Alternative Format Accommodations

Alternative formats are documents and educational materials provided to students with print-based disabilities in lieu of the original format. It is the conversion of textbooks and course materials into an alternative format for students with disabilities who cannot effectively read print materials. Alternative formats include Electronic Text (E-text), Large Print, Text-to-Speech (TTS), Audio (MP3) files, Portable Document Format (PDF), Accessible Portable Document Format (PDF), Literary Braille, Tactile and Large Print Graphics.

Electronic Text (E-text)
A document that is read in digital form and is mainly text. A word file version of the original source material that is tagged to ease navigation with assistive technology. Can also be a plain text document without tagging. Note: Tagging a document provides the appropriate reading order for a screen reader software and tells the screen reader user what type of element each object is such as heading, list, table, figure, etc.

Large Print (LP)
Word or text document with a large font (at least 14-point font or larger). May also be printed out as a hard copy with enlarged font and on large paper depending on the student’s need for accessing their materials.

ReadSpeaker TextAid (Text-to-Speech)
ReadSpeaker is a web-based platform that uses text-to-speech technology to translate digital content into a spoken language to be read aloud.

Audio (MP3) Files
MP3 files are created using text-to-speech programs. Students may download the files into MP3 format to be played on various media players.

Portable Document Format (PDF)
A file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image. Students may request this format due to its portability and ease of use.

Accessible Portable Document Format (PDF)
A tagged document that supports navigation for a student utilizing assistive technology software and devices such as screen magnifiers, screen readers, speech-recognition software, text-to-speech software, alternative input devices, and refreshable Braille displays.

Literary Braille (Grade 1 and Grade 2)
A system of raised dots in code that can read through hand touch that enables people with blindness and visual limitations to access materials.

Grade 1 Braille is a letter-for-letter substitution of its printed counterpart.

Grade 2 Braille is a literary Braille code that uses “contractions” that substitute shorter sequences for the full spelling of commonly occurring letter groups.

Tactile and Large Print Graphics
Tactile graphics convey non-textual information and may include tactile representations of pictures, maps, graphs, diagrams, and other images through raised lines and Braille that people with visual limitations can feel through touch.

Large print graphics are enlarged images that convey non-textual information to people who are low vision.

  • Log into MyBMAC with the SSO icon.
  • Select alternative formats on the lower left-hand side of the screen.
  • Choose which course you are selecting alternative formats for.
  • Select the book you have purchased from the list at the top of the screen OR enter your textbook information at the bottom of the screen under Additional Book or Reading Materials.
  • Provide proof of purchase by uploading your receipt to MyBMAC.


We cannot process your request until you provide proof of purchase by uploading your receipts to MyBMAC and verifying that the book listed is the appropriate edition/version of the book you have purchased. If you have purchased a previous edition of a book that is not selectable from the list, please use the Additional Book or Reading Materials sections of your work order request. Requests are processed in the order in which they are received.

For detailed instructions and videos on how to make alternative format requests, please access: Requesting Alternative Formats in MyBMAC. If you require additional assistance and would like to review the guidelines and procedures to determine the appropriate alternative format accommodations with a BMAC-ATP staff member, please contact BMAC-ATP at (562) 985-5401 or email at to schedule an appointment.

Textbooks and course materials are converted into alternative and accessible formats based on the student’s disability and approved alternative format accommodations. The process for acquiring these materials in an alternative format is as follows:

  • Each textbook request must be submitted through the student’s MyBMAC student portal under the Alternative Formats module to create a work order request.
  • BMAC-ATP staff verifies proof of purchase of the textbook before processing the request.
  • BMAC-ATP staff conducts a search of their alternative formats production library, California universities and community colleges production libraries, publishers, and other textbook repositories, for textbooks already converted into alternative formats.
  • If the textbook request is not available from the various alternative format production libraries and an electronic file is not available for conversion, then the BMAC-ATP requests permission from the student to utilize their hard copy of the textbook to be converted into the approved alternative format requested.
  • Students may email their course materials to to be converted into an alternative format.
  • Completed materials are then uploaded to the student's ReadSpeaker account, SharePoint, emailed, and/or other agreed form of distribution between the BMAC-ATP staff and student.
  • Students are notified of completed materials through MyBMAC when an alternative format work order is marked complete and ready to access.