ALTERNATIVE TEXT RESOURCES
Many alternative text resources are now available online for use either inside the classroom or out. Before submitting your alternative text request, make sure your textbook isn’t already available from one of these sources. Find a broken link? Have a site to recommend? Contact the Alternative Text Office via Email or Fax (ATTN: Alternative Text).
Looking for accessible texts and don’t know where to start? Try one of these sites to begin your search.
Accessible Textbook Finder
- Search multiple alternative text websites automatically by book title or 13-digit ISBN
- Provides direct links to websites offering the book. Institutional membership may be required for some websites.
- Enter ISBN, Title, or Author to instantly search dozens of online bookstores
- Provides direct links for e-text, new, used, and rental listings. Includes price and shipping costs for comparison shopping.
- Contains information on almost 400,000 titles in accessible formats including braille, large print, digital audio and e-text.
Many textbook publishers are now offering textbooks for purchase or rental in the digital format. Not all of these will be accessible or compatible with all screen-reading software, though some platforms do come with their own text-to-speech program built-in. Research on each textbook should be conducted before purchase to ensure compatibility with your platform and assistive technology.
- Kindle eTextbooks are available for purchase as well as rental.
- Multi-platform Kindle reading app required. Notes, bookmarks, and highlights are automatically synced across platforms.
Barnes and Noble
- Rent or buy eTextbooks from a wide range of publishers.
- Access texts via the Yuzu iPad and web apps, allowing you to take notes, highlight text, and import and organize course materials in a variety of formats.
- eTextbooks available to rent or purchase.
- Feature-rich browser-based eTextbook reader lets you access your text on a variety of home and mobile devices.
- Purchased or rented textbooks are accessed through the VitalSource CourseSmart website or mobile app.
- Enhanced text–to–speech compatibility including documentation and support for over 10 packages commonly used by people with learning disabilities
- Expanded capabilities for accessible notes and bookmarks and an outline mode to help review important topics.
- Buy, rent, or sell textbooks from a wide variety of publishers.
- VitalSource Bookshelf desktop and mobile app is used to access texts.
- Syncs notes, bookmarks and highlights across platforms.
These sites offer a wide-variety of eBooks compatible with most platforms and readers.
- Many free eBooks (mostly public domain classics) are available through Google books in accessible formats when used with Adobe Digital Editions.
- Scan quality is variable and not always reliable.
Hathi Trust Digital Library
- Partnership of major research institutions and libraries to provide open access to digital collections.
- Free membership required.
- Texts scanned and available in multiple formats (PDF, plain text, DAISY, ePub, DjVu, MOBI, or Kindle).
- Free eBooks (mostly public domain classics)
- Files available in a variety of formats including ePub, PDF, and Kindle.
Many books are available in audio format for purchase or for free online. Digital Rights Management (DRM) software may restrict the device or platform used for playback.
- Free audio books (public domain books) read by volunteers.
- Listen on your computer, or download to portable devices.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
- Loans braille and audio materials via postage-free mail.
- Free to those with qualifying visual or physical disabilities.
- Paid subscription-based audiobook download service.
- Individual titles available for purchase via Amazon.
The DAISY audio and text formats feature the ability to search, place bookmarks, precisely navigate line by line, and regulate speaking speed without distortion. DAISY books can be obtained from organizations such as Bookshare or Learning Ally. Student memberships are available for qualified students via the Alternative Text Office.
AMIS (Adaptive Multimedia Information System)
- AMIS features include bookmarks, font and color changes, and variable audio speed.
- Free open source DAISY eBook reader for Android devices.
- Displays web-based mathematical notation encoded in MathML, making it compatible with most screenreaders.
- Free plug-in for Internet Explorer 6.0+.
- Floating toolbar uses text-to-speech voice to read highlighted text.
- Available for Mac or PC.
- Free eText reader for PC and Mac includes built in text-to-speech engine.
- Compatible with most eText formats.
Read & Write for Google
- Free extension for Google Chrome on both Mac and PC.
- Toolbar within Google Drive features text-to-speech, support tools including Dictionary, Translator, and Fact Finder and Study Skills tools.
- Video tutorial.
Texthelp Web Apps
- Free Java-based Read&Write Web Reader, eBook Reader, and more for use in your browser or on your mobile device.
- Introductory Video
- Contact the Alternative Text Office for current login information.
- Built-in screen reader for Mac. Press Command+F5 to activate.
- VoiceOver Getting Started Guide
- Free for all US students with qualifying disabilities and free to all US schools.
- Books available in many formats including DAISY Audio and Text with Audio, Text-to-Speech MP3, and BRF (Braille Refreshable Format).
- Read2Go mobile app available for iOS devices; Go Read mobile app available for Android devices
Learning Ally (Formerly Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic)
Revised February 2016