Alternate Media Services

Rose Desmond Phone: 925-969-2174

Alternate media is defined as instructional materials, textbooks, college publications, and/or library materials in formats accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities. DSS credentialed staff will determine the most suitable format for each student.  Alternate Media Services is for students who have the accommodation. Students who are blind or with low vision will get priority. This includes testing materials.  

To receive accommodations, please complete the Alternate media services contract  and upload or email your book receipt. Please contact Rose Desmond if you have questions or have content that you need converted.


Students must be registered in the course for which they are requesting alternate media services. Students must have ownership of their requested textbooks. Students who are legally blind and clients of the Department of Rehabilitation may receive books and Braille textbook services through DOR. All other course books, handouts and/or materials will be converted into accessible formats by DSS.


When textbooks or course materials are required by students before they are available in alternate formats, students will be directed to the High Tech Center and/or Library to scan the material into a digital format.

Reading software

Electronic text is a version of textbooks and course materials available from a computer text file. Individuals who are partially sighted can use e-text by taking advantage of built-in options within many standard software applications (e.g., adjusting font size) or through the use of specialized screen magnification software (i.e., ZoomText). E-text can also be used with screen reading software (i.e., Kurzweil) to output the text to a speech synthesizer or refreshable Braille display. The main advantage of e-text is that it can be easily stored, can be searched and indexed, and can be converted to large print or hard copy Braille through use of a translation program.

E-texts is to be used solely for educational purposes and must not be copied or duplicated for use by others.  Failure to comply with these terms may result in termination of this service.

Braille and tactile graphics

Braille is a system of reading and writing for blind individuals. Tactile Graphics allows diagrams printed on special heat-sensitive paper to produce raised lines and images. Many Braille embossers can, using specialized software, produce some simple tactile graphics.

Print enlarging

Relatively few textbooks are available in large print and those that are tend to be expensive. One alternative to hard copy large print is the use of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system which permits magnification of the page being viewed. Use of a CCTV may not be appropriate for accessing reference works or for handling some types of in-class assignments.
DVC currently has Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTV's) for student use. 

Alternative technology

Students may also use a variety of assistive technology software and hardware in the High Tech Center to quickly convert textbooks, handouts and other course materials into their preferred format. Among these is an advanced easy-to-use scan and read system (Kurzweil) that converts text into an on-screen visual presentation of the scanned text and images, and then reads the words aloud in clear, natural-sounding synthetic speech. This program has additional benefits as a compensatory aid to improve reading speed and comprehension.

You must have a user name a password to use the Kurzweil software.
If you need software such as Kurzweil text to speech to help with reading, or Dragon naturally speaking speech to text software contact Rose Desmond.

CCTV's are available to be transported to classrooms upon request.