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Alternative Text Procedures

Locating Books in an Alternative Format

Students with the accommodation of books in an alternative format are responsible for searching for their textbooks each semester and notifying DSS of the books they cannot locate independently. Students can only request textbooks in an alternative format for enrolled courses and if approved for the accommodation.

  • Once approved for the accommodation of textbooks in an alternative format, the student should contact DSS to request a Learning Ally account.
  • The student must also submit an application for individual membership with Bookshare. A Bookshare membership allows qualified students to search for accessible textbooks in a variety of formats. After applying, the student should contact the DSS office, so DSS can send Bookshare proof of disability form to verify their eligibility for Bookshare. The student will receive their log in information directly from Bookshare after the application is approved.
  • In addition to searching for their textbooks through Learning Ally and Bookshare, students should search Vital Source to see if their textbook is available there.
  • If a student cannot find their textbook in the format they require through Bookshare, Learning Ally, or Vital Source, they should log on to the DSS portal and submit a request for DSS to obtain the book via the “Alternative Formats” link under the “My Accommodations” section.
  • Students can review this presentation for more detailed information on locating their book in an alternative format and contact DSS for assistance if needed.

Proof of Purchase Required for Books Provided by Publishers

The student must purchase text books which are being requested through publishers. The student must provide proof of the purchase before they receive alternative material from the DSS office.

Turnaround Times

Turnaround times for alternate text requests are determined on a case-by-case basis. Providing a textbook in an alternate text version will begin when DSS has received a request from the student's DSS online account. DSS will contact publishers to get an electronic version of a text. This process can take up to two (2) weeks.


  • If the alternate text request cannot be located in an electronic format, DSS will scan the hard copy materials. Students will need to provide the book or materials to be scanned. Books will have their spines cut off, fed through a scanner and books will be rebound with a spiral binding. The time frame will be established on a case-by-case basis based on student needs and size of the text.
  • Students can locally produce hard copy alternate text (Braille, large print) from electronic files provided by DSS for their personal use.

Accessing E-text

As a Loyola student, you can download Read & Write text-to-speech software and the Adobe Creative Cloud suite (which gives you access to the Adobe Read Aloud function). Also, here is a link to help you download the Accessing E-text software. Please contact DAS if another type of software is needed.

Canceling or Modifying Request Submitted to DSS

In the event that a student drops the class, or there is a change in the materials required, the student should notify DAS immediately.

Latest News - "Excel" Support Group

Excel is a virtual support group for students who have a disability or face learning challenges. Excel provides a space for students to discuss their unique challenges related to virtual learning and find support to navigate learning hurdles. Students will also be able to share resources, learn stress management skills, and discuss self-care.  Students do not need to be registered with Disability Support Services to join this group. Learn more about Excel and other support groups with the Counseling Center.