DSPS Alternate Media


Welcome to Alternate Media Services at Contra Costa College. As part of Disabled Students’ Programs and Services (DSPS), we are here to provide students with disabilities alternate formats of textbooks and other instructional materials that are required for classes. It is the student’s responsibility to request alternate media.

What is Alternate Media?

Alternate media refers to printed materials produced in alternate formats that are critical to the success of students with disabilities. For such students, text would typically be provided in Braille, large print or electronic text formats.

Who is eligible for Alternate Media?

Eligible students include those who are blind, have low vision, have mobility impairments that impact the ability to hold texts, or have specific learning disabilities. Based on the students’ educational limitations, students use alternate media in different ways. For more information on eligibility to receive instructional material in alternate formats please contact Disabled Students’ Programs & Services at (510) 215-3969.

Why is Alternate Media important?

Alternate Media doesn’t just provide general access to educational materials it provides effective communication access to our students. Contra Costa College, Alternate Media and Disabled Students’ Programs and Services are committed to providing students with equal access to educational materials in order for them to succeed in all of their educational endeavors.

Students are eligible to receive instructional materials in an alternate format provided they meet the following conditions:

  • The student is registered in the requested course at the college.

  • The student has submitted his/her request for alternate media and purchased the required instructional material.

  • The student will use the alternate formats solely for his or her own educational purposes and will not copy or duplicate it for use by others.

  • The instructional material is required or essential to the student’s success in the course.

  • Requests will be filled in a timely manner.

  • Whenever possible, materials are provided in the alternate format preferred by the student (i.e. Braille, audio, large print, electronic text).

Requesting Alternate Media

Ordering course materials for the semester in alternative formats from the Alternate Media Specialist requires students to follow these steps:

  1. Complete an Alternate Media Request – Used to obtain the required textbook

  1. Complete an Alternate Media Participation Agreement – Records your desire to participate in the alternate media program.

  1. Read the Alternate Media Policies and Procedures – Ensures you understand the policies and procedures of the program.

  1. Submit a copy of your Proof of Purchase/Ownership – Ensures you are the righteous owner of the book.

Requests for materials should be submitted as soon as possible following early registration.

Requests will be honored in the order that they are received. The Alternate Media Specialist is scheduled to work during the fall/spring semester Monday-Friday from 8:00am – 12:00pm and during the summer Monday-Thursday from 8:00 – 1:00pm, (except holidays).

Types of Alternate Media Available:

  • Formatted Audio: Audio formatting is a feature used by screen reading programs like Balabolka  Kursweil 3000. The programs automatically change the format from e-text or PDF into audio.

  • Braille: Braille is a series of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or whose eyesight is not sufficient for reading printed material.

  • Close Captioning: Text transcription of spoken/audio portion of movies, videos, TV shows, DVD’s

  • E-Text: E-text is a simple text file that can be accessed by many programs such as MS Word, JAWS screen reading programs like Balabolka, Kurzweil text-to-speech program, Duxbury Braille Translation program. It is very important because it is the basis for generating many other forms of Alternate Media.

  • Large Print: Large print is any text that is enlarged to at least 14 points.

  • Tactile Graphics: Includes tactile pictures, tactile diagrams, tactile maps and tactile graphs, are images that use raised surfaces so that a visually impaired person can feel them. They are used to convey non-textual information such as maps, paintings, graphs and diagrams.