Text in Alternate Format

Text in alternate format requests are approved on a case-by-case basis and students should schedule an appointment with the Office of Accessible Education to discuss their needs. Text in alternate format accommodations may include, but are not limited to, electronic format, large print, and braille.

Electronic Format of Textbooks

Students approved for this accommodation should follow these steps:

1. Before contacting the Office of Accessible Education, check Bookshare to see if an accessible version of the book is available.

To create a free Bookshare account, submit an application online. Once you have completed this step, a Proof of Disability Form will be generated with your individual information. Download this form and email as an attachment to accessibility@bates.edu or drop off at Ladd Library G35. We will complete the form and send it back for you to submit to Bookshare (directions for how to send it are on the form). It generally takes 3-5 days for your Bookshare account to become active.

2. If your book is not available through Bookshare, we can contact the publisher to request an electronic version. In this instance, you will need to submit the following information for each book to accessibility@bates.edu or drop off at Ladd Library G35:

  • Title
  • Author
  • ISBN number
  • Copyright year
  • Publisher
  • Proof of purchase: Students must submit proof of purchase or rental before an e-copy can be provided by Accessible Education and Student Support. This can be emailed or dropped off in-person to be photocopied.

Electronic textbook requests can take several weeks to fulfill, so it is important to submit requests in advance of the start of the semester. If a publisher is unable to provide an alternative format, we will work with you to identify other options that ensure access.

3. You may wish to explore the other resources below to see if you’re able to access a digital or audio version of your book.

Alternate Format of Course Materials

If approved for this accommodation, your professors will receive notification that you require text in a specified alternate format. If you or your professor encounter course materials that are not available in an accessible format, please contact the Office of Accessible Education to discuss your needs.

Additional Alternate Format Text Resources

Springer Link E-book Collection: Bates students have access to this resource through the library. Provides millions of scientific documents from journals, books, series, protocols, and reference works.

E-book Search (Bates Library): Bates students have access to a large selection of electronic books through the library.

Learning Ally: Audio books for an annual membership fee. “Through a Learning Ally membership, you will have access to nearly 80,000 titles, including the world’s largest library of audio textbooks. Simply select the book you need, then listen to it on the PC, MAC, Chromebook, iOS, or Android device of your choice.”

VitalSource: “A digital rental service which lets students rent eTextbooks and online course materials at savings of up to 60% compared to buying new print textbooks.”

Audible: Audio books for a monthly fee.

Librivox: “Librivox audiobooks are free for anyone to listen to, on their computers, iPods, or other mobile device, or to burn to a CD.”

ManyBooks: Free and discounted e-books available in multiple formats, including PDF and large print.

Project Gutenberg: “Offers over 40,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.”

National Library Service: “A network of regional and subregional libraries that provide free library service to persons who are unable to use standard print materials because of visual or physical disabilities. Library patron can expect to borrow audio or braille books such as they might find in print at a local library. Books and magazines in audio form (talking books) and braille are delivered to the eligible readers by postage-free mail and are returned in the same manner.”