Texts in Alternative Formats

Students who are blind/visually impaired and those with qualifying learning disabilities may be eligible for text in alternative formats. Disability Services provides textbooks and some other course materials in alternative formats, which may include:

  • eText in secure format from a variety of resources
  • eText from the publisher provided to the student on CD or via email
  • Text scanned by an outside vendor and provided to the student on CD or via email
  • MP3 created from scanned materials provided to students on CD or via USB flash drive
  • Audiotape in four-track format from a variety of resources
  • Audiotape recorded by BU students working as both volunteers and student employees
  • Braille and/or Tactile
  • Large Print

Disability Services will need at least six weeks prior to the start of classes to access or convert material. To obtain book information such as title, edition, and copyright date, you may use the following contacts.

Barnes & Noble at Boston University
Textbook Department, 4th floor
660 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215-2002
Phone: 617-236-7420

At the start of each academic semester, students may experience significant wait times while contacting the Barnes & Noble textbook department. You are encouraged to use several online resources for finding textbook information. This information can be found at the BU Disability Services website under “Alternative Text Resources.”

If you need assistance in obtaining textbook information, please contact Daniel Berkowitz in Disability Services at (617) 353-3658.

For assistance in locating SSW “Readers” (collections of articles) contact Director of Student Services Cate Solomon (617) 353-5607.

Boston University has an institutional membership with Learning Ally (formerly known as Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic—RFB&D). This means Disability Services may obtain a textbook from Learning Ally, provided you’re eligible for this service. Students can choose to have an individual membership, which requires an annual fee, though you would have access to textbooks and other services without having to go through BU Disability Services.

Another resource for audio books (not textbooks) is www.audible.com.
This site allow members to download books to one’s computer and/or MP3 player.