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Student Disability Services


Frequently Asked Questions about Access Media

Submitting Alternate Format Requests

Bookshare

Do I need to purchase my books before I submit e-text requests?
No. You can purchase your books at the most convenient time for you. However, before we send the alternate format, you must provide our office with proof of purchase.

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What should I do if my course books are not listed?
Contact the Coordinator of the Alternate Media Resource Center at: alternatemedia@cornell.edu.

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Do I need to buy my books from the campus store?
No. You are free to purchase your books from any retailer.

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Do I need to keep my receipt?
Yes. Proof of purchase must be shown for every book we provide in an alternate format.

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Do I need to check other sources for an accessible format of my course material?
Checking other sources is not required, but it is recommended. If a title is found to have an accessible version available for general consumer purchase, you must purchase that copy, providing it is in a format accessible to your learning needs.

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What if the electronic textbook is not in a format that is accessible for me?
If there is an accessible version of your book for purchase, you must purchase it as long as it meets your learning needs. For example, if you need digital text to be read out loud and find a digital textbook but it only works with a certain proprietary reader that does not read the text out loud, it is not considered accessible for your learning needs. If this is the case, submit your alternate format request to our office and we will provide you with an appropriate format.

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Why did I receive an email asking to bring in my hard-copy?
If you received an email asking for your hard-copy, it means that the publisher was not able to provide an accessible format of the requested material. We ask that you bring in your copy of the material so we can create the accessible copy.

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When can I pick up my hard-copy from your office?
Hard-copies are usually ready to be picked up by the next business day. You will receive an email when your copy is ready.

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I brought my book to your office to be processed. When will I get my e-text?
We generally need 10 business days to process hard-copy material into an accessible copy. You will be notified if we anticipate it would take longer than 10 business days.

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Do I need to be registered for a class to submit my e-text request?
No. Students submitting alternate format requests do not need to be enrolled in the course at the time of submission. Students will need to be enrolled in the course and have purchased the corresponding requested hard-copy material prior to receiving the files in an alternate format.

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What is Bookshare?
Bookshare is an online library of digital texts for use by students with qualifying print disabilities. Bookshare provides Daisy and Braille Refreshable formats.

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What if I find my books on Bookshare?
You do not need to submit an Alternate Format Request Form for books available on Bookshare. You are free to download and use their books according to Bookshare’s terms of use.

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Will Bookshare books work with my existing technology?
Maybe. Bookshare delivers their text in DAISY and  Braille Refreshable Format (BRF) formats. BRF files will work with Braille embossers and refreshable Braille devices. Their DAISY format will work with screen readers such as JAWS or Window-Eyes, DAISY players, WYNN, OpenBook, and Kurzweil 1000 and 3000.

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How can I sign-up for Bookshare?
You can visit www.bookshare.org to learn more and see if Bookshare is right for you. Students may choose to sign-up for Bookshare on their own OR can sign-up for an individual account under Cornell’s institutional membership. Student who sign up on their own must provide Bookshare with proof of disability. Students who choose to sign-up under our institutional membership do not need to show proof of disability to Bookshare.
Starting September 2014, qualified students registering with Student Disability Services (SDS) will have the opportunity to sign-up during their initial visit with the alternate media coordinator. Qualified students registered with SDS prior to September 2014 can call 607-254-4545 to schedule an appt. to register for Bookshare.

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How much does Bookshare cost?
Bookshare is offered free to qualified students with print disabilities.

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Does Bookshare work with the Premier Assistive Technologies suite located in the computer labs on campus?
Bookshare does not currently work with any of the Premier programs.

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