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Alternative Text (Alt Text) Services

Some students utilize alternative textbooks (i.e. something other than a traditional paper textbook) in order to accommodate a disability.

For example, some students:

  • cannot read standard print because of blindness or vision impairment
  • have a physical disability which prevents them holding or turning the pages of a book or printed item
  • cannot follow a line of print due to a learning or concentration disability

These situations (and others like them) illustrate a functional limitation for which students may wish to request alternative text (alt text) services.

What is Alt Text? 
Types of Alt Text Formats 
How to Obtain Alt Text Services 
Steps for requesting Braille 
Steps to take requesting E-Text
Additional Information about Alt Text 
Online Organizations Offering Assistive Technology to Students

What is Alt Text?

LCC defines Alt text as, "course materials and/or textbooks which are converted into formats that are accessible and usable by students with disabilities."

In other words, it is the same material the majority of the class uses - it just appears in a different form.

The purpose of alt text is to allow access to people who, due to disabilities, cannot easily use standard print materials.

An example of alt text is a printed textbook which is scanned and converted to a digital file, commonly referred to as E-text. The E-text file can then be read by software, often called a screen reader, so the student may listen to the textbook rather than read it in the traditional way.

Types of Alt Text formats Available to LCC Students with Disabilities

electronic text (E-text) 
tactile graphics 
audio files in MP3 or WAV format

How to Obtain Alt Text Services

** In order to receive alternative text services, students must meet with an ODSS team member for approval.  During this meeting, the student is responsible to provide verification paperwork to the ODSS team member.

  1. Before the beginning of each semester**, schedule an appointment to meet with an ODSS counselor or advisor or complete a Fast Track renewal (if eligible).
  2. To schedule an appointment with ODSS, call (517) 483-1924.  During construction in the Gannon Building, ODSS will be located in the Huron Building.  A map of campus can be found at    The Huron Building is marked on this map with a number "3." 
  3. If you are eligible for alt text, you will receive the Alternative Text (alt text) Request form and the Student Agreement for alt text form after your ODSS appointment.  Alternately, you may download the interactive form HERE and email it to ODSS at  Please submit a copy of your receipt with this request. 
  4. Fill out the Alt Text Request and the Student Agreement for alt text forms (one sheet, front and back pages) and follow the instructions on these forms.
  5. Turn in the completed alt text request forms to the Reader Services Coordinator at the Support Services front counter.  ODSS is currently located in the Huron Building during the Gannon Building construction project. 
  6. Once you have turned in your alt text forms and other requested materials, Reader Services will begin processing your alt text request.

**NOTE: Many reasonable accommodations require significant pre-planning, therefore, registration with the Office of Disability Support Services prior to situations requiring accommodations is essential.

Requests must be completed well in advance of enrollment as some accommodations may take six weeks or longer to be determined and/or arranged.

Lansing Community College will attempt to provide accommodations in a timely manner; however, it is the student's responsibility to request accommodations and provide proper documentation in advance of the semester for which accommodations are requested.

Accommodations will not be made retroactively.


Steps for requesting Braille

  1. The student must meet with an ODSS specialist or coordinator before action is taken on any Braille request.
  2. To begin a request for Braille, the student must set an appointment with the Reader Services Coordinator ten weeks prior to the start of the course(s) for which the Braille accommodation is requested.
    **The ten week lead time is necessary to the production of the Braille accommodation for the greatest degree of quality, efficiency and effectiveness.
  3. The student will fill out the Request for Alternative Text form as soon as possible.  (Students may drop the forms at the Support Services counter OR email  During the Gannon Building construction project, ODSS is located in the Huron Building.  Students can locate the Huron Building on the campus map.  The Huron Building is noted on this map with a number "13."
  4. If Braille transcription will be a necessary accommodation throughout the student's academic program, the student will need to meet frequently, at least once each semester, with the Reader Services Coordinator to avoid a disruption to this accommodation.
  5. The student must supply Reader Services with all written material that is to be transcribed into Braille, including textbooks, and course materials as arranged with the Reader Services Coordinator.
  6. If the student n  eeds occasional course material in Braille, she/he must drop the material off at the Support Services front counter with attention to the Reader Services Coordinator. To accommodate this need, students should allow a minimum of 10 days for processing.
  7. Requests are processed on a first-come/first-served basis.


Steps for requesting E-Text

  1. Students must meet with an ODSS specialist or coordinator before any Alt Text can be approved.
  2. Fill out the alt text forms --  Alt Text Request Form and the Student Agreement for Use of Alt Text Form (found on the back).
  3. Turn in the alt text forms to the Reader Services Coordinator as soon as possible. (Students may drop the forms at the Support Services front counter or email completed forms to
  4. Initial process and delivery of e-text files may take up to 12 business days.  
          Be Early
     to get e-text when it is needed.
  5. Students must turn in the Alt Text Request Form along with a copy of proof of purchase (receipt) for each textbook for which e-text is requested.
        a.  The receipt must have the student's name on it.
        b.  Address the receipt to: Reader Services Coordinator. 
        c.  Drop  the receipt copy at the Support Services front counter, 
             or scan and email copies to
  6. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Students will not receive e-text files until the proof of purchase has been turned in to and received by the Reader Services coordinator.  Initial processing and delivery of e-text files may take up to 12 business days.
  7. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  If Reader Services requests a course reading assignment list from you, you will need to turn in the requested course reading assignment list as soon as possible in order to continue e-text production for that course.  Otherwise, delivery of e-text will discontinue after the first two chapters of the textbook unless a course reading assignment list has been  turned into Reader Services.  It may take up to 12 business days to resume delivery of e-text.


Additional information about Alt Text

  1. 1. Eligibility for this service is determined by ODSS and is based in part on the professional documentation provided by the student.
  2. Alt text services must be requested prior to each semester it is needed. 
  3.  Before the beginning of each semester that alt text is requested: 
        a. The student must meet with an ODSS advisor or counselor, 
        b. The student must fill out and turn in the Alt Text Request forms and
            any requested materials. 
  4. To receive the very best service: be EARLY. Service is placed in order by date of receipt of the student's completed Alt Text Request forms which includes such information as proof of textbook purchase, class schedule and textbook information. 
  5.  Students requesting materials in alt text must own a physical copy of the textbooks or other course material before the alt text format will be distributed. 
  6. No e-text will be scanned or requested from publishers until the student has turned the Alt Text request forms to the Support Services front counter for the Reader Services Coordinator. 
  7.  If the digital files do not arrive from the Publisher, the assigned Reader will need to follow the course reading assignment schedule:
  8. If a copy of the reading assignment schedule has not been received, delivery of e-text files will discontinue after the end of the second week of the semester until a copy has been turned in to Reader Services. It may take up to 12 business days to resume delivery of e-text. 
  9. Requests for materials in alt text will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Once a request is made, preference will be given to the format specified by the student. However, the recommendation by Reader Services will be used in determining the specific format for each academic course. 
  10. Alt text requests must be submitted as soon as the student learns of their need; late requests will be honored.  However: all timelines set are determined by the student's initial completion and submission of the Alt Text Request forms. 
  11.  When creating alt text from textbooks, the book bindings may be cut off from the student's textbook. A spiral binding will replace the original binding before the book is returned to the student.
  12. The student will not share, copy or reproduce any alt text files provided by Reader Services, nor allow anyone else to do so. Misuse of this material may result in disciplinary action by Lansing Community College. 
  13. Students will be provided with one alt text copy for each material required for academic use. This alt text file is copyrighted and may not be reproduced or distributed in a format other than a specialized format exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities. Any further reproduction or distribution in a format other than a specialized format is an infringement of copyright laws. 
  14. A letter of understanding regarding #12 and #13 above will be signed by the student and Reader Services, and will be kept on file with Reader Services. 
  15. If a student repeatedly abuses alt text services by not picking up requests or repeatedly dropping classes after alt text has been produced, alt text services may be suspended until you meet with Reader Services Coordinator.
  16. Student questions regarding alt text services should be addressed directly to ODSS or the Reader Services Coordinator.  Questions can be emailed to

Online Organizations Offering Assistive Technology to Students is free for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities. Student memberships are currently funded by an award from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Bookshare dramatically increases the accessibility of books.
Bookshare believes that people with disabilities deserve the same ease of access to books and periodicals that people without disabilities enjoy.

Lansing Community College has a roster that Reader Services maintains for ODSS students may make an appointment with the Reader Services coordinator to order e-text from or to sign up for a free individual membership.  Contact ODSS with questions on this service by calling our team at (517)483-1924 or by emailing us at (formally known as RFB&D)
FREE AudioAccessSM Individual Membership For Any Qualified Student! 
We are pleased to announce that you may be eligible to receive one year of digitally recorded audiobooks, including children's literature and textbooks, FREE, from RFB&D.
Signing up is easy. Go to  to apply now for a free AudioAccess Individual membership.


Contact the ODSS Team at or via phone at (517)483-1924.


Office of Disability Support Services at Lansing Community College

Disability Support Services
Gannon Building - StarZone
Phone: (517) 483-1924
Additional contact information »