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Modesto Junior College

Alternate Media

Types of Alternate Media Available

What is Alternate Media?
Alternate media refers to printed materials produced in a different format.

  • Large Print
  • Audio
  • E-Text
  • Braille
  • Tactile Graphics

E-text is a simple text file that can be accessed by many programs such as Microsoft Word, JAWS screen reading program, Kurzweil text-to-speech program, Duxbury Braille Translation program. It is very important because it is the basis for generating many other forms of Alternate Media.

Who uses it?
Blind, visually impaired, and learning disabled who use speech output.

How is it made?
Documents may have been created originally by a word processor or scanned using an optical character recognition (OCR) program, imported into a word processor then saved as text.

Large Print
Print that is enlarged to at least 14 point font.

Who uses it?
Visually impaired

How is it made?
From e-text, the type is enlarged on the computer, then printed.
Enlarging photocopier increasing size to 140% or above.
On the computer, screen magnifying program such as ZoomText.

Tactile written language

Who uses it?
Blind and visually impaired. Note: not all non-sighted people can read Braille.

How is it made?
Manual Transcription: Braille Transcribers using a Perkins Brailler
Electronic Transcription: Using e-text in conjunction with a Braille translation program
Refreshable Braille displays: Electronic display attached to the computer

Audio Files
Book on CD, Tape, audio recordings, MP3

Who uses it?
Blind, visually impaired, learning disabled, auditory learners

How is it made?
Ordered from an outside source
" Readers" record onto tape
Electronically read by a computer program and output to either speakers, headphones or mp3 files

Closed Caption
Text transcription of spoken/audio portion of movies, videos, TV shows, DVD's

Who uses it?
Deaf and hard of hearing, ESL

How is it made?
Closed captioning systems

Tactile Graphics
Simplified graphical images that use raised lines and textures to convey information

Who uses them?
Blind, visually impaired, learning disabled and kinesthetic learners (especially children)

How is it made?
p.i.a.f (Pictures in a Flash): Special paper can be heated or "toasted" to produce raised images.
Computer and Tiger Embosser: Tactile graphic programs can send simple images to a Braille embosser.
Manually: Transcribers draw in reverse on thin aluminum to create raised/textured images.

Who benefits from alternate media?

Based on their educational limitations, students use alternate media in different ways.

• Some students benefit from hearing the text read aloud by using a computer program that reads with a synthesized voice. Students either read along on the computer or with their textbooks.
• Some students read Braille.
• Some students need their materials in larger print. Instructional material can be enlarged on a copy machine. Students can also use a CCTV to magnify the text or a computer program like ZoomText to enlarge the text on a computer monitor.

Why is alternate media important and who is eligible?
Alternate Media is not just mere access but effective communication access.

MJC, Alternate Media, and Disabled Student Programs and Services is committed to providing students with equal access to educational materials.

Students are eligible to receive instructional materials in an alternate format provided they meet the following conditions.

• E-text is needed in order to provide instructional materials in an alternate format for a student with a verified print disability that prevents him or her from using standard instructional materials.
• The student is registered in the requested course at the college.
• The student has submitted his/her request for alternate media and purchased the required instructional material.
• The student will use the alternate formats solely for his or her own educational purposes and will not copy or duplicate it for use by others.
• The instructional material is required or essential to the student's success in the course.
• Requests will be filled in the order received.
• Whenever possible, materials are provided in the alternate format preferred by the student (i.e. Braille, audio, large print, electronic text).


Federal and State Regulations: California Code of Regulations, Section 55002; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Assembly Bill 422.

Click here for Americans with Disabilities Act

Guidelines for Producing Instructional and Other Printed Materials in Alternate Media for Persons with Disabilities, Chancellors Office California Community Colleges Sacramento, California, April 2000.

How To Make a Request:

To Request your material in alternate formats, follow these steps:

1. Register for classes using PiretesNet.
Print out a copy of your Class Schedule.
If possible, write your name and phone number on it.

2. Request your alternate media as soon as you register for classes or 3 to 4 weeks before the semester begins. Requests submitted after the semester begins may take longer to fill. However, every effort will be made to meet late requests.

3. Bring a copy of your class schedule to the Student Services Building, Room 114. Call (209)575-6709 if you want to make an appointment.

4. You will need to complete and sign an Alternate Media Request Form.

5. The Alternate Media Office will keep in contact with you regarding the status of your alternate media request.

6. If the publisher is unable to provide an electronic file of your textbook, the book binding may have to be removed for scanning. The book will be rebound and returned to you.

7. To receive the alternate media, you have to purchase or rent a physical copy of the textbook. Bring your receipt to Alternate Media Center in the Student Services Building, Room 114. You may also request alternative media for textbooks that you are going to check out from the MJC Library or if you get books from the CalWORKs book loan.

8. Upon request, please provide a copy of the class syllabus.

Faculty and Staff: If you have a student in your class who needs class materials in alternate formats, please contact Disability Services.

Contact information:
Phone: (209)575-6862
Location: Student Services Building, Room 114

Disability Services & Programs for Students (DSPS)


(209) 575-6225
(209) 575-6852


East Campus
Student Services
Room 112

West Campus
Yosemite Hall
Room 115