Alternative Formats

For students with print-related disabilities, course materials must be provided in a format which they can access and use effectively. These are called alternative formats. There are a variety of format options. No one format works for every student who needs an alternative format.

Several factors must be considered when determining appropriate alternative formats for each student. For example:

  • A student who is blind may use one or multiple formats for course materials such as braille, RTF, Microsoft Word©, text-only DAISY, or audio-only DAISY.
  • Students who have reading disabilities or ADHD might use materials in formats such as Microsoft Word© format, ePub with audio or full DAISY.

The CEA's Associate Director of Assistive Technology works with each student individually to identify the format that will be most effective and appropriate, based on the student's needs and technology he/she uses.


  • Students with printed-related disabilities may need materials in accessible alternate formats (e.g. braille, audio, or audio with text).
  • Digital file does not equate to accessible file. 
  • To access such materials, students may need to use technology such as special hardware, apps on an iPad or iPhone, or special software on their PC/Mac. 
  • The CEA Alternate Text Lab converts textbooks at the request of the student.
  • The CEA Alternative Text Lab can provide guidance and assistance to instructors regarding conversion of other course materials. Please contact the CEA Alternative Text Lab Coordinator or Associate Director at cealab@uark.edu.
  • Students with printed-related disabilities may need tests and handouts provided in a specific font face and size.
  • Please consult with the student regarding his/her specific needs.
  • The CEA Alternative Text Lab can provide guidance and assistance to instructors regarding conversion of tests and/or other course materials. Please contact the CEA Lab Coordinator or Associate Director at cealab@uark.edu.
  • Students with printed-related disabilities may need plastic colored overlays or colored paper in order for the printed materials to be accessible to the students.
  • The color overlays or colored paper may provide reduced glare, or text may appear legible to the user.
  • As specific colors may be necessary, please consult with the student regarding his/her specific needs.