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Accessible Course Materials

What accessible course materials are and why the accommodation is granted

Accessible course materials are textbooks, syllabi, articles, readings, classroom handouts and other instructional matter that have been converted into a format that is usable for a student who is unable to utilize standard print. College of Lake County’s Access and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) grants this academic accommodation as a means of accessibility for some students with visual, physical or print disabilities.

Eligibility, guidelines and procedures for accessible course materials

  1. Before the student is considered for accessible course materials, s/he must be currently registered with the Access and Disability Resource Center and be enrolled in the current or upcoming semester.
  2. Eligibility for accessible course materials is determined by a team of ADRC staff members, who consider the student’s narrative and the professional documentation provided by the student about her/his disability.
  3. Once approved for the accommodation, the student must meet with an ADRC staff member to review and sign the ADRC Document Conversion Agreement Form, discuss the available alternate formats, and place a request for alternate format textbooks and/or accessible course materials. The student also may receive specific software that “reads” aloud the accessible text. ADRC recommends that the student arrange to meet with an ADRC staff member and to submit her/his textbook(s), receipt(s) and accessible course materials request as soon as possible, as it takes time to produce this accommodation. Requests typically are honored in the order in which they are received.
  4. The Document Conversion Agreement Form outlines the requirements pertaining to accessible materials. The student provides her/his name, student ID number, preferred telephone number and CLC student email address. After reading and completing the form, the student signs this document to acknowledge and agree with ADRC accessibility standards and procedures. The student then makes her/his accessible course materials request with an ADRC staff member, who will write information about the student and the material.
    1. For conversion of textbooks, the student must own or rent the current textbooks (or other books) for the classes s/he is enrolled in. S/He must provide proof of ownership or rental of the books, such as a bookstore or online receipt.
    2. For conversion of other course materials, the student may request that the syllabus and other materials for the first class session (or the first week of that class) be converted before the course begins. As the semester progresses, the student may request that other materials, such as readings, be converted. It is the student’s responsibility to contact ADRC to request that other course materials be converted.
  5. For textbooks, the ADRC staff member will check various sources of converted books to determine how each item will be provided.
    1. If ADRC has already converted a book, ADRC will send to the student’s CLC email address a link for her/him to log in and download a text-to-audio file. On occasion, ADRC may provide a PDF with text-to-speech capability.
    2. If ADRC does not already have the title, ADRC will check a third-party database to see if a digital file of the title could be provided by the book publisher. ADRC is unable to expedite this process, as publishers have their own timelines for providing this service. Once a publisher’s file arrives, ADRC will contact the student and send, via CLC email, a link to the accessible material.
    3. If a title has not been converted by ADRC and is not available through the third-party database, ADRC will seek the book through a number of ways:
      1. ADRC may check with the instructor or academic division office for a physical or digital copy of the textbook.
      2. ADRC may ask the publisher directly for a digital file of the book.
      3. As a last resort, ADRC may ask the student for permission to cut off the spine of the textbook and scan its pages, thus producing an accessible version of the book in-house.
      When production is complete, the student will receive an email with login information and instructions for use of the book.
  6. For textbook conversion, ADRC offers two formats. One is image only, for magnification purposes. Oftentimes a student with low vision will choose this format, because the image of the book’s pages can be magnified by special software. The other format is text with audio, for a student who best learns by seeing and hearing the words of the textbook or other material. Only the text of the book – not photographs, drawings, captions, graphs or sidebar articles – is converted, because it is presumed that the student can look at those elements while hearing the main text of the book. Sometimes publishers provide ADRC an image format that can be “read” by certain computer software.
  7. Converting a book into a digital format takes an average of about two weeks. Peak times are the period from the first day of textbook sales for the semester to the end of the sixth week of the semester. Production also might take longer than the two-week window if digital files are ordered from a publisher.
  8. Book conversion is done on a first-come, first-served basis. Exceptions may be made in cases of students who are visually impaired or students who are physically unable to manipulate pages of a printed textbook.
  9. When the accessible materials are ready for the student, s/he is notified via her/his CLC email address, which the student provides at her/his accessible course materials meeting. The student also will receive, via CLC email, a link for her/him to log in and download the accessible file. In addition, the student is contacted when any physical books are ready for pickup. Physical books that were cut and scanned will be given back to the student in a three-ring binder or will be spiral-bound. The student is responsible for picking up from ADRC her/his cut books. ADRC has made special arrangements with the CLC Bookstore regarding buyback of cut books, pursuant to CLC Bookstore standards.
  10. The student will be notified if s/he has not picked up her/his physical books by mid-semester.
  11. If the student misses a book pickup for one semester, ADRC will inform her/him and discuss any problems s/he may have had that prevented her/him from picking up or using her/his converted material.
  12. If after a second semester the student does not pick up or use her/his converted material, the accessible course materials accommodation may be suspended until a meeting can be held with the student to discuss this concern. Reinstatement of this service will be done on a case-by-case basis and at the sole discretion of ADRC.
  13. If a student has problems with accessible course materials, it is her/his responsibility to contact ADRC, which provides this accommodation through an interactive and ongoing process. The student may drop by the office or contact the assistive technology specialist at (847) 543-2783.

Copyright statement

The alternate version of a book or classroom material, like its print version, is protected under copyright law, and as such may not be reproduced or distributed to any other person. Also, the alternate copy can only stay in the sole ownership of the student for as long as s/he owns the physical copy. According to copyright standards, when the student no longer owns the book, it is her/his responsibility to delete the digital copy.

Compliance statement

The CLC Access and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) complies with standards and guidelines as detailed in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, their amendments, and other pertinent federal laws. ADRC also adheres to the College of Lake County’s Responsible Use of Information Technology Policy (Policy 909), adopted by the CLC Board of Trustees on February 18, 1997.

Loan of equipment

ADRC may lend equipment needed to fulfill an accommodation, and this equipment can be acquired within ADRC. Students receiving assistive equipment through the ADRC will need to meet with ADRC staff each semester, and are responsible for the proper usage and care of equipment.


All information covered in this standard is subject to change at the discretion of ADRC. The Access and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) may change a standard as needed to best serve all students with a disability and to ensure access to courses and classes at CLC.