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Alternate Format Materials

The Centre for Student Accessibility assists students with print disabilities in obtaining alternate format textbook materials, often known as "e-text" materials.


In order to qualify to access this service, students must be registered with CSA and have a verified print disability. A "print disability" is defined as any condition that restricts an individual's ability to access print material. This includes:

  • vision impairment
  • specific learning disability
  • memory related disability
  • physical disability

If you do not have a documented print-related disability, you will not be able to access alternate formate materials.

Obtaining Your E-text Materials  

Receiving alternate format (e-text) can take as long as 4-6 weeks. Students are advised to seek out information regarding course material as soon as possible once registered to allow for appropriate time to acquire materials.

To request materials:
  • Log into UR Self-Service to access your booklist. If your textbook information is not available through UR Self-Service, contact your instructor directly to request this information.
  • Before proceeding, please check to see if your textbooks are available in electronic format (e-book) from the bookstore, online vendors (ie. Amazon), or for purchase and direct download from the publisher's website. If the e-book is available, buying this may be your quickest and easiest option. When students request the alternate format texts through our office, we then connect with the publisher to request the materials. The publisher may then take up to several weeks to respond, so we strongly suggest that requests are made through CSA only if the book is not available for purchase in an electronic format. If you are unsure of how to search for your book online, please contact our office and we will be more than happy to book an appointment to go through the steps with you.
  • Once you have located your textbook information, and purchased print copies, you may request your books online or complete an Alternate Format Agreement and Request form (64.7 KB) AF request form pdf. If you complete a paper form, it can be dropped off in-person, faxed, or e-mailed.
  • You must provide our office with copies of your receipts before any electronic materials will be released to you. These may be dropped off in-person, faxed, or emailed.
  • An Accessibility Advisor will be in touch with you if any information is missing. Requests with missing information cannot be processed.
  • Once your textbook materials are received at CSA, you will be notified via e-mail that your materials are available for download. A link and instructions for download will be included in your email message. If you have difficulty during the download process, please contact the office for assistance.

Alternate Sources of E-text Materials

More and more publishers are making electronic textbooks available for purchase directly. This is often less costly than purchasing print copies, and less time consuming that ordering alternate format. 

Places to look for e-texts:

  • Google has many scanned searchable electronic materials
  • CourseSmart has a searchable database of college and university texts. They also have e-texts for iPad and iPhone
  • Gutenberg has materials that were published at least 100 years ago
  • CNIB Library