What are accessible resources?

Some students require textbooks in an accessible format, usually electronic, due to a print impairment. This term refers to students who cannot access printed text, most often due to a visual or physical impairment, or a specific learning difficulty. Students may find our existing ebooks useful, however some titles are not available as ebooks or some students may find our ebooks inaccessible. For these students we can ask the publishers to provide accessible electronic formats of the books; these usually take the form of PDF files, which enable the student to view the book on a computer screen and use screen reading technology to have the book read aloud. The PDF files also enable the student to change the format of the book such as text size, font style, colour and reflow.

An assessment of the need and referral for this service will be made by a student’s Disability Adviser in the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS). The Library takes responsibility for requesting the electronic versions of the books directly from the publishers and we will work in partnership with the student to obtain resource (reading) lists.

We will try to obtain all items on a resource list for visually impaired students and students with mobility issues. For students with specific learning difficulties who can access some printed/ebooks, we will only obtain those items listed as essential on the resource list or where no ebook is available.

Some points to consider:

  • We will make every effort to confirm with the publisher as soon as possible, but we cannot attach a timeframe to this service as every publisher has different response times. Publishers are also more likely to supply books published more recently, particularly after 2000 and older books are less likely to be available electronically.
  • In order to request an electronic copy from the publisher the library (or student) must own a print copy of the edition required.
  • If we receive an electronic file, it may not be fully accessible for every student’s needs. It may need converting to another file format (e.g. from inaccessible image PDF to Microsoft Word) and this can take time to produce.
  • If the publisher advises that they do not have an electronic copy we may be able to manually scan the item, this has to be done in house and is labour intensive. We will check with the student before we undertake any scanning in case an alternative title is available which we can request from a publisher. If there is no alternative and the book is essential to the students study, we will scan it.
  • Any files from publishers or scans are for the personal use of the student and should not be further copied or distributed to / shared with other students or staff.

The following PDF’s with more details are available: