Defining Alt Formats and Assistive Technology

What are Alternative Formats or "Alt 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.

What is Assistive Technology or "AT"?

Assistive technology, or "AT", is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability.

AT can be simple, such as a highlighter marker or magnifying glass. Or AT can range to a very complex level, such as an electric wheelchair or specialized computer software. You may have heard the term "adaptive device". Often, these people will use these interchangeably.

Learn More About AT

Using Alt Formats