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Alternative Text

We work with over 150 different publishers to provide alternative text files for students. As a member of the AccessText Network, we have fast and efficient access to titles from 30 major academic publishers and their imprints, including Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Macmillan, W. W. Norton, Cengage and Wiley. In addition, we are also able to place requests for alternative texts directly to many smaller publishers. Finally, for class notes, instructor packets and other texts unavailable in an accessible format, we can scan and create accessible files using our own scanner and conversion software. 

Request Alternative Textbooks

Tutoring Services  |  2071 Cedar Hall  |  319-398-5425
Hours: Monday–Thursday 7:30 a.m.–7 p.m.  |  Friday 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

In order to have all of your materials ready by the start of the semester, we recommend the following:

  • Have you requested accommodations? If you haven’t, stop by Learning Services (2063 Cedar Hall) or fill out the online form. Bring a copy of your accommodation plan with you.
  • You must have proof of ownership for all of the textbooks you request. Bring your books or your receipt with you.
  • Bring a flash drive or your laptop where your alternative textbook files can be saved.
  • Request your texts at least six weeks before the start of class. During peak season, publishers can take several weeks to fulfill requests. 
  • Tutoring Services hours vary in between semesters and during the summer. Call Tutoring Services to verify hours. 
  • All alternative text requests are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • In the event that alternative texts aren’t available from the publisher, Tutoring Services can create files from your textbook. This requires the binding to be cut from your copy so pages can be scanned. The book is rebound and returned to you along with the electronic files. 
  • Files are offered in a Word document and PDF format. 
  • Alternative textbooks are available to students at all of Kirkwoods county centers. Students should work with county center staff to begin the process.
  • To have Read&Write Gold (a text-to-speech software) installed, bring your laptop. We sometimes accept walk-ins, but we recommend you make an appointment to ensure we will be available to assist you.

Benefits of Alternative Text and Text-to-Speech

Alternative textbooks are essentially books that can be used on your computer. They are paired with Read&Write Gold, which is software that highlights each word as it is read out loud. 

Combining reading with visual and audio elements has several proven benefits:

  • Supports independent learning and understanding.
  • Improves confidence and comprehension levels for struggling readers.
  • Helps students who struggle with reading because of dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, or other learning, mental or physical disabilities.
  • Assists English language learners and individuals with English as a second language. 
Alternative texts and Read&Write Gold are available free of charge to any student who receives accommodations at Kirkwood.  


List of Publishers

Alternative Text Publishers