Text Conversion

Accessible Media Services (AMS) converts print materials for qualified students of the university, and for departments who need assistance. In accordance with federal law, all instructors  (as agents of the University) are required to make all classroom materials available to students with disabilities at the same time that it is made available to all other students.

Rates for AMS services for non-student related work can be located on the DRES Billing (Non-Student) page.


The mission of Accessible Media Services (AMS) is to support students with disabilities, the university, and its community in fostering equal access to print and digital materials for use in all learning environments.  AMS provides leadership, education and resources on best practices for creating fully accessible materials to members of the campus community and beyond.

Creating Accessible documents is vitally important in providing equal access to all who may need them, as shown here by the University of Washington's DO-IT program (video is captioned and audio described).


  1. Student Requirements
  2. Process to Receive E-Text Services
    1. Courses with E-Reserves and Web-Based Materials
    2. Optional materials
    3. Due dates
    4. Archived materials
    5. Alternate Formats Available
    6. Rental Books
    7. Library Materials
  3. Working in Accessible Media Services (AMS) - Text Conversion

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Student Requirements

DRES works to ensure that appropriate accommodations are provided for students who are eligible for services. In order to maintain the integrity of the services offered in accordance with the law, the following rules apply to students who use Accessible Media Services:

  • Students must sign the Accessible Media Format Agreement to receive services.

  • The student must qualify as having a disability that is covered by 2 U.S.C. Section 135a; 46 Stats. 1487.  Students' disabilities shall be verified by providing DRES with an Application for Service and appropriate documentation of their disability per DRES documentation guidelines.

  • The student must currently be registered at the University of Illinois at the time of the student's request for accessible formats. Materials that are for a qualified graduate student, who is teaching a class will also be converted, provided that a syllabus with due dates is provided.
  • The student agrees to keep their user name and password private, and also agrees that they will not copy or reproduce any e-text materials received, nor allow anyone else to do so. Sharing of materials that have been produced solely for a student with a print disability will be reported to the appropriate campus personnel, as this is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and Copyright Law.
  • Students who have their books paid for by DHS will need to sign a form giving DRES permission to share your UIN with the Illini Union Bookstore.  You may print it and bring it our office, email it back or fax it to our office.  Any books that are purchased for a class that are dropped are your responsibility. (Form attached)
  • Only those students whose books are being converted should request to have IUB deliver their books to DRES. (As of SUMMER '20, DO NOT SEND HARDCOPY BOOKS TO DRES UNLESS SPECIFICALLY ASKED - HAVE THEM SENT TO YOUR HOME OR HELD AT IUB FOR PICKUP)
  • Obtaining Books:

  • 1. Students will email their professors to request book lists as soon as they register for classes. (A link to a sample email is sent to students prior to the Advance Enrollment period.  Students who have difficulty getting a response from instructors should contact their DRES Access Specialist or AMS for help.  
  • 2. Email Scott Baseler, who is our contact at the Illini Union Bookstore at sbaseler@illinois.edu in the following manner:
  • CC:  dres-accessible-media@illinois.edu
  • Subject Line: DRES STUDENT (you will get priority attention only if this is in the Subject Line)
  • Give Scott your schedule, complete with Section Numbers
  • He will reply with either a book list, or that no book list has been submitted.
    • IF a book list has been submitted – send that information to dres-accessible-media@illinois.edu
    • IF a book list has not been submitted – begin contacting faculty regarding obtaining a book list. Please let your instructors know that you utilize text conversion services and need the book list for the course. If you have difficulty obtaining a book list from your instructor, please let your Access Specialist know ASAP, so they can assist you.
  • For many students a speech-enabled Kindle file is the least expensive, and quickest way to access textbooks.  If you need assistance in determining if a particular book is appropriate for you, contact AMS.  We're happy to help!
  • If you need to purchase hard copies from IUB, Scott will let you know if the bookstore has the books in stock.  If they do, the quickest way to get them converted is to purchase them immediately and ask to have them delivered to your home or DRES.  If the bookstore does not have them, you also have the choice of purchasing them online (Amazon-Kindle format if appropriate, OpenStax, etc) and having them sent to DRES in the quickest method available.  Make sure your name is on the order (in the book, inside the package/on the receipt).
  • Books that arrive after the due date, will be put into a first-come, first-serve queue, and will be converted in that order. 
  • Books that are turned into Accessible Media Services by the posted due date for each semester will have their materials ready for the beginning of the semester,  given available resources and expertise. Braille, tactile graphics, and other technical materials may need to be handled on a different schedule and would be negotiated with the student, the student's Access Specialist, and the Accessible Media Coordinator. Any book turned in after the posted due date will be placed on a wait list and completed in its entirety on a first come/first serve basis, or as previously agreed upon. 
  • In the case of e-reserves or web-based materials, if the instructor can make the materials available to the Accessible Media Services early, we can begin work on the materials at that time.  If the materials are not available, then it is the responsibility of the student to download the materials from Box, or any other website and send to the AMS staff for conversion, along with the appropriate due dates.  We will do our best to accommodate the due dates depending on when the assignments are received and due.
  • There are instances where an item is in very poor condition and cannot be scanned. We will inform the student of the situation and ask if they wish for us to do a library search for the item in order to get a better copy. The student will be given the option of having the materials converted after their due date or not to have it converted.
  • All materials are uploaded to the student's folder in Box.  Students will need to monitor that account or have notifications turned on so that you can receive your materials in a timely manner.

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Course Materials

Courses with web-based materials

Many courses include web-based materials (e.g., Compass2g, Blackboard, Moodle) that might contain pdf's and PowerPoint presentations that are not readily accessible to students with screen readers. In cases where that information is known prior to the start of the semester, AMS staff will try to obtain the materials so that they can be converted prior to the start of the semester.  In those cases where it is not possible, it becomes the students responsibility to obtain the materials from the instructor, or download them from the internet and forward them to the AMS staff for conversion.  AMS staff is not responsible for monitoring individual course sites for new postings.

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Optional materials

Professors will often list optional textbooks or journal articles that can be read by the student if they choose. The student MUST inform staff if they wish optional materials to be converted. We will, however, convert journal articles or book chapters that are necessary for research papers for courses, but the student must provide the materials to be converted and a due date must be mutually agreed upon.

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Due dates

It is our goal to have materials that have been brought to the AMS by the stated deadline for each semester, converted and ready at the start of the semester.  Any books or articles brought in after the stated deadline will be placed on a wait list and converted on a first come/first serve basis.

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Archived materials

The Accessible Media Services Office agrees to provide materials in an electronic format for the semester that the student is enrolled in class. Previous semester's materials are not archived, and will be removed from the website at the end of every semester. 

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Alternate Formats Available

  • Word (.doc)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • MathML
  • Kindle

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Rental Books

Students may submit rental books for conversion, but files must be deleted from the student's computer at the time that the hard copy rental expires.  The sharing of these electronic files is a violation of Copyright law and the University Student Code of Conduct.  The misuse of these electronic files could result in the loss of e-text services, as well as referral to the Dean of Students.

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Library Materials 

DRES will scan library materials for research and coursework only.   There are scanners available in the UGL for personal use.

Below are the procedures for DRES students to have library materials scanned.  If you have any questions, please see your Access Specialist or Ann Fredricksen at dres-accessible-media@illinios.edu.

1) Student checks if the item is available in the Hathi Trust Digital Library.  There should be records for Hathi holdings in the Library Catalog, but Hathi can also be searched directly at https://hathitrust.org/.  For assistance locating items, Ask A Librarian (http://www.library.illinois.edu/askus/). 

2) If the item is in Hathi, student contacts the proxy at DRES (dres-accessible-media@illinois.edu) to get it converted. If the item is not available in Hathi, AMS will check other sources, or request a hardcopy from the library to scan and convert.  In rare instances, the student might be asked to provide a hardcopy to scan and convert.

4) DRES will notify student of receipt of materials at DRES, and where material will fall in the existing working queue. 

4) DRES will deliver the converted item to the student via Box, and the book back to the library.

** Electronic library materials must be deleted from all devices on the date that the hard copy would be returned to the library - no exceptions.  It is the student's responsibility to abide by these guidelines.  The sharing of these electronic materials fall under the student's signed agreement of not sharing any materials that are converted by AMS.  They are only for the use of the student requesting the materials.

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Hathi Trust

HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.

1) Students can check to if their item is available in the Hathi Trust Digital Library.  There should be records for Hathi holdings in the Library Catalog, but Hathi can also be searched directly at https://hathitrust.org/.  For assistance locating items, Ask A Librarian (http://www.library.illinois.edu/askus/).

2) If the item is in Hathi, patron should contact the proxy at DRES, Ann Fredricksen dres-accessible-media@illinois.edu, to get it converted. If the item is NOT available in Hathi, the patron can initiate a conversion request by either contacting Central Access Services, University Library (CAS) for assistance obtaining materials or dropping off the materials with CAS.  CAS’s telephone number is (217) 333-8400.

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Working in the Accessible Media Services (AMS) Office - Text Conversion

We welcome your interest in working at DRES, in the Accessible Media Office, Text Conversion Services.  We feel that you will find it rewarding to assist in the process of creating accessible course materials for our students who have visual disabilities, learning disabilities, and other types of print disabilities.  Please email Ann Fredricksen, dres-accessible-media@illinois.edu, with your resume and hours of availability to work that are between 8am-5pm, M-F.  While applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, our goal is to hire and train staff at the end of each semester so that training can occur at our least busiest times.  Shifts will be filled according to hours available.

Once your application is submitted, you will be contacted to set up an interview, depending on staffing needs.

Once Hired: Getting on Payroll and Completing Training

You are required to get set up on payroll as soon as you have been offered a position, or you will not be allowed to work.

Upon hiring, you will receive an orange employment card.  You MUST take that card with you to your DRES appointment to be set up on payroll.  In order to be set up on payroll, you must call the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) 333-4600 and arrange an appointment to meet with Krystle Simmons at 1207 S. Oak St., Champaign, Illinois, 61820.

If you have previously been on the U of I payroll, PLEASE inform Krystle when you contact her.

You will need to bring the following: 1. Social Security card; 2. Photo ID/Student ID, and your checking account information. You will have to complete an Employee Information Format (EIF) on NESSIE, so plan on spending about 30-45 minutes.

Once you have completed the EIF, Krystle will give you a green employment card.  You must submit this card to Ann Fredricksen. The green employment card must be turned in so that time sheets can be processed.

Upon completion of the interviewing and screening process, applicants are informed of their status and instructed on how to obtain training. 

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