – a collection of accessibility resources for faculty compiled by Fullerton College English instructor Roger Perez.

Accessible Syllabus Project (Tulane University) – a resource to assist faculty in creating accessible syllabi for their courses.

Amara – caption third-party YouTube or Vimeo videos

Assistive Technology Resource Center – Colorado State University’s collection of accessibility and assistive technology quick start guides

Central Access Reader (CAR) – a free, open source, text-to- speech application designed specifically for students with print-related disabilities.  CAR reads Word Docs and pasted text using the voice installed on your computer.

LearnTech Assistive Technology Videos – American Foundation for the Blind’s selection of captioned, audio-described videos created to help users learn various assistive technologies

Natural Reader – a free text to speech reader you can use to read PDFs, MS Office documents, web pages, e-books, and more on your computer.

NCDAE Accessibility Cheat Sheets – one-page “cheat sheets” to assist faculty and staff in creating accessible content in programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat

NVDA – free screen reader software for Windows

UEB Online – Braille training for sighted learners

For more detailed information regarding alternate media and the requirements that colleges must comply with, contact Corinne Thomas at or read the Alternate Media Guidelines that have been set by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.