Assistive Technology - Health and Wellness Center - Penn State Altoona

Disability Services

Assistive Technology

Electronic Textbooks

You must complete this form in detail before submitting. If you do not provide exact class and instructor information, your form cannot be processed by the Office of Disability Services, which could result in a delay of services.

In order to request/receive an alternate format of texts for courses a student must:

  1. Officially register with the Office of Disability Servicers and have a documented disability that requires alternate formats as a reasonable academic adjustment supported by the documentation.
  2. Enroll in courses at Penn State Altoona for the semester that the alternate format for texts or course materials is requested.
  3. Meet with a Disability Liaison at the Office of Disability Servicers and have approval for alternate formats for texts or course materials as an accommodation.
  4. Review the Chaffee Amendment.
  5. Sign the Student Acknowledgment Form.
  6. Purchase a copy of any textbook or course pack for which alternate format is requested (this is a copyright requirement), retain sales receipt to provide to the Office of Disability Services as proof of purchase.
  7. Complete and submit the Electronic Text Request from provided on the website or in the Office of Disability Services.
  8. Follow the Office of Disability Services procedures regarding obtaining alternative formats for textbooks and course materials listed below.

Alternate Format Request Forms must be submitted to the Office of Disability Services located at Health and Wellness Center, in the Sheetz Family Health Center according to the following schedule, depending on the alternate format requested. By following this schedule, Disability Services will have greater success in making sure your materials are available by the beginning of each semester.

Please use the information below to determine when to submit your Alternate Format Request Form to Disability Services.

  • Minimum of four (4) Months Prior to Beginning of Semester for Braille, Tactile Images, DAISY, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), if using a screen reader such as JAWS., Word (if using a screen reader such as JAWS)
  • Minimum of six (6) Weeks Prior to Beginning of Semester for PDF, Kurzweil 3000 formatted files, MP3 formatted files, Large Print, HTML

Forms must be submitted to Office of Disability Services by one of the following methods:

  • Deliver the form to the Office of Disability Services located at the Health and Wellness Center in the Sheetz Family Health Center
  • Fax the form to the Office of Disability Services at 814-949-5731.

When any changes occur to a student’s schedule (drop/add/withdrawal from courses) a new Electronic Request Form must be submitted.

These deadlines should provide the Office of Disability Services with sufficient time to contact instructors and other alternative media resources in order to request a copy of the text for scanning. If a copy of the text is available through any of these sources, the text will be processed into the requested format, and the Office of Disability Services will notify the student when the text is available on Penn State PASS space.

If the Office of Disability Services is not able to obtain a copy of the text through any resource, then the Office of Disability Services will need to use the student’s textbook for processing into an alternative format. The student will be notified by ODS and will be responsible for providing his/her textbook to the Office of Disability Services for processing. The same deadlines as listed above should be followed when a student is providing his/her own text to the Office of Disability Services for processing into an alternate format. Student texts will be taken apart and rebound with a spiral binding.

Alternate Format Request Forms Submitted After the Deadline Date and Prior to the Beginning of the Semester:

Alternate Format Request forms submitted after the deadline date will be processed on a first come, first served basis. Submitting forms after the deadline date may delay the processing of the request and alternate formats may not be available by the beginning of the semester.

Alternate Format Request Forms Submitted After the Beginning of a Semester:

Alternate Format Request forms submitted after the beginning of the semester will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

Students submitting Alternate Format Request Forms after the beginning of the semester may choose to provide their text to the Office of Disability Services for processing. When a student’s text is used for processing, it may take up to fourteen (14) business days after ODS receives the text before the alternate format is available through the PASS space for the student’s use. the Office of Disability Services will require the student submit the syllabus of the course and will attempt to scan chapters as needed. However, the entire book may not be available until up to fourteen (14) business days after receipt of the textbook or materials. Student texts will be taken apart and rebound with a spiral binding.

Changes to Academic Schedule:

New Alternate Format Request Forms must be submitted when any changes occur to a student’s schedule (drop/add/withdrawal from courses). the Office of Disability Services is not automatically notified when students change courses. Students must inform the Office of Disability Services of any changes.

Textbook Receipts:

Students must provide the Office of Disability Services with a receipt that shows the student has purchased the text in order to receive the alternate format requested. This is a copyright requirement. It is a violation of Federal Law to share, duplicate, or distribute the information provided as an alternate format (See Chaffee Agreement). Sharing, duplicating, or distributing electronic texts could result in legal action.

Other Course Material:

Students must provide the Office of Disability Services with electronic or typewritten copies of in-class handouts and other required reading materials in a timely manner. These materials will be processed on an “as needed” basis.

Problems with Alternative Formats:

Students must inform the Office of Disability Services of any problems using an alternate format. the Office of Disability Services will make every effort to resolve the problem, and if necessary, the Office of Disability Services will replace the defective material with a usable copy.

Return of Alternative Format:

Students should understand the alternate format is a personal copy, and it is a copyright violation to sell or reproduce the alternate format. If students plan to retain the textbook, then they do not need to delete the alternate format from their computers. If students plan on selling their textbook, then they will be required to delete the file from their personal computer.