Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Accessible Media

Click the links below to navigate the page:


Rachel Dugan, Accessible Media Services Coordinator

We also have a student staff that is essential to the production of Accessible Media!

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Greeting and Overview

Welcome to the Accessible Media Production Center (AMPC) web page! The Accessible Media department of Student Life Disability Services is responsible for providing course materials in accessible formats for registered students with print disabilities.

The most common accessible media formats are:

• PDF (image or searchable)
• RTF (Rich Text Format)
• Paper enlargements
• Braille
• MP3 (Audio format)
• xhtml (Audible mathematics output format)

You will find further explanation of these formats below.

Teamwork is essential in the Accessible Media process. Students, faculty, and AMPC staff each play an equal role in ensuring access!

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Click here for helpful information on how to create your own accessible course materials!

The best way you can help is to post necessary textbooks and course materials as soon as possible – this allows SLDS staff to begin the production process in a timely manner.

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In this section, you will find information regarding the process for requesting and receiving Accessible Media and the different formats that can be provided.

The creation of a textbook in an accessible format is labor intensive and time consuming; therefore, notifying the Accessible Media Production Center of your classes and books (if known) well before classes begin is critical.

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Steps for Requesting Materials

Getting Started

1. Welcome Meeting with your assigned Disability Services Access Specialist
You and your Access Specialist will review your documentation and discuss possible accommodations, including accessible media for course materials.

2. Orientation with Accessible Media Staff
Either during your Welcome Meeting or at another scheduled time soon after, you will meet with the Accessible Media Services Coordinator, Rachel Dugan, for approximately 30 minutes to discuss which accessible media format will work best for you. You can change your format decision at a later time if you find that your current format is not desirable.

3. Training with Assistive Technology Staff, if applicable
Many accessible media formats require the use of Assistive Technology. Rachel Dugan or your Access Specialist will also schedule you for Assistive Technology training through the Assistive Technology Training Center (ATTC) if applicable.

Some examples of Assistive Technology available include a screen reader (JAWS), Read and Write Gold which converts text to speech, and ZoomText to magnify your screen.

Further Assistive Technology questions can be directed to the ATTC Coordinator, Abdirahim

Each Semester

1. Place Accessible Media Request upon scheduling courses
Email the Accessible Media staff when you have scheduled your courses, and indicate the courses for which you would like Accessible Media so that production of your materials can begin as soon as possible.

We will not work on any materials that you have not identified as needing. However, you do not necessarily need to know what the assigned textbooks are in order to request Accessible Media for your course. As the adage goes: better safe than sorry! If you think you’re going to need it, please request it.

Please email the Accessible Media staff if you change sections of a course or add/drop a course!

2. Demonstrate Proof of Ownership
Before the Accessible Media staff can provide you with your materials, you must show proof of ownership for each requested textbook in order to satisfy copyright law.

This can be done in one of the following ways:
• Showing or emailing copies of your receipts to Accessible Media staff
• Allowing Accessible Media staff to photocopy the cover of your book(s)
• Emailing Accessible Media a photocopy of the front and back cover of your book(s)

3. Check Carmen* (
Students are given individual access to the Accessible Media Carmen course site following Accessible Media orientation. Digital Accessible Media materials will be posted online on a rolling basis as they are completed. Please check Carmen periodically for your uploaded materials as well as Accessible Media updates, particularly as each new semester approaches.

*Hard copy materials such as Braille or large print can be picked up in the AMPC. Students will be notified via email when hard copy materials are ready to be picked up.

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Accessible Media Formats


PDF stands for Portable Document Format. A searchable PDF includes a full digital image of the textbook page along with text recognition which can be "read" by using Adobe Reader v.10 which is a free download from The Adobe site can be located at: These searchable PDFs can also be read by common screen reading software.

The PDF image format is simply a digital image of the page and does not have text recognition.


RTF stands for Rich Text Format. It is a Word processing format that can be accessed by screen reading software on both PC and Mac platforms.

RTF can be produced in two ways. The first is a plain text format to only include the text of a book and not the graphics. The second is called RTF Include Everything which is edited to maintain the styles and headings of the original text as well as includes descriptions of all images, charts, graphs, etc. 

Paper Enlargements

In this format, black and white copies of text can be enlarged to fit ledger size paper which is 11 x 17 inches.


Disability Services does not have a Braille Transcriber on staff; however, we are able to produce short documents in Braille as requested by the student.

If an entire textbook is to be converted to Braille, per industry standard, the textbook needs to be requested 6 months in advance.


An mp3 file is a digital audio format. The text is processed through Text Aloud, an mp3 conversion software. These files can be loaded onto portable devices such as MP3 players and iPods as well as laptop and desktop computers.

Audible Mathematics

The AMPC can produce audible mathematics that can be read by JAWS software. For non-JAWS users, additional audible mathematics options may be available. For training in working with these materials you will want to contact Abdirahim, ATTC Coordinator, to discuss how to operate these files.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Will I be charged for having my materials converted into an accessible format?
A. No, you will not be charged. This is a free service; however, you do need to purchase or rent your own textbooks.

Q. How long will it be until I receive my materials?
A. There are many factors that affect the timeliness of the production of Accessible Media materials. Some materials have a faster turnover rate than others but most importantly, communication with the Accessible Media staff about your needs will help to ensure that production is on track and that your priorities are being addressed.

Q. Can I use my own hardware / software to access these files?
A. Possibly. Many programs are compatible with Mac and PC. Consult with the ATTC staff for further advice and training related to your own technology.

Q. I have problems with my materials - I can't get it to open, play, view etc.
A. We suggest you start by calling the office and asking to speak with the ATTC Lab Tech on staff (614) 292-3307. You may also call or email the AMPC staff with a description of the problem.

Q. I can see my materials on Carmen but they are locked and I can’t open them. Why?
A. You haven’t turned in proof of ownership for your books. It’s possible that the Accessible Media staff finishes your requested material and uploads it before you’ve turned in your receipt or other proof of ownership. Once you have a proof of purchase, your materials will be unlocked for your use.

Q. Do I have to have all of my materials converted?
A. No. The Alt Media staff will proceed with your materials based on the information you provide and the texts you request. Optional or recommended materials for a course can be processed by request as well.

Q. Do I have to return my converted texts at the end of the semester?
A. No, the files are yours to keep. Make sure to download them as soon as you receive them on Carmen, as files are removed from the system after the term ends.

Q. What will happen if I do not turn in proof of ownership for my requested materials for the semester?
A. No material will be released to you on Carmen. You may need to meet with your Access Specialist to discuss whether Accessible Media is needed for your future courses as it is not efficient for the AMPC to produce texts that are not utilized by students.

Q. How do I get my Carmen articles in Accessible Media?
A. Contact the Accessible Media staff as soon as you know which articles you need. If the instructor changes or adds more articles, it is your responsibility to communicate these changes to Accessible Media staff so that these can also be converted to your preferred format and re-delivered via Carmen.

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Helpful Links

Barnes and Noble

Campus Library Hours

Campus computer labs that support Assistive Technology


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© 2017 The Ohio State University - Disability Services
098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614-292-3307 | Fax: 614-292-4190 | VRS: 614-429-1334 | General Questions: | Exam/Quiz Accommodations:
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