Alternative Media Guidelines
The following guidelines have been created to assist NIACC Disability Services in providing you with timely Alternative Media Services.
Making a Request for Alternative Media:
- Use the alternative media request form, which may be completed online (no printer required), printed off the NDS website or obtained from the NDS office.
- Providing your alternative media request in advance is an important factor in receiving your alternative media prior to each semester.
- An inaccurate or incomplete request increases the risk of delay.
- Your request will be provided to the NDS counselor by providing a hard copy or completing the online form
- The online form may be found at the following web address: https://www.niacc.edu/student-life/disability-services/forms/request-for-alternate-media
- When alternative media is available for you, you will be notified through your NIACC email. The alternative media will be provided to you, typically using a thumb drive, but can be provided using other methods to be worked out between the student and NDS Counselor.
- Immediately notify us of any problems – Promptly information the NDS Counselor of any problems with alternative media provided to you. The NDS will investigate the reported problem and take appropriate steps to resolve the issue.
- NDS will ask you to affirm that you will handle your alternative media materials appropriately. Any materials provided to you by NDS may not be copied or distributed in any manner that violates copyright law. For example, if you sell the original hard copy version of a copyright protected text, you must promptly return the converted alternative media version to NDS or self-delete your electronic version.
- Students can request various materials in alternative media, including textbooks, course handouts, supplementary readings, etc.
- If you are submitting a request for materials that you possess (e.g. classroom handouts) please make sure your materials are turned in at the same time that you turn in your Alternative Media Request.
- NDS may not release to you the alternative media version of copyrighted material until you provide verification of ownership of the source material. Typically, this means submitting a copy of your purchase receipt. (A delay may occur in completing your alternative media request while NDS waits for you to provide a receipt of purchase.)
Below are general timeframes for NDS to provide alternative media materials that require conversion and editing. You may get your alternative media sooner than the schedule below, and on rare occasions some course materials may take longer. If the original scheduled date of completion must be adjusted, you will be sent an email with the revised estimated date of completion.
General Timeframes for Obtaining Accessible Alternative Media:
- Within 3 business days of submitting hard copy materials for scanning/editing, the original materials will be returned to you for your use while waiting for your alternative media. When NDS scans a bound-book or course-reader to provide alternative media, the book/reader will be cut into separate pages for rapid scanning, then re-bound using spiral binding.
- If you anticipate needing access to information within the materials during the three business days NDS has possession of your hard-copy materials for purpose of creating alternative media, you may scan yourself in advance (before submitting to NDS) that portion of the materials you anticipate needing during these three business days.
- Producing alternative media for most textbooks will occur within 3 weeks. We will make every attempt to obtain your alternative media more quickly and will notify you that your alternative media is available using your NIACC email address. It’s your responsibility to check your email regularly. If there’s a reason you are not able to check your email and need an alternative notification method, please let the NIACC DS counselor know.
- Requests for Extension of Time: If a student promptly files an alternative media request as soon as instructional materials are available, but nevertheless is unable to complete a course assignment or take a course examination because his or her instructional materials were not accessible at the same time as they were to class peers, the student may ask the NDS Counselor for a Letter of Accommodation requesting the instructor grant the student an extension of time to complete the assignment or take the course exam.
There are several “self-help” options available for obtaining reading materials in various digital formats. Using self-help options does not preclude you from obtaining further editing by NDS of the electronic copy you self-scanned or self-converted.
- Self-Search: There are many databases/inventories of electronic books/materials (some in an accessible format, others not). You may be able to locate an existing electronic copy of the book by yourself. Many electronic books are available for free. (e.g., BookShare www.bookshare.org)
- Self-Scan: You have the option of self-scanning hard copy printed materials when the amount of material involved is small and you want the materials very quickly.
- Self-Conversion: There are free software options that may be available online to convert files from one format to another.