Accessible Print


Accessible Print refers to printed materials that have been made accessible for persons with disabilities. Students with limited mobility, print-based learning disabilities, or who have complete or partial vision loss often require Accessible Print materials in order to have equal access to academic coursework. The SAC provides this service to qualified students by converting textbooks and other course materials to an accessible format. The KU Libraries offer a number of Accessible Workstations to students who use Accessible Print materials and assistive technology. For more information, please visit KU Libraries' Services for People with Disabilities.

Students with limited mobility may require textbooks in digital format that are easier to transport and manipulate than regular books. Those with print-based learning disabilities may use assistive technology such as a computerized text reader to access printed materials. Blind or low-vision students have a wide range of needs which may include large print materials, braille or tactile formats, or screen-reading software.

Instructors who are interested in learning how to provide accessible print materials to students should visit the Instructor Center for more information or email accessprint@ku.edu.

For more information, please refer to our accessible print policies and procedures below.

Accessible Print Details

Accessible print materials must be an approved accommodation before requests can be submitted. Because these materials take some time to create, it is important to begin the process of converting or acquiring accessible formats as early as possible. Please keep the following things in mind when placing your request: 

  • Requests are completed on a first-come, first-serve basis. accessible print requests submitted after the start of the semester may take up to 6 weeks to complete.
  • Students are required to provide proof of purchase for all textbooks before receiving accessible formats.
  • SAC does not produce alternative text materials that are already available in the needed format at other sources.
  • Please talk to the Accessible Print Coordinator about the availability of digital formats before renting your textbooks. Textbooks that cannot be found in digital formats may need to have their binding removed. 
  • If you are in a class where you access your readings through Blackboard, you should ask your instructor about granting the SAC Accessible Print Coordinator access to the site. Contact accessprint@ku.edu with questions about this. 

For more information about Accessible Print policies, please refer to the "Accessible Print Policies and Procedures" section.

The Student Access Center (SAC) at the University of Kansas assists faculty in fulfilling their responsibility for providing accessible print for required course readings to qualified students with disabilities.

Textbook/print conversion is a time-intensive process and can require up to three to six months (e.g., math or science texts) to complete.

To ensure the availability of these accommodations from the first day of class, students must provide qualifying disability documentation, meet the accommodation request deadlines, and follow specified procedures

  • SAC professional staff must authorize alternative print as an accommodation.
  • Students must submit accommodation requests for their classes as soon as they are enrolled.
  • Students must submit requests for alternative print materials a minimum of six (6) weeks in advance of the start of the semester.
  • The SAC will convert materials to alternative formats for in-class required readings only.
  • All other requests are evaluated on an individual basis as the schedule allows. In-class required readings always take priority.
  • Copyright law requires that students provide proof of purchase for all texts that are to be converted to alternative print formats.
  • Material that needs to be converted may require the removal of book bindings, which can reduce or eliminate the potential for book resale at the end of the semester.

Procedure

1. Students should meet with their SAC Access Specialist.

In this meeting, they will

  • discuss their eligibility for alternative print formats
  • discuss the policy and procedures for requesting and using alternative print formats
  • review and sign an Alternative Print Contract verifying that they understand the guidelines and their responsibilities

2. Students should register for classes as soon as possible.

Upon registering for classes students should

  • submit alternative print accommodation request through Access Online student portal
  • obtain a list of textbooks and other required readings for each course
    • If the material needs to be converted, students must provide all required readings to SAC six (6) weeks before the semester begins
    • This includes textbooks, course packs, and any PDF or other documents posted to course Blackboard sites. The list of required books can be obtained in multiple ways (see "How to Obtain Your Reading List and Books" below).

3. Students should submit all specific textbook and material requests via the Access Online student portal.

  • SAC staff will first check to see if books are available from existing sources.
  • If not, students must bring the textbooks with a copy of the receipt to the SAC office for the conversation process at least six (6) weeks before they are needed for class.
  • SAC cannot guarantee availability of alternative formats by the time they are needed unless the deadline is met.
  • Material will be converted on a first-come, first-served basis once the 6-week deadline has passed.
  • Students who miss the deadline will need to provide a copy of each syllabus with reading due dates.
  • Braille materials may require up to six months to obtain. Please communicate with SAC staff directly about any material needed in braille.

How to Obtain Your Reading List and Books

**It is crucial that students enroll in classes as soon as they are eligible to do so. Students should start obtaining book lists immediately upon enrollment**

  • Contact the course instructor(s) to obtain a copy of the syllabus or a list of required reading either in person, by phone, or e-mail.
  • If the instructor is unavailable, call the academic department and inquire if they have the syllabus or reading list for your class.
  • You will need to obtain ALL required reading. This includes textbooks, course packs, and PDF and other documents that might be posted on Blackboard as required reading for the course.
  • Contact the KU Bookstore at the Memorial Union. You can search for your books online at the KU Bookstore; you will need to provide the course number and instructor.
  • If you are still unsuccessful in obtaining your book list, contact your Access Specialist immediately.

Student Resources

The University provides assistive technology that students can use to produce alternative text materials.

  • Flatbed scanners, conversion software, and screen readers are available in Anschutz Library.
  • BookEye scanners are available in Spahr, Anschutz and Watson libraries.
  • Reach out to KU Libraries for current assistive technologies available to students. For students with a computer or MP3 player, Audible allows individuals to purchase books already converted to audio files.

Accessible Print Requests can now be made by within your Access Online student profile. 

1. Log in to your account.

2. Read and complete your annual agreement forms.

3. Submit your accommodations requests for your classes. Be sure to check alternative print AND e-text.

4. Once approved, navigate to "Alternative Formats". This tab will be on the left when you are logged in to your account.

5. Select the class from the drop-down menu, then enter your request information. Don't forget to hit submit!

6. You can track the status of each request and will be notified when an order is complete. We will also provide instructions for accessing your completed materials when they are finished.

If you have any questions or encounter any problems during this process, please contact us at accessprint@ku.edu

Beginning in Fall 2016, the University Academic Success Center began using myCommunity to distribute accessible print materials to students whenever possible. MyCommunity is a network that allows file storage and is available to KU students, faculty and staff. It allows students to access uploaded materials anywhere by logging on with their KU Online ID and password. Once logged on, students can download their print materials or simply launch them from the website when needed.

As your Accessible Print Request is fulfilled, SAC staff will upload your materials and send you an email link containing the link to your folder. Please note that students will not be given access to accessible print folders unless the SAC has proof of purchase for requested materials on file. 

Occasionally, students or faculty members may need make accessible copies of course documents, journal articles, or textbook excerpts. This can be done by using one of the Overhead (Bookeye) scanners in the Watson or Anschutz Libraries. Selecting the option to create a Searchable PDF will run the OCR (optimal character recognition) software and allow the PDF to be read by ace screen and text readers.

Faculty and students may also use the Accessibility or Large Format scanners located in various libraries across campus.