Accessibility Services

Alternative Text information

What does Alternative Text mean?

Students with physical or print disabilities that affect their ability to read standard print are entitled to use textbooks in an accessible or alternative format. This accommodation is determined on a case-by-case basis.  

What is Bookshare?

One of the resources the Accessibility Services Center (ASC) uses to obtain e-textbooks and digital books for students with documented disabilities and for whom reading print is difficult is Bookshare (  This service is free through an award from the Office of Special Education Programs and the U.S. Department of Education.  In many cases, students have access to titles that are required in their classes. Student members can also use Bookshare independently for free, getting access to thousands of titles and free reading tools to assist with homework or independent pleasure reading.

Bookshare is an ebook library that has been growing its collection of textbooks over the years.  Once you have been approved to have the accommodation of using alternative texts, you have the opportunity to have an individual membership through Bookshare.  The individual membership will allow you to search their library for your own books which will be helpful for your future courses at Moravian. 

How can I find accessible textbooks on my own?

We encourage you to rent or purchase as many EPUB or digital materials as you can from the Moravian Book Shop or your favorite bookseller.  In many instances, you will be able to find the book you need in an accessible format. The accessible format may have a different ISBN, and that information can be found on the copyright page right inside the textbook.  We encourage you to search Bookshare first and then reach out to secure the books you need. 

What if the book I need is not an electronic book at the Moravian Book Shop or available on Bookshare?

There may be instances where textbooks are not available in digital or EPUB format or in the Bookshare collection.  At that point, you will need to request the services of the ASC staff.  

How do I request textbooks through the ASC?

  1. Purchase or rent the textbook(s) you need.
  2. Complete the Request Textbooks in Alternative Format form
  3. Collect your receipts.
  4. Share the completed form and receipts by uploading them to our secure portal by clicking here.

How long does it take to receive electronic textbooks?

Obtaining alternative textbooks may take up to 4-6 weeks.  We encourage you to complete and submit the form as soon as possible to ensure minimal delay in service.

What if the textbook is not available electronically?

In some cases, an electronic version of a given textbook is not available from the publisher. If we are unable to secure a digital textbook and in keeping with standard practices in higher education, the student must submit his/her textbook to the ASC for conversion to an accessible format (e-text). This conversion requires cutting the binding of the text, scanning the pages, and converting the text into a readable electronic format by office staff. This could take up to 4-6 weeks to accomplish.  You will receive both the converted electronic version of the text and the original unbound text pages reassembled by the chapter.