Alternate Format Materials provide individuals access to print materials (such as textbooks) through different kinds of media. Such materials may be provided via electronic PDF files, audio files, or Braille. Students who are approved for alternate media texts receive the accommodation at no cost.

Each semester, students approved for this adjustment can request books and course materials through the Alternative Format module on Accommodate. Please note that students must renew their academic accommodations if they have not done so already in order to access the Alternative Format module. Students will be provided with their alternate format materials electronically. The Office of Disability Resources will make every attempt to provide materials as promptly as possible and in the format requested by the student. However, consideration will be given to the most expedient manner to obtain materials. While the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its amendments requires that priority consideration is given to the specific methods requested by the student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable and other suitable provisions are available.

Due to copyright laws, students must show proof that they have purchased their books before they can receive the alternate format materials. All alternative format materials are intended for a student’s individual use and must not be shared with others. Any duplication of materials is prohibited.

For questions regarding the procedure, contact Scott Meshnick at

Procedure For Requesting Alternative Format Materials

The sooner students submit their requests to the Office of Disability Resources (ODR), the more likely they will receive their alternate format materials by the start of the semester. Requests that are submitted after the beginning of a semester will be processed within 5 business days of submission.

  1. Determine which books/materials need to be requested for each class. Students may obtain book information for each class by accessing the Purchase College Bookstore’s textbooks and course materials online search. Students are also encouraged to contact their faculty members directly regarding required texts.
  2. Log in to Accommodate and submit alternative format requests using the Alternative Format module. Students must renew their academic accommodations if they have not done so already in order to access the Alternative Format module. Students may schedule a meeting with an ODR staff member for assistance in completing this process.
  3. Provide proof of purchase of each book requested (receipt, e-mail confirmation, etc.) to the ODR prior to receiving materials. Proof of purchase should be submitted to the ODR using the Alternative Format module on Accommodate, but can also be submitted in person (Student Services Building, 316A), e-mailed to, or faxed to 914-251-5934. Students may purchase materials from any source.
  4. The ODR will then attempt to obtain the alternate format of the text from publishers. Where that is not available, the ODR will begin in-house conversion which may take some time. In order to complete an in-house conversion, students may be asked to provide their physical textbook(s) to the ODR staff and/or leave their textbook(s) at the ODR for a few days. 
  5. Materials will be shared with students electronically. Students will be emailed instructions on how to download or access their materials. Once the material has been received, students may have the option of using assistive technology, such as Read&Write or other software programs to have text read aloud, enlarged, or converted into audio.

Student Responsibilities

  • Determine required materials as early as possible prior to each semester in order to assure the provision of materials in a timely manner.
  • Submit requests as early as possible prior to each term start date. Students may schedule a meeting with an ODR staff member for assistance with submitting their requests.
  • Provide proof of purchase of each material requested (e.g., receipt, email confirmation, etc.).
  • Provide the ODR with the physical copies of their textbooks if required for an in-house conversion. Any textbooks provided for this purpose must be owned by the student, as the conversion process necessitates removing the pages from a book’s binding, scanning the pages, and then rebinding the book. 
  • Contact the ODR as soon as possible if any issues arise regarding this accommodation (e.g., difficulty accessing your materials).
  • Be able to access the alternate format materials. The ODR will provide students with the software programs needed to access their alternate format materials. However, the ODR is not responsible for providing students with the hardware needed to run these software programs. If a student does not possess a laptop computer of their own, they may opt to utilize public computers available on campus (such as those in the Purchase College Library) to access their materials.