Alternative Text Program
The Program Manager for Blind/Visually Impaired students also coordinates the Alternative Text Program. The program provides textbooks in alternative format; the most common are electronic and Brailled texts. The Alternative Text Program is utilized by students with visual impairments as well as those who may need assistance with comprehension of the written word or those who, because of a physical impairment, cannot turn pages. In other words, individuals with a print disability.
The program is staffed by student assistants and a large, dedicated volunteer pool from UWM and the community. The student who needs this assistance will be directed to the Alternative Text Program by their Student Accessibility Center Program Manager. The student reviews and signs the Alternative Textbook Policy and Procedures, an Individual Use Agreement, and learns more about playback options. These may include audio CDs through Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFBD), TextAloud (a low-cost, effective document reader) or PDF files that have been cleaned-up and are now accessible with traditional speech synthesizers. The cost of membership for RFBD is included with the accommodation. SAC maintains an institutional membership, but a student can purchase his or her own membership for recreational reading too.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Alternative Text Program, please contact Jean Salzer, Program Manager, at 229-5660 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Alternative Textbook Policy and Procedures
Individual Use Agreement
TextAloud – www.nextup.com an easy to use software with great sounding synthesized speech voices. Allows the user to create MP3 files and take the books with them!
RFBD rfbd.org – has not only human voice audio CDs but also playback software and hardware that allows users to have documents read to them using synthesized speech
American Printing House for the Blind – Louis Database
ABLE– a nonprofit organization that relies primarily on volunteers to transcribe print materials into Braille and audiotape for people who are blind, visually impaired, or learning disabled.
Wisconsin Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, part of the Talking Book Program of the Library of Congress, provides Braille and recorded books and playback equipment for those Wisconsin residents who for any physical reason cannot read normal print.
UWM Bookstore has a search engine to see which textbooks instructors have ordered.
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Last updated: May 6, 2009
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